South Carolina School Climate Policy

                                   SOUTH CAROLINA 

 

There are 80 public school districts in South Carolina and 1,239 schools. K-12 public school student enrollment was 755,831 during the 2021-2022 school year. About 60% of students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches. There is an explicit school climate index policy that schools and districts use to measure the school’s learning environment. Other policies that address school climate are defining bullying and preventing it, safety drills, character education, special education requirements, anti-discrimination, youth suicide prevention, parental involvement, and guidance and counseling. There is a policy that requires media literacy skills and critical thinking to be integrated into the K-12 curriculum. 

Safety

SC School Climate Initiative.

Purpose of the initiative is to develop and refine a School Climate Index that schools, districts, and the state will use to measure a school’s learning environment and to identify and implement effective, research-based interventions to address identified, targeted student needs.

https://ed.sc.gov/districts-schools/school-safety/sc-school-climate-initiative/


Who does this protect? Students, Administrators, Teachers

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? No

South Carolina Code of Laws 59-63-120 Definitions.

Defines bullying, intimidation, harassment, and cyberbullying, and the behaviors associated with these actions. In addition, the school is responsible for behaviors that occur on school grounds or an event the school sponsored.

https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t59c063.php

 South Carolina asks schools to develop and implement procedures to prevent bullying and harassment behavior and the consequences of such behavior.

    • South Carolina Code of Laws 59-63-140 Local school districts to adopt policies prohibiting harassment; required components; model policies by State Board of Education; bullying prevention programs. https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t59c063.php
  • South Carolina Code of Laws 59-63-130 Prohibited conduct; reports by witnesses.

https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t59c063.php

South Carolina Code of State Regulations 43-279. Minimum Standard of Student Conduct and Disciplinary Enforcement Procedures to be Implemented by Local School Districts. https://www.scstatehouse.gov/coderegs/Chapter%2043.pdf

  • South Carolina Code Annotated §59-63-275. Student hazing is prohibited; definitions.

https://law.justia.com/codes/south-carolina/2020/title-59/chapter-63/section-59-63-275/


Who does this protect? Students, Teachers

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? Yes

South Carolina Code of State Regulations 43-166 Student and School Safety.

A plan shall be designed to provide for the protection and welfare of students in the event of any disaster (tornado, hurricane, fire, etc.) which threatens to involve the school community. Each school shall conduct at least one emergency drill within the first month of school to insure safety against such disasters.

https://www.scstatehouse.gov/coderegs/Chapter%2043.pdf

South Carolina Code of Laws 59-5-65 Powers and responsibilities of State Board of Education.

Develop by regulation a model safe schools checklist to be used by school districts regularly to assess their schools’ safety strengths and weaknesses

https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t59c005.php

South Carolina Code of Laws 59-63-910. Monthly fire drills required; penalty.

Within each school year, schools must conduct at least two fire drills, two active shooter/intruder drills, and two severe weather/earthquake drills, with at least one of each drill conducted each semester.

https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t59c063.php

South Carolina Code of Laws 16-23-420 Carrying weapon on school property; concealed weapons.

It’s prohibited for any person, except state, county, or municipal law enforcement officers or personnel authorized by school officials, to carry on dangerous weapons and firearms while on any elementary or secondary school property.

https://casetext.com/statute/code-of-laws-of-south-carolina-1976/title-16-crimes-and-offenses/chapter-23-offenses-involving-weapons/article-5-miscellaneous-offenses/section-16-23-430-carrying-weapon-on-school-property-concealed-weapons

 

a


Who does this protect? Students, Staff

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? No

South Carolina Code of Laws 59-59-40. Guidance and counseling model.

This model must assist school districts and communities with the planning, development, implementation, and assessment of a school guidance and counseling program to support the personal, social, educational, and career development of pre-kindergarten through twelfth-grade students.

https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t59c059.php

South Carolina Code of Laws 59-66-40. School safety task force. Responsibilities of the task force include examining school mental health staffing ratios and providing suggestions that allow for the full delivery of services and effective school-community partnerships, including collaboration between school districts and developing Standard for district-level policies to promote effective school discipline and mental health intervention services.

https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t59c066.php

South Carolina Code of Laws 59-17-135 Character education.

Any character education program implemented by a district as a result of an adopted policy must incorporate character traits like respect for others, honesty, self-control, cooperation, patriotism, courage, fairness, kindness, self-respect, compassion, diligence, good work ethics, etc. 

https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t59c017.php


Who does this protect? Students, Staff

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? Yes

Teaching/Learning

South Carolina Code of Laws 59-33-10. Legislative findings; declaration of purpose.

The General Assembly finds that it is necessary and proper to provide an appropriate education for all handicapped children and youth enrolled in public schools or eligible for enrollment therein.

https://law.justia.com/codes/south-carolina/2020/title-59/chapter-33/section-59-33-10/

South Carolina Code of Laws 59-21-510. Definitions.

Pupils with emotional, motivational, or social disturbance will be provided special classes or specialized education instruction suited to their needs.

https://law.justia.com/codes/south-carolina/2017/title-59/chapter-21/section-59-21-510/

South Carolina Code of Laws 59-139-05. Purpose of chapter.

Emphasize early childhood education and prevention while promoting assistance for students at every grade level which is more flexible and tailored to individual needs and learning styles.

https://law.justia.com/codes/south-carolina/2020/title-59/chapter-139/section-59-139-05/


Who does this protect? Students, Students with disabilities

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? Yes

South Carolina Code of Laws 59-59-140 Individual graduation plans; requirements.

Students can choose to do service learning to fulfill the requirement of experience-based, career-oriented learning experiences.

https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t59c059.php


Who does this protect? Students

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? No

Interpersonal Relationships

South Carolina Code of Laws 59-63-40. Discrimination on account of race, creed, color, or national origin is prohibited.

No student will be excluded from any public school in the State on account of race, creed, color, or national origin.

https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t59c063.php


Who does this protect? Students

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? No

South Carolina Code of Laws 59-26-110 Youth suicide prevention teacher training.

The department shall develop guidelines suitable for training and materials that may be used by schools and districts; however, districts may approve materials to be used in providing training for employees.

https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t59c026.php

South Carolina Code of Laws 59-63-140 Local school districts to adopt policies prohibiting harassment; required components; model policies by State Board of Education; bullying prevention programs.

Professional development on bullying prevention will be provided to individuals who have the most contact with students.

https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t59c063.php

 Schools will provide teachers and administrators with professional development opportunities to help with family engagement;

  • South Carolina Code of Laws 59-28-140 Design of parental involvement and best practices training programs; incorporation into teacher and principal preparation programs.

https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t59c028.php


Who does this protect? Staff, Students

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? No

South Carolina Code of Laws 59-59-40. Guidance and counseling model.

This model must assist school districts and communities with the planning, development, implementation, and assessment of a school guidance and counseling program to support the personal, social, educational, and career development of pre-kindergarten through twelfth-grade students.

https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t59c059.php

 South Carolina Code of Laws 59-66-40. School safety task force. Responsibilities of the task force include examining school mental health staffing ratios and providing suggestions that allow for the full delivery of services and effective school-community partnerships, including collaboration between school districts and developing Standard for district-level policies to promote effective school discipline and mental health intervention services.

https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t59c066.php

South Carolina Code of Laws 59-17-135 Character education.

Any character education program implemented by a district as a result of an adopted policy must incorporate character traits like respect for others, honesty, self-control, cooperation, patriotism, courage, fairness, kindness, self-respect, compassion, diligence, good work ethics, etc.

https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t59c017.php 


Who does this protect? Students

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? Yes

Institutional Environments

South Carolina Code of Laws 59-28-130 Parental involvement plans; recognition of improvement; establishing criteria for staff training.

Require school and district long-range improvement plans to include parental involvement goals, objectives, and an evaluation component.

https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t59c028.php

South Carolina Code of Laws 59-28-150 State Superintendent of Education activities to promote parental involvement.

Responsibilities include promoting parental involvement as a priority for all levels from pre-K through grade 12, with particular emphasis at the middle and high school levels, and designating a Department of Education staff position whose specific role is to coordinate statewide initiatives to support school and district parental involvement.

https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t59c028.php

South Carolina Code of Laws 59-1-454 Parental involvement program; parent/teacher conferences.

The program should include such activities as regular visitation by parents to their child’s school, involving parents, teachers, and administrators in school training sessions on such issues as communication between the school, parent, and child, student discipline, the importance of homework, the taking and understanding of standardized testing and test scores, and general literacy.

https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t59c001.php

South Carolina Code of Laws 59-28-160 Local school board of trustees activities.

Consider joining national organizations which promote and provide technical assistance on various proven parental involvement frameworks and models.

https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t59c028.php


Who does this protect? Parents

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? Yes

South Carolina Code of State Regulations 43-166 Student and School Safety.

A plan shall be designed to provide for the protection and welfare of students in the event of any disaster (tornado, hurricane, fire, etc.) which threatens to involve the school community. Each school shall conduct at least one emergency drill within the first month of school to insure safety against such disasters.

https://www.scstatehouse.gov/coderegs/Chapter%2043.pdf

South Carolina Code of Laws 59-5-65 Powers and responsibilities of State Board of Education.

Develop by regulation a model safe schools checklist to be used by school districts regularly to assess their schools’ safety strengths and weaknesses.

https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t59c005.php

South Carolina Code of Laws 59-63-910. Monthly fire drills required; penalty. Within each school year, schools must conduct at least two fire drills, two active shooter/intruder drills, and two severe weather/earthquake drills, with at least one of each drill conducted each semester.

https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t59c063.php

South Carolina Code of Laws 16-23-420 Carrying weapon on school property; concealed weapons.

It’s prohibited for any person, except state, county, or municipal law enforcement officers or personnel authorized by school officials, to carry on dangerous weapons and firearms while on any elementary or secondary school property.

https://casetext.com/statute/code-of-laws-of-south-carolina-1976/title-16-crimes-and-offenses/chapter-23-offenses-involving-weapons/article-5-miscellaneous-offenses/section-16-23-430-carrying-weapon-on-school-property-concealed-weapons


Who does this protect? Students, Staff

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? No

 

There is no current policy surrounding Social Inclusion in the state of South Carolina. For more information on school climate please visit us at Services – National School Climate Center

Social Media

South Carolina General Assembly Bill 4673 Critical thinking and media literacy.

Curricular content for all subjects in K-12 public schools must integrate critical thinking and media literacy skills.

https://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess123_2019-2020/bills/4673.htm


Who does this protect? Students

Does this policy include ways for families to be involved? Yes

There is currently no policy surrounding Leadership in South Carolina. For more information on school climate please visit us at Services – National School

There is currently no policy surrounding Professional Relationships in South Carolina. For more information on school climate please visit us at Services – National School

Sources include: nasbe.org and childtrends.org