Discipline Matrix and Policy

Coast High School

Discipline Guidelines


Coast High School recognizes that self-discipline is both a learned behavior and a prerequisite for learning. CHS strives to maintain a challenging and positive educational environment which is conducive to students achieving success and developing self-discipline. Maintaining this environment requires the preservation of a positive, stimulating, and safe school environment where mutual respect is the underlying principle and rules are clearly communicated, explained, and enforced. Standards of student conduct are derived from the goals of respect for self, property, and others. The enforcement of school and district rules and state laws will promote the development of student maturity and self-discipline essential for academic achievement, personal integrity, and responsible citizenship. These rules and regulations will be enforced fairly, uniformly and consistently without regard to race, creed, color, sexual orientation, or sex.

Coast High School staff believes that all students have the right to be educated in a positive learning environment free from disruptions. Students shall be expected to exhibit appropriate conduct that does not infringe upon the rights of others or interfere with the school program while on school grounds, while going to or coming from school, while at school activities, and while on district transportation.


Discipline/Corrective Action

Coast teachers use positive discipline and conflict resolution strategies to avoid unnecessary confrontations. When misconduct occurs, staff shall make every effort to identify and correct the causes of the student’s behavior.

Students who are continually disruptive to the instructional process or cause a danger to persons or property may be assigned to alternative programs or removed from the school. Students and parents have a right to appeal disciplinary action taken against a student. A meeting with the principal or designee must be requested before proceeding to an appeal with a district level administrator.


Student Responsibilities

Students are encouraged to freely express their individuality as long as this expression does not infringe upon the rights of others or interfere with the instructional program. Behavior is considered appropriate when students are diligent in study, neat and clean, careful with school property, respectful towards teachers, and courteous to other students, staff, and volunteers. Students are required to attend class on time, prepared to work, and to stay on task for the class period. Students must comply with classroom rules as described by each teacher. They are further expected to refrain from profane, vulgar or abusive language, including racially insensitive slurs.


Students who violate these rules and regulations may be subject to discipline, suspension, exclusion, expulsion or transfer to alternative programs.


Disciplinary Action:

The school discipline matrix is a guide for the level of disciplinary action to be taken, taking into consideration the severity of the inappropriate behavior. Administration and counseling work hand-in-hand to handle matters and circumvent the matrix to an appropriate level depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Students, Staff, and Parents: Please understand that information reported to school authorities will be handled in confidential and sensitive ways as much as possible. Information is not acted on in ways that make victims or witnesses uncomfortable. The following items are considered when dealing with reported incidents of bullying and/or harassing behavior:

  • Specific Information / Evidence Reported
  • Comfort Level of Victim / Witnesses
  • Legal, District, and School Policy
  • Options / Suggestions for Resolutions


Parent/Guardian Responsibilities

Parents/guardians are expected to comply with laws governing the conduct and education of their children and to cooperate with school authorities regarding their children’s behavior. California law holds parents/guardians liable for any willful student misconduct, which results in the death or injury of any student or persons employed by or volunteering for the district. Parents/guardians are also liable for any defacement, injury or loss of property belonging to the district or to a school employee (Education Code 48904). Debts owed for loss or damage to school property: Any student in grades 9-12, will be ineligible to participate in extra-curricular activities until payment is made in full or the student completes a program of voluntary work as provided in Education Code 48904 in lieu of payment.


Staff Responsibilities

The school principal and administrative leadership team shall establish and enforce school rules that conform to district procedures and that foster safety and good citizenship. He/she shall ensure that students are informed of these rules when they enroll and at the beginning of each school year.

The classroom teacher has primary responsibility for dealing with inappropriate student behavior. Prior to referral to a site administrator, the teacher should conference with the student, contact a parent, and utilize any other appropriate strategy designed to correct the behavior. Teachers shall establish and enforce classroom rules that facilitate safety and effective learning. They shall cooperate with other staff in enforcing general school rules and helping students to understand the benefits of choosing behaviors that show respect for other people and property.

When a student is involved in some form of misbehavior, the school staff will be responsible for a careful review of the incident. When considering discipline as a consequence of an incident of inappropriate behavior, school authorities will review the student’s record. There may be offenses which are so severe, however, that a penalty is assigned, the student’s record notwithstanding. A school may have additional rules unique to its site as long as they align with district board policies and Education Code.


Behavior Outside of the Classroom

Students exhibiting inappropriate behavior outside of the classroom may be referred by the teacher in the area to the site administrator.


Vehicles on School Property

By entering school property, the person driving any vehicle is deemed to consent to a complete search of the vehicle, all its compartments and contents by school officials or law enforcement personnel when there is reasonable suspicion that a danger or violation may exist. This notice applies to all vehicles and will be enforced 24 hours a day. (California Vehicle Code Section 21113 (a))


Student Rights

Students have the right as do all citizens, under the Constitution, as well as state law and district policy. Their rights include:

  • Students are encouraged to voice constructive criticism through teachers, counselors, administrators and any other channels of communication as long as that process does not substantially disrupt the orderly operation of the school.
  • The right to an education in a safe, orderly, and clean environment.
  • The right to full use of class time for receiving instruction and for learning.
  • The right to fair, consistent, and respectful treatment by staff members and other students.
  • The right to explain before a consequence is imposed. When a student has been referred for some wrong-doing, that student should be afforded the opportunity to offer his/her version of the incident to school authorities.


Corrective Action may include, but are not limited to;

  • Informal conference between teacher and student. This may include detention.
  • Formal conference or phone contact with parent by teacher.
  • Referral to counseling as appropriate (see resources below)
  • Formal referral to administration may be referred to Huntington Beach Police Department/law enforcement
  • After school detention
  • In-School Suspension
  • Off-Campus Suspension
  • Behavior Contract
  • Involuntary transfer to appropriate alternative programs
  • Community Service
  • Recommendation for expulsion


Referral Resources

School officials shall seek solutions to the underlying problem through various resources, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Counseling
  • Parent conference
  • Testing for appropriate placement
  • Behavior agreement among student, parent and school stipulating conditions for continued status as a regular student and consequences for violation of the agreement
  • Behavior Support Plan
  • Transfer to an alternative program
  • Referral to counseling program
  • Referral to county agencies and community service programs
  • Referral to law enforcement
  • Referral to School Attendance Review Board (SARB)


Restriction of Breaks

Students may be required to remain indoors during lunch or break when exposure to weather could be injurious to the health of the student or for disciplinary purposes. Certificated staff may restrict a student’s break time under the following conditions when he/she believes that this action is the most effective way to bring about improved behavior:

  1. The student shall be given adequate time to use the restroom and get a drink or eat lunch, as appropriate.
  2. The student shall remain under a certificated employee’s supervision during the period of restriction.
  3. Teachers shall inform the principal or designee of any restrictions imposed.


Community Service

Except when suspension or expulsion is required by law, the Superintendent, principal or principal’s designee, at his/her discretion, may require a student to perform community service on school grounds during non-school hours instead of imposing other disciplinary action. Such service may include, but is not limited to, outdoor beautification, campus betterment and teacher or peer assistance programs. (Ed. Code 48900.6)


Detention after School

Students may be detained for up to one hour after the close of the maximum school day.


Suspensions and Expulsions


Suspension– Suspension means removal of a pupil from ongoing instruction for adjustment purposes. Suspension also means the student is not to be on or about any school campus nor attend or participate in any school-sponsored activities for the duration of the suspension.


Expulsion-The maximum penalty for any disciplinary violation may be expulsion. A student who is expelled shall not attend any regular school or alternative instructional program within the Huntington Beach Union School District for the duration of the expulsion.

When a student behaves inappropriately, the principal or designee will follow the guidelines related to consequences as outlined on the Discipline Procedure Matrix. This applies to all elements of inappropriate behavior, except the five mandatory expulsion offenses outlined in Education Code 48915 (c) (1-5):

  1. Possessing, selling or furnishing a firearm
  2. Brandishing a knife at another person
  3. Unlawfully selling a specified controlled substance
  4. Committed or attempted to commit sexual assault or committed sexual battery
  5. Possession of an explosive

A conduct violation involving any of these five offenses requires a mandatory expulsion without exception. In extreme cases or when ongoing interventions by school officials have failed to correct inappropriate behavior, additional days of suspension or expulsion may occur.


Students may be subject to suspension and/or expulsion for committing any of the acts below:

  1. Caused, attempted to cause, or threatened to cause physical injury to another person. (Ed Code 48900(a1))
  2. Willfully used force or violence upon the person of another, except in self-defense. (Ed Code 48900 (a2))
  3. Possessed, sold, or otherwise furnished any firearm, knife, explosive, or other dangerous object unless, in the case of possession of any object of this type, the pupil had obtained written permission to possess the item from a certificated school employee, which is concurred in by the principal or designee. (Ed Code 48900(b))
  4. Unlawfully possessed, used, sold, or otherwise furnished, or been under the influence of any controlled substance as defined in the Health and Safety Code, alcoholic beverage, or intoxicant of any kind. (Ed Code 48900(c))
  5. Unlawfully offered, arranged, or negotiated to sell any controlled substance as defined in Health and Safety Code, an alcoholic beverage or intoxicant of any kind, and then either sold, delivered, or otherwise furnished to any person another liquid, substance or material and represented same as controlled substance, or material as a controlled substance, alcoholic beverage, or intoxicant. (Ed Code 48900(d))
  6. Committed or attempted to commit robbery or extortion. (Ed. Code 48900(e))
  7. Caused or attempted to cause damage to school property or private property. (Ed Code 48900(f))
  8. Stole or attempted to steal school property or private property. (Ed Code 48900(g))
  9. Possessed or used tobacco or any product containing tobacco or nicotine products, including but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, miniature cigars, clove cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, snuff, chew packets, and betel. However, this section does not prohibit use or possession by a pupil of his or her prescription products. (Ed Code 48900(h))
  10. Committed an obscene act or engaged in habitual profanity or vulgarity. (Ed Code 48900(i))
  11. Had unlawful possession of or unlawfully offered, arranged or negotiated to sell any drug paraphernalia, as defined in Section 11014.5 of the Health and Safety Code. (Ed Code 48900(j))
  12. Disrupted school activities or otherwise willfully defied the valid authority of supervisors, teachers, administrators, other school officials, or other school personnel engaged in the performance of their duties. (Ed Code 48900(k))
  13. Knowingly received stolen school property or private property. (Ed Code 48900(l))
  14. Possessed an imitation firearm. (Ed Code 48900(m))


Students are also subject to suspension or recommendation for expulsion for any of the acts listed below:

  1. Committed or attempted to commit sexual assault as defined in Section 261, 266a, 286, 288, 288a, or 289 of the Penal Code or committed a sexual battery as defined in Section 243.4 of the Penal Code (Ed Code 48900(n))
  2. Harassed, threatened, or intimidated a pupil who is a complaining witness or witness in a school disciplinary proceeding for the purpose of either preventing that pupil from being a witness or retaliating against that pupil for being a witness, or both. (Ed Code 48900(o))
  3. Unlawfully offered, arranged to sell, negotiated to sell, or sold the prescription drug SOMA. (Ed Code 48900(p))
  4. Engaged in, or attempted to engage in, hazing as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 246.6 of the Penal Code. (Ed Code 48900(q))
  5. Bullying, including but not limited to cyber bullying. (Ed. Ode 48900 (r))
  6. Aid or abet the infliction or attempted infliction of physical injury. (Ed Code 48900(s))
  7. Sexual Harassment (Ed Code 48900.2)
  8. Students in any of grades 4 to 12, inclusive, may be suspended from school or recommended for expulsion if the superintendent or the principal of the school in which the pupil is enrolled determines that the pupil has caused, attempted to cause, threatened to cause, or participated in an act of, hate violence, as defined in subdivision (e) of Section 33032.5 (Ed Code 48900.3)
  9. In addition to the grounds specified in Section 48900 and 48900.2, a pupil enrolled in any of grades 4 to 12, inclusive, may be suspended from the school or recommended for expulsion if the superintendent or the principal of the school in which the pupil is enrolled determines that the pupil has intentionally engaged in harassment, threats, or intimidates, directed against a pupil or group of pupils, that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to have the actual and reasonably expected effect of materially disrupting class work, creating substantial disorder, and invading the rights of that pupil or group of pupils by creating an intimidating or hostile educational environment. (Ed Code 48900.4)
  10. A Pupil may be suspended from school or recommended for expulsion if the superintendent or the principal of the school in which the pupil is enrolled determines that the pupil has made terroristic threats against school officials or the school property or both. (Ed Code 48900.7)
  11. Hazing as defined by Ed Code 32050.
  12. Students accumulating twenty (20) days of in-school and/or home suspension are subject to involuntary transfer to an alternative program or may be recommended for expulsion.


A student may be suspended or expelled for any of the acts listed above if the act is related to school activity or school attendance occurring at any district school or within any other school district, including but not limited to the following circumstances (Ed. Code 48900):

  1. While on school grounds
  2. While going to or coming from school (In loco parentis)
  3. During the lunch period, whether on or off the school campus
  4. During, going to, or coming from a school-sponsored activity
  5. At a point where outside activities, including while not at school sponsored events, affect campus morale negatively.