Pope John Paul II Preparatory School intends to create a Catholic culture that fosters and develops a sense of morality, responsibility, and social consciousness within a supportive, cooperative Christian community. Any analysis of the human condition reveals a need for moral reflection to develop the cognitive side of the character, the part of our moral selves that goes beyond individual autonomy and subjective feelings. Students need first-hand experience performing caring actions and following a school philosophy that makes service a priority to develop empathy and caring. Pope John Paul II Preparatory School hopes to go beyond fixed moral virtues like honesty and emphasize emotional maturity, self-esteem, perseverance, and a sense of duty to enhance moral character. In a community that promotes values and character, mature students can identify and resist the powerful phenomenon of peer pressure and follow their path. They have the strength and empathy to respond to others in distress and confront perpetrators who taunt or harass fellow students. Good character is also dependent on self-control and curbed self-indulgence. The practice of genuine openness to the truth can keep prejudice, self-righteousness, anger, and arrogance outside Pope John Paul II Preparatory School.
Model of Discipline
The goals of the Student Life office are to create a school culture reflective of Gospel values and develop students to be responsible future servant leaders. We recognize that student mistakes are opportunities to learn. However, serious breaches of school norms and policies may result in more severe consequences for maintaining a physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually safe environment. The Point System outlined below is designed to help students learn to make habitually good decisions that will serve them well into the future.
The three-tiered Point System includes Lower Level Offenses (Minor Disciplinary Actions) and Higher Level Offenses (Major Disciplinary Actions). Typically, an individual teacher, coach, or staff member addresses Lower Level Offenses, which result in Loss of Privileges (LOP) (see below) rather than more serious consequences. In contrast, Higher Level Offenses are referred to the Student Life office and may include more serious disciplinary consequences ranging from suspension to expulsion.
The Point System
The Point System helps recognize behavior patterns that reveal the developing character of each student. We, as a school, believe that character is malleable, and each student is capable of developing into a successful future servant leader with self-discipline. We expect each student to be present during school hours, complete the work assigned by teachers, and abide by community norms to foster success for all students.
Every semester, each student in good Student Life standing, meaning that they are not on an individualized Student Life Probation Plan for Higher Level Offenses, will start the semester with zero points. Students are allowed up to nine points for Lower Level Offenses, which reflect lapses in judgment and do not reflect a broader pattern of behavior.
Lower Level Offenses
Lower level offenses are behaviors that students engage in that violate school policies and break Pope community norms. Lower Level Offenses are divided into three tiers based on the severity of the offense, Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III. Disciplinary action for Lower Level Offenses will be based on a point system outlined below.
Tier I (1 point): tardy to class, out of uniform
Tier II (2 points): Misuse of Technology (games on iPad, airdropping, air pods, etc.), disruptive in Mass, use of cellphone during the school day, profanity, public displays of affection, littering (inside or outside of the building), cutting in the lunch line, in an unauthorized area (i.e., locker rooms during lunch).
Tier III (3 points): Disrespectful actions toward a peer or faculty/staff, behavior that takes away from other students' learning abilities, cheating, plagiarism, or any form of academic dishonesty (Low-Level Academic Integrity) *Please see the Academic Integrity Policy. Skipping class (includes late arrival to school without a note from a medical professional after 8:25 a.m.). Three points will be issued for each class missed. Non-compliance with emergency procedures (propping of doors, etc.), unauthorized visual or audio recording of another person (student, faculty, staff, etc.)
Overview of Minor Disciplinary Actions for Lower Level Offenses
1-9 points = no disciplinary action.
6 points = student and parent/guardian are notified.
10 points = student is placed on Disciplinary Probation and experiences Loss of Privileges (LOP) for ten consecutive school days. Any absence(s) during the ten days will extend the duration of the discipline. A student can appeal the Disciplinary Probation through a review process by the Disciplinary Review Board.
Loss of Privileges (LOP) include the following:
- No free lunch period. The student will report to the Assistant to Student Life in the Center of Innovation, where the student can eat lunch and complete homework.
- No access to lunchtime tutorials, even if the student is on Academic Probation. Students with a teacher's note can be excused to make up tests, quizzes, etc., if pre-arranged by the relevant teacher.
- No access to Apps or the internet.
- Students will be required to have teachers sign off each period that no further disciplinary incidents occur.
- Students will turn in their cellphone to the Assistant for Student Life at the start of each day and pick them up at the end of each school day.
Once a student fulfills the expectations of the LOP, the student's points will restart at zero.
If a student is LOPed a second time in a given semester, they will meet with the Dean of Students to discuss potential consequences. Consequences may include an individualized Student Life Probation Contract, with the possibility of suspension or dismissal from the school.
Suppose a student receives a third LOP during the school year. In that case, the student and their parent/guardian will participate in a family meeting with the Dean of Students and other appropriate school personnel (e.g., school counselor, Head of School). A Student Life Probation Contract will be developed with the student, and violation of the contract may result in suspension or dismissal as determined by the Disciplinary Review Board (DRB) and the Head of School.
*Each semester, a student's points will reset back to zero.
Higher Level Offenses
Higher Level Offenses are behaviors that violate school policies, potentially violate civil law, and/or intend or cause harm to self or others.
Higher Level Offenses are the most severe offenses and may result in suspension or dismissal.
Higher Level Offenses include, but are not limited to:
- Bullying behavior toward a peer, faculty, or staff
- Substance (alcohol, drug, drug paraphernalia, etc.) possession or use on campus or at an off-campus school event
- Sexual harassment
- Racial harassment
- Weapons of any kind
- Threatening to harm oneself or others
Only the Dean of Students (or designee) can address Higher Level Offenses.
Disciplinary pathways following a Higher Level Offense may include any of the following actions, based on the severity of the offense:
- The student and their parents will participate in a family meeting with Student Life, Head of School, and/or Associate Head of School, and other appropriate school personnel (e.g., school counselor).
- A Student Life Probation Contract will be developed with the student. Violation of the contract may result in suspension or dismissal as determined by the Disciplinary Review Board (DRB) and/or Head of School.
- Immediate suspension or dismissal as determined by the Disciplinary Review Board (DRB) and/or Head of School.
Minor infractions (see Philosophy of Student Life/Disciplinary Policies in the handbook) are handled by individual faculty and staff, who report these infractions to the Student Life office. A student may be placed on probation by the Director of Student Life and Houses for accumulated infractions of school rules and regulations. Suppose the improvement of behavior is not evident. In that case, the student will be brought before the Disciplinary Review Board to recommend suspension or potential dismissal to the Head of School.
Disciplinary Review Board
The Disciplinary Review Board is an advisory committee to the Head of School. The board consists of a committee of the Assistant Head of School for Academics, Dean of Students, Dean of Diversity, Equality, & Inclusion, select teachers, and a school counselor. The board's purpose is to review serious disciplinary issues and provide different perspectives to help the Head of School make a just decision consistent with the Catholic mission of Pope John Paul II Preparatory School. Although each incident will be reviewed individually, the Disciplinary Review Board will consider prior incidents in providing guidance on consequences. Refusal to attend a Disciplinary Review Board will result in a student's dismissal from the school.
Major Disciplinary Actions
Typically the result of Higher Level Offenses, major disciplinary consequences are the result of actions that violate school policies, and potentially violate civil law, cause harm to self or others, and may require removal from the school. The consequences for these actions generally consist of suspension, probation, or expulsion. A disciplinary review board composed of academic leadership, student life leadership, and counselors will review the circumstances subject to all major disciplinary actions.
Parent(s) or guardian(s) are initially informed by the Dean of Students by a phone call and then by a suspension letter and its consequences. The student will be interviewed by a member of the Disciplinary Review Board for suspensions. The Head of School reserves the right to call a meeting of the Disciplinary Review Board for advice on decisions. The Student Life office may request a conference with the parent/guardian before a student can return to class.
In-School Suspension: Students will be assigned to report to the Student Life office for the entire school day.
- Assigned if there is a concern that a student could not be adequately supervised outside of school or for other reasons determined by the Dean of Students.
- Reserved for major disciplinary infractions that are not reported to colleges.
Out-of-School Suspension: Students may not come to school until a day identified by the Dean of Students.
- Assigned for a violation that requires a student to be separated from others or is of a serious nature. During the suspension, the Administration determines if a student can return to school or if further investigation is needed.
- Students must declare any suspension to a post-secondary institution when requested on a college admissions application. The school requires counselors to report suspensions on college application materials. A review by the Administration will determine if there is a reason not to report the suspension to colleges.
Violations that will result in a Suspension
Truancy or excessive tardiness, major instances and/or a pattern of cheating, excessive number of LOPs (Loss of Privileges), excessive dress code violations, gambling, lying, possession or use of tobacco and/or a vape, racist or sexist comments or behavior, theft, unauthorized audio and/or visual recording of others, vandalism, bullying, cyberbullying, fighting, hazing, threatening harm to others in-person, through social media or any other form.
If a student commits a serious disciplinary offense liable to dismissal, they, along with the parents or guardians, will attend the Disciplinary Review Board hearing. The committee will discuss the offense with the student and hear from the parents or guardians. Upon conclusion of the meeting, the board deliberates and makes recommendations to the Head of School concerning a course of disciplinary action based on the evidence and testimony given during the meeting. The decision may be accepted or rejected by the Head of School, the final arbiter. Refusal to attend a Disciplinary Review Board will result in dismissal from the school.
Students who have demonstrated behavior or taken action that seriously threatens the safety of themselves or others, and is clearly in conflict with the school's mission, will have to leave the school immediately. Students will not be allowed to reapply to Pope John Paul II Preparatory unless a review by the Administration allows for reapplication.
Violations that will result in Dismissal
Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol at school or an off-campus school event, fighting or the threat of violence, possession of alcohol, drugs, drug paraphernalia, serious disrespect towards school officials or law enforcement, sexual harassment, racism, repeated instances of academic integrity violations, failure to comply with counseling and or probation recommendations, violation of probation, failure to comply with school safety directions.
*Parent behavior that is threatening or harassing a student or staff member can lead to the removal of their student from the school but is not classified as an expulsion.
Pope John Paul II Preparatory School seeks to foster the development of people of character who live out the lessons from the Gospel and learn to make moral decisions. In academics, students are expected to complete their work with integrity and honesty. Student grades and assignments are expected to reflect their work, and dishonest attempts to earn credit will result in serious consequences.
Consequences for cheating, plagiarism, or any form of academic integrity will include, but are not limited to receiving a zero on the assignment and a referral to the Dean of Students and the Disciplinary Review Board. Multiple referrals or more serious violations of the academic integrity policy will result in a hearing by the Disciplinary Review Board to discuss further consequences, including suspension and Student Life probation. Suspensions due to academic integrity will be reported to colleges. Egregious violations or patterns of uncorrected behavior may result in dismissal from Pope John Paul II Preparatory School. If a dismissal is a potential consequence, the Disciplinary Review Board will invite the Head of School and hear from the student and a parent or guardian before making a recommendation to the Head of School. The Head of School may dismiss students for violations of the Academic Integrity policy or other school policy breaches.
Although not an exhaustive list, the below are examples of academic integrity that will not be tolerated at Pope:
- Copying any part of someone else's homework, quiz, test, or any assignment designated as individual work and/or knowingly allowing another student (s) to copy answers
- Using any sources not authorized by the teacher during an assessment (e.g., homework, lab, quiz, test, or other assignments).
- Submitting work from another student or allowing another student to submit one's work in their name.
- Stealing tests, quizzes, answer keys, or any assignment belonging to another student or teacher.
- Continuing to work on a quiz or test after being instructed to stop.
- Attempting to cheat (e.g., possession of unauthorized notes or resources on a quiz or test).
- Falsifying grades and/or altering assignments to resubmit assignments for an improved grade.
- Committing an act that is dishonest, deceptive, or fraudulent to achieve academic success.
- Plagiarism or using someone else's ideas or words as if they are your own. Plagiarism includes verbatim copying without acknowledgment or citation, paraphrasing another's work or ideas, combining multiple uncited sources to present the ideas as one's own, or using public domain resources intended to aid cheating.
Drug and Alcohol Policy
Pope John Paul II Preparatory School does not tolerate the use, possession, distribution, procurement, or production of prohibited substances on campus, during a school-sponsored activity, or during an activity reasonably related to the school. These prohibited substances include, but are not limited to, the following (see below for an explanation of terms):
- Illicit drugs
- ·Unauthorized prescription medication
- Other substances that produce a drug-like "high"
- "Look-alike" substances
Pope John Paul II Preparatory School reserves the right to randomly drug test and/or test when there is reasonable suspicion that a student has used or possessed a prohibited substance on campus, during a school-sponsored activity, or during an activity reasonably related to the school:
- The Dean of Students will meet with the student to share their reasonable suspicion and inform them they will be tested for suspected substances. (In extenuating circumstances, Pope John Paul II Preparatory School Administration reserves the right to drug test any student).
- If observed on campus before, during, or after the school day, the student will be sent home immediately following substance testing and suspended for at least one day. (The number of days depends on the type of substance, level of intoxication, and other variables determined by the Administration).
- The student will immediately (if possible) be tested for substances, which may include any of the following:
- Urine drug screening
- Oral Nicotine test
- The student will complete the required suspension and notify the Dean of Students when the test results are received.
- If there is any suspicion of abuse, neglect, or drug exposure by an adult, the Dean of Students will contact the Department of Children's Services.
Negative Test Results
If all of the test result(s) are negative, the Dean of Students will call the parent(s)/legal guardian(s) to inform them that the results of the test(s) were negative.
Positive Tests Results
If any test results are positive, the Dean of Students will notify the student and call the parent(s)/legal guardian(s) to inform them of the results. They will also be informed that a comprehensive substance use screening and assessment is required to maintain school enrollment and to determine the extent of the student's use and recommendations for services.
- The Dean of Students will provide a letter to the parent(s)/legal guardian(s) explaining the assessment process, including the contact information for Cumberland Heights, or other approved agencies, to schedule the assessment.
- Suppose the parent(s)/legal guardian(s) choose not to follow up with the assessment, and the student does not currently have access to other appropriate services. In that case, they will be notified that the student may be at risk of expulsion, and a referral to the Department of Children's Services may be completed.
- Depending on the substance test results, the student may be suspended for additional days. (The number of days depends on the type of substance, level of intoxication, and other variables determined by the Administration).
- Upon receiving recommendations from Cumberland Heights, or other approved agencies, the Dean of Students and the School Counselor will contact the parent(s)/legal guardian(s) to schedule a family meeting with the student. The goals of the family meeting include, but are not limited to discussing recommendations, ensuring the family has a plan to follow up on the recommendations, and establishing reasonable and individualized resources and support for the student at school. Parent(s)/legal guardian(s) will also be notified that the school requires a letter of completion of services from a qualified health provider.
- Once the school receives that letter from the qualified health provider, the student will repeat test(s) for substances.
Multiple Positive Test Results
If any test results are positive, the Dean of Students will notify the student and call the parent(s)/legal guardian(s) to inform them that their student, which tests they received, and which test results were positive.
- Because this is considered a second violation of the policy, they will be notified that the test result(s) warrants referral to the Disciplinary Review Board (DRB) for further review. A DRB will be scheduled with the family.
- If the parent(s)/legal guardian(s) or the student does not participate in the scheduled DRB, it is an automatic expulsion from the school.
- The student is not allowed to return to school before the DRB.
- In consultation with the recommendations from the DRB, the Head of School will determine further action, which may include expulsion from the school.
- The Dean of Students and the School Counselor will support the student and family in accessing community resources, including but not limited to another referral to Cumberland Heights.
When there is reasonable suspicion that a student has distributed, procured, or produced a prohibited substance on campus, during a school-sponsored activity or an activity reasonably related to the school:
- Complete Section A.
- In consultation with the Head of School, the Dean of Students will notify appropriate authorities (e.g., law enforcement) if deemed necessary.
- The Dean of Students will notify the student and the parent(s)/legal guardian that the incident warrants referral to the Disciplinary Review Board (DRB) for further review and schedule a DRB with the family.
- If the parent(s)/legal guardian(s) or the student does not participate in the scheduled DRB, it is an automatic expulsion from the school.
- In consultation with the recommendations from the DRB, the Head of School will determine further action, which may include expulsion from the school.
Explanation of Terms
Possession: having any type of substance and/or paraphernalia on your person or in your belongs including but not limited to: locker, car, backpack, athletic equipment
Distribution: the sharing or selling of any substance and/or paraphernalia
Procurement: the purchasing or receiving of any substance and/or paraphernalia
Production: the creation, production, or fabrication of any substance and/or paraphernalia
Illicit drugs: Any substances that are illegal for minors according to Tennessee State Law
Unauthorized prescription medication: Medication prescribed to someone other than the student; prescribed medication is used in a manner different than prescribed. Controlled substances, as prescribed by a physician, must be stored and administered by the school nurse (see school's Health Policy).
Other substances that produce a drug-like "high": (e.g., herbal incense)
Drug paraphernalia: All equipment, products, and materials of any kind that are peculiar to, marked for, used in injecting, ingesting, inhaling substances (e.g., vape). This does not include prescribed medications (e.g., EpiPen, inhaler, etc. Refer to the school's Health Policy).
"Look-alike" substances: non-nicotine vapes
Reasonable suspicion: May include students who exhibit any number of the signs of drug use in adolescence. Including, but not limited to: a decline in student's grades, change in academic/athletic/social interest, shakes, tremors or slurred speech, a change in appearance. For more warning signs, please visit https://www.cumberlandheights.org/.
Digital citizenship is defined as engaging in appropriate and responsible behavior when using technology. As a part of the Pope Prep community, students are expected to treat others with respect and dignity, exhibit intelligent online behavior, and make choices that reflect positively on both the student and the school.
Violations of digital citizenship include, but are not limited to bullying, offending, harassing, or threatening others using technology, including email, messaging apps, social media, web pages, blogs, video and images, and/or text messages. It is considered inappropriate when it involves:
- Using obscene, profane, vulgar, rude, inflammatory, threatening, or disrespectful messages
- Posting information that could cause damage, danger, or disruption of the educational process
- Posing as another person online or misrepresenting one's identity to another
- Making a personal attack, including prejudicial or discriminatory attacks
- Posting false or defamatory information about a person
- Using technological communication to intimidate, bully, harass, target, intentionally exclude, or embarrass others in any areas included in this policy
Please note: A student's home and personal use of technology can impact the school and other students. Students may face school discipline if a student's personal expression involving technology -- such as sending derogatory or threatening messages to another student or accessing a violent website -- disrupts the educational process.
Pope Prep encourages parents to speak regularly with their students about their social media presence.
Unauthorized audio or visual recording of others is strictly prohibited. As members of a community, respect for privacy is important. In today's world, it is easy to record the actions of others, but we do not have the right to share the words or actions of others without their permission or, at minimum, make them aware that an event is considered public. The Administration realizes that much is beyond its control. Any social media posts during school hours have limitations. In particular, students should not take another student's device and post something that implies that the device owner posted the material himself. False postings or postings of individuals unaware of the posting can be damaging, devastating, and have long-term consequences. This policy supports Administration's commitment to teaching digital citizenship.
In addition, usage of Pope Prep imagery, name, or logos without expressed written consent is not permitted. Students may not create any social media accounts that use the Pope Prep name or logo without the express written authorization of the Head of School.
- Being in unauthorized or unsupervised areas: When parents are not present, we assume the role of "in loco parentis," meaning we supervise our students as if we are in the parental role. Parents should know that when their student is at Pope Prep, they are protected and behaving as a parent expects. Students are always to be supervised by adults and are not permitted in areas of the school where there is no supervision. Locker rooms are locked (except for PE class time and during athletic events) and prohibit student entry. Classrooms are only open to students when the teacher is present. Students are not allowed in the parking lot or other outside areas during the school day.
- Bullying, Cyberbullying, and Harassment: Bullying is the deliberate attempt to denigrate, intimidate, or embarrass another student. Bullying can be verbal, emotional, or psychological. It can be done through direct taunting, through spreading vicious rumors, or through social media sites. Bullying is the exact opposite of the behavior and action that Pope John Paul II Preparatory School espouses. It is a very serious infringement of the standards of community living and will not be tolerated. Students who see bullying, or are victims of bullying, should tell a trusted adult in the building. Parents are encouraged to immediately report bullying incidents to the Dean of Students involving their own or other students. The situation will be investigated and dealt with discreetly and tactfully to stop the bullying behavior but not reveal the person who reported it. Those who bully others are liable for suspension or expulsion. Students have the first responsibility to stop bullying. Bullies typically need an audience to impress. Never underestimate the power of one or two voices. When one student tells the bully to stop what they are doing, statistics show that the bullying stops almost 50% of the time. When two students do so, the bullying stops nearly 100% of the time.
- Fighting: Physical violence is unacceptable at Pope Prep. Students will have differences, but we teach them skills and have ample resources, including our staff, to exclude the need for violence to resolve any problem at school. Students who feel threatened can anonymously report a concern to avoid violence or the use of force to protect themselves.
- Non-compliance with safety procedures and emergency drills: Safety is of the utmost importance. Students must treat all drills as real-life events and follow all safety rules. Students are issued a school photo ID and lanyard, which must be worn around the neck at all times. IDs are not to be worn in any other fashion. Students will use their IDs to enter the door by the chapel. IDs will not work on any other entries. If a student loses their ID, they must report it to the Student Life office immediately. Students are not allowed to open, prop open, or unlock any other door in the building. All doors except the chapel door are exits only. Students are to report anyone not wearing their ID and lanyard to staff, To help maintain our safety protocols.
- Racial Harassment: Racial harassment is any activity of a racial nature that is offensive or unwelcome to a reasonable, prudent person, which may consist of racial comments or physical intimidation. Incidents of racial harassment should be reported to the Head of School, Dean of Students, or school nurse, who will treat the matter professionally and sensitively.
- Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment is any activity of a sexual nature that is offensive or unwelcome to a person and may consist of requests to perform sexual acts, subtle pressures to perform sexual acts, unwanted touching, and in certain circumstances, lewd comments and gestures. Incidents of sexual harassment, whether in person, online, or through social media, will be treated with the same degree of seriousness. All incidents should be reported to the Head of School, Dean of Students, or school nurse, who will treat the matter professionally and sensitively. The Head of School will offer the student whatever help a student may need and set in motion the procedures dictated by Diocesan policies and civil law.
- Theft: We respect the property of others. No student shall steal anything from their fellow students or the school. "Buying" from others without their permission is stealing. Students should report a theft immediately to the Student Life office so an investigation can take place. To avoid theft, students should act responsibly by locking items in their locker, not sharing their locker combination, and labeling items with their name.
- Threatening to harm oneself or others: Pope John Paul II Preparatory School must be a place that is not only safe but feels safe. No one should ever be concerned for their physical safety or the safety of others. Any threat of violence will be taken seriously, and students should report and may report anonymously any concern about potential violence. A student who threatens to harm others or does harm others will be immediately removed from the campus. The Administration will contact law enforcement as necessary to assess the threat, report a crime, or seek guidance in settling a conflict. Outside professional counseling will be used to determine if a student is a threat to themself or others. *Social media postings are taken just as seriously as verbal or physical threats made directly.
- Weapons: Pope John Paul II Preparatory School does not allow students to bring any weapon onto campus. Students are not allowed to bring any following to school: guns (including air guns, paintball guns, and fake or toy weapons), knives (including pocket knives and Swiss Army knives), ammo, fireworks, pepper spray, Tasers, or explosives. Depending on the severity and circumstances, students are liable for expulsion and/or can be turned over to local law enforcement.