Students help reshape leadership policy at AHS

By Myles Murphy
Ashland Daily Tidings
Ashland High School leadership students will not be held responsible for off-campus conduct, but must still model exemplary behavior, have good attendance and be respectful under a new rule adopted by the Ashland School District Board of Directors and affirmed by student leaders.

The board of directors Monday unanimously approved a re-worked version of a leadership code of conduct policy which has been the subject of lively discussion since it first came to the board in July.

The original policy drew fire from students, parents and community members for its far-reaching conduct regulations which allowed a student to be removed from his or her leadership position for drinking alcohol or using drugs off-campus. Members of the student leadership class re-wrote sections of the policy and presented the new version to the board.

“The support definitely was there for what the students did,” said board Chairwoman Terry Littleton said. “It was a very healthy discussion.”

The policy, which applies to approximately 20 high school leaders who are either elected by the student body or appointed by school administrators, holds student leaders to a higher standard than the general student population.

The original version would have disciplined student leaders for violations if “a school or staff member observes the incident, or is on duty during the incident, or is made aware of the problem by an outside agency such as the police or related agency.”

The revised version states that a student can be disciplined if “a school staff member observes the incident, on campus or at a school-sponsored activity or is on duty during the incident.”

The rest of the revised code of conduct for leadership students at the high school is unchanged from the original version, retaining the following statement:

“Students involved in leadership are under contract and must refrain from the following, both on and off campus … 1. The unlawful possession, use and/or sale of alcohol and other controlled substances (drugs.) 2. The arrest and conviction for a felony or misdemeanor.”

“This was the product of about a month’s work by student body co-presidents Brady Brim-DeForest and Brad Rahmlow,” Littleton said. “Frankly (the off-campus behavior provision) made me nervous too because I don’t think we’re in a position to control that.”

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