State Education Dept. rules Bergen County school overstepped its authority
Published: Sunday, September 19, 2010, 1:21 PM Updated: Sunday, September 19, 2010, 1:26 PM
OAKLAND -- The Ramapo Indian Hills Regional School District board overstepped its authority when it passed a round-the-clock code of conduct, the state Education Department has ruled.
The district's rule temporarily banned students from sports and extracurricular activities if they were accused of drinking alcohol, using drugs or breaking other laws, even if the alleged offense was committed off campus, after school and they were not convicted by a court.
However, acting state Education Commissioner Rochelle Hendricks recently upheld an administrative law judge's decision, declaring that the one-year-old policy was unconstitutional.
Hendricks pointed out that under state law, for a school board to punish a student for an off-campus offense, the discipline must be necessary to spare the student or others from harm, and the misconduct must have "some link to the school environment."