School system adopts new rules on dangerous behavior, searches

Published 3:29 pm Monday, July 30, 2018

Updates to code of student conduct will give Beaufort County School administrators greater leeway in addressing student behavior this fall. Changes to the document include new or updated sections on illegal substances, technology use, student refusal of searches and students who engage in persistently dangerous behaviors.

BCS Interim Superintendent Mark Doane shared the updates with the Beaufort County Board of Education during its most recent meeting on July 17.

“Summer is a busy time for all of our departments and one of the things we do each year is revise the student code of conduct,” Doane told the board. “It is based on input from the community, schools, parents and legal representation as well.”


Two new rules, rules 32 and 33, deal with persistently dangerous students and student refusal to allow a search, respectively.

Persistently Dangerous Students — Under this new rule, students older than 14 who repeatedly engage in dangerous behavior may be subject to penalties including long-term suspension, reassignment to an alternative school or expulsion.   Examples of dangerous behavior cited in the new rule include assault, sale or distribution of illegal drugs, gang-related activities, possession of weapons and inappropriate sexual behavior.

“We adopted these rules at the advice of our legal council, not necessarily because we are seeing more persistently dangerous students in Beaufort County,” BCS Executive Director of Federal Programs Greg Singleton explained. “But if you look across the state and across the nation, you are seeing students engage in more serious types of conduct than you have in the past. The goal of Beaufort County Schools is to get ahead of that.”

Refusal to Allow Search — This rule codifies that administrators have the right to search a student and his/her possessions if there is reasonable suspicion that the student may have a weapon, illegal substances or other prohibited items, and provides avenues for discipline if the student refuses. The rule also clarifies that student lockers and desks may be subject to search. Vehicles are also covered under this section as well, and students may lose parking privileges for refusing to allow searches of their cars.

“The school system has always had the authority to conduct searches of these items,” Singleton said. “The goal here was twofold — to clarify that the board does have the authority to conduct these type of searches, and to let students know they must cooperate and must not interfere when we conduct these searches.”


Keeping up with the times on issues such as technology and illegal drugs, updated rules on these topics will allow administrators greater latitude to deal with issues on campus.

Unauthorized use of technology — This section has been broadened to include student owned devices, prohibiting activities that would violate the student code of conduct or the law, including bullying or harassment on social media or any other activity that would have a direct impact on safety or school operations .

Alcohol, tobacco and other drugs —Rules on these substances have been combined to give administrators more authority to deal with items that should not be in school. The rule also includes new language to cover synthetic cannabinoids, paraphernalia, e-cigarettes and devices used for vaping.

The Beaufort County Schools Code of Student Conduct can be viewed in its entirety at