LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Just weeks before the first day of school, Jefferson County Public School board members approved changes to the Code of Conduct for the 2016-2017 school year.
The new code of conduct was designed with a focus to keep students in school and address behavior offenses with a four step punishment system. The changes include separate punishments per grade levels to make sure punishments are age appropriate for various offenses.
Dr. Hargens said the focus is "proactive supports" to correct behavior that is keeping students from succeeding within JCPS.
Assistant Superintendent over alternative schools Dr. Katy Zeitz headed up the committee that included teachers, parents and administrators to collaborate.
More From WAVE3.com
+ JCPS security reviewing surveillance video after possible attack on catering company
+ Despite heat, protestors show up to fight ongoing salary negotiations
Diana Porter said she's "lost sleep" over the code of conduct to make sure this year's code of conduct is equitable for all students.
"Yes were concerned about safety of students. Yes were concerned about staff members. But there's an inconsistency problem. I may be suspended for something but David Jones may not be. That's a problem," Porter said.
Porter said "schools must be right," and said the entire community will be watching JCPS and monitoring equality.
Lisa Wilner asked that board members remove a level three punishment (short term suspension) for "failure to respond to questions or requests" for kindergarten through third grade students. In the current draft, students could be removed for class for this offense. Wilner argued a student of this age shouldn't be removed from class but face the lower level consequences.
Board member Chris Brady said he has gotten more e-mails for the code of conduct issues than any other issues but is pleased that the committee took feedback from the community and made the appropriate adjustments.
Board member Linda Duncan said she is asking for thorough data monitoring throughout the year to ensure this code of conduct is effectively addressing behavior issues and allowing teachers to teach without multiple disruptions.
WATCH: Kasey Cunningham's report
Several speakers mentioned their concerns for how quickly the code of conduct was being pushed through to meet the start of the school year. Others said, the code revisions were thorough, but asked that the document be reviewed each year to address issues that may arise.
The code of conduct was approved unanimously with Lisa Wilner's motion to remove short-term suspension for K-3 students for failure to respond to questions or requests and Chris Brady's motion to include tobacco and electronic cigarettes to the list items that would be confiscated from students if they were found selling or distributing these products in school.
Dr. Hargens said this document will continue to be revised every school year.