Section IV

SELF-HARM

Self-harm threats and attempts to harm others are to be taken seriously by all staff members. For these reasons, administrators are asked to implement the attached guidelines set forth by the district.

Monitoring of self-harm or threats to harm others is necessary in all cases. Therefore an Action Plan Form must be completed for all instances in which a student has expressed self-harm or threats to harm others. When necessary, the principal or his/her designee may remove a student from classes or from school premises for health, safety or welfare reasons whenever the principal or designee determines that it is necessary to do so. This would include students suffering from any condition that threatens his/her welfare or the safety of others. Any student who is so removed is to be released only to the student’s parent a representative of the parent or other proper authority, including, but not limited to, law enforcement officers and medical personnel. When a student is removed from the school for self-harm or threats to harm others, the Parent Statement of Understanding will be used in an effort to encourage the caretakers to seek professional mental health care for a student outside of the school. In these cases, failure to seek outside mental health consultation may constitute neglect and the school is legally obligated to report the situation to the Children Youth and Families Department. The State of New Mexico defines “neglect of a child as one who is without proper parental care and control of subsistence, education, mental or other care or control necessary for the child’s well-being”.

In this regard, the adjudicating school official will consider the following criteria when determining the disciplinary outcome resulting from physical violence between students:

1. Was one of the students involved clearly the victim in the conflict?
2. Did this student attempt to walk away from the person with whom there was conflict?
3. Did the student take reasonable steps to avoid a physical confrontation?
4. Did this student attempt to work out the conflict through conversation and understanding of the other person’s position?
5. Did the student clearly indicate to the other party that he/she did not want to fight?
6. Did the student ignore rude or discourteous talk as well as other insults?
7. Did the student seek out the nearest adult and ask for help in resolving the conflict?
8. Did the student seek out a student conflict mediator or attempt to set up conflict mediation with a school official?
9. Did the student seek out a school administrator and tell them about the conflict with the other individual?
10.Did the student tell their parents or legal guardian that they were having a problem that might result in physical violence with another student?

A. Students considered “victims” would not use language considered to be “fighting words” nor would they remain in the conflict to protect their pride, honor or reputation. These issues can be settled through proper and reasonable methods including conversation, with or without the aid of an adult or student mediator.
B. Students, whose parents or legal guardians encourage them to take physical or aggressive action with another student, are being placed in a position in which they cannot be considered a “victim.”
C. Once it is determined that a student has been a “victim” in a physical confrontation as evidenced by meeting the criteria listed above, then it is time to consider the outcome of physical violence that may have resulted from the incident.
D. In this regard, the adjudicating school official will consider the following criteria when determining the disciplinary outcome resulting from physical violence between students:

1. Did the “victim” use reasonable force when protecting himself or herself from harm?
2. Did the victim assume a defensive position and only use the minimum forces necessary to protect their person?
3. Did the altercation result in serious physical damage or great bodily harm to the other individual?

E. Students deemed to have used excessive force, or who are believed to have assumed an offensive or aggressive posture, whether they meet some or all of the criteria to be determined a “victim”, will be considered in violation of the Los Lunas Schools Student Disciplinary Code and will be subject to the same sanctions as if they were the perpetrator.
F. Students involved in physical confrontations who are considered true “victims” are not subject to the same disciplinary consequences of those students who are not considered “victims”.
G. The adjudicating school official will be the sole judge as to whether a student is considered a “victim” by the standards outlined above.
H. Criminal charges may be filed with police authorities, by parents or guardians, if a criminal act is committed by another student against their child.

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