ERIC Number: ED408684
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997
Improving School Conduct Codes: Clarity about Unacceptable Speech.
Little research has been conducted on middle school conduct codes or their effect on unacceptable behavior. This paper presents findings of a study that examined the conduct codes of 59 middle schools across the United States. All of the middle school handbooks addressed unacceptable language (for example, obscenity, harassment, and profanity) in some way. However, several problems with language issues were found. Only half of the codes addressed federal and state laws; most codes contained ambiguous categories of speech (for example, "foul language"); most codes failed to provide definitions of unacceptable language; almost all codes failed to address unacceptable language in computer-mediated communication; and fewer than half clearly linked unacceptable language to sanctions. The paper offers eight recommendations for improving conduct handbooks: (1) apply relevant laws; (2) provide clear definitions; (3) eliminate ambiguous terms; (4) provide examples and nonexamples; (5) specify discipline procedures; (6) discuss conduct procedures with students; (7) make conduct information prominent; and (8) update the conduct code. One table is included. (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A