Student Support Services » Discipline



General Rules

The school has established a comprehensive policy to help guide student conduct. In addition, teachers are expected to publish and inform students of classroom rules and consequences for violations. Students have the responsibility to become informed and abide by the established rules. Students are also to comply with all legal requirements and policies.

Students are expected to respect the authority of all adult staff members, address them with respect and respond to and comply with their direction. Any student who uses language or takes action directed at a staff member that is threatening, sexually harassing, or insulting to their ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender or other protected characteristic will result in disciplinary consequences up to and including suspension and/or expulsion. Any student whose action interferes with a staff member or officer in the conduct of their duty that may endanger the safety of students or staff will face expulsion.

  • Students will settle conflicts calmly and peacefully, avoiding violence or intimidation as a response to disagreements. Students will immediately leave and/or avoid the scene of a conflict unless directed by a staff member to do otherwise.
  • Students will not contribute to conflicts by spreading rumors, hazing, bullying, gossiping or threatening others with harm or any other form of harassment. If a conflict is happening, they are not to “rubber neck,” get involved, egg it on or otherwise interfere with school authorities dealing with the situation. Students are to immediately leave the area as directed “mob-like” behavior will be dealt with severely.
  • Students will refrain from the use/or possession of tobacco or tobacco-containing products, drugs, alcohol, any intoxicant and any hallucinogenic substance on the way to or from school or a school activity, on campus or while attending any school activity whether on campus or away from the school. The school is a “TOBACCO FREE ZONE,” so neither students nor adults attending events on campus may use tobacco or tobacco-containing products. This includes Vapor Pens.
  • To allow staff to spot an unauthorized person on campus, the campus is closed to all non-students and non-staff between 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Parents/Guests coming to the school on official business are permitted on campus but must report first to the main office to sign in and receive a visitor’s I.D. badge that must be worn while on campus.
  • Students will respect all school property and will refrain from spitting on, tagging, defacing, vandalizing, breaking or damaging it.
  • Cell phones and all other electronic devices may only be used during passing periods and lunch. Ringers must be put on silent.
  • Devices cannot be out at all during a test and must be secured in a purse or backpack, unless the teacher specifically directs otherwise during the test or quiz. Teachers may choose to permit students to use an electronic device for instructional purposes, but the device must then be used only as directed by the teacher during class time. Unauthorized uses will result in discipline.
  • Bikes, skateboards, rollerblades, or scooters are not to be ridden on campus. Bikes are to be locked in the bike racks. All other items are to be stored in student lockers.
  • Signs posted on campus must be approved by the administration or ASB. Approved signs may be attached to the walls using blue masking tape ONLY.
  • All activities must be arranged with the Activity Director’s office.
  • Changing or altering any school document is punishable by suspension and/or expulsion.
  • Athletic activities should be limited to the athletic fields only (i.e., no ball throwing in the hallways).
  • NO pets allowed on campus.

Consequences for Misconduct

The school uses a progressive discipline model for minor offenses, but expulsion can occur for the first serious or dangerous offense. Consequences increase in severity with repeated misconduct or in accordance with the seriousness of the violation. Disciplinary actions and consequences may include but are not limited to the following: a verbal/written warning, parent contact, counseling, behavior plans, sitting in the Student Service Center, doing campus clean-up projects, suspension, after school detention, removal from a class with an “F,” transfer to an alternative education program, the confiscation of student property that violates school rules, expulsion, and/or other action considered reasonable and appropriate by the Assistant Principal . Parents may appeal suspensions to the Principal. 

Respect for Teachers and Staff and Others

Students are expected to follow all teachers’ directions and observe all classroom rules. Students must comply with school regulations. Willful defiance of the valid authority of supervisors, teachers or administrators will not be tolerated. Consequences may include but are not limited to: detention, possible suspension, and possible recommendation for expulsion. Fighting is unacceptable for all individuals involved. Verbal, physical or sexual harassment, bullying, intimidation and threats are prohibited at all times. Profane and vulgar language is not allowed on campus. Police may also be notified of the misconduct. For some violations, police notification is required.

School Investigations

The Assistant Principal, other school administrators, and school staff have the right to question students during the school day or while the student is on campus, even if not during the school day. School staff does not have to contact the parent for permission before questioning a student. If a student is determined to have engaged in a suspendible offense, school staff will make a reasonable effort to contact the parent in person or by phone. When a student is suspended, the parent will be notified in writing of the suspension.

School Resource Officer (SRO) Questioning

The school administrators may involve a school resource officer (SRO) in questioning a student suspected of misconduct. The school resource officers may act as an agent of the school while on campus.

Outside Law Enforcement (non-SRO) Questioning

Should law enforcement officials find it necessary to question students during the school day or during periods of extracurricular activities, the principal or designee will be present when possible. An effort will be made to notify the parent.

Student Searches

Lockers belong to the school district. Students are permitted to use them as a convenience. The lockers remain under control of the school administration and may be searched whenever reasonable suspicion exists.

School officials may search a student and their personal property (including cars, purses and backpacks) when there is reasonable suspicion to believe a student is concealing evidence of a behavior code violation. Illegal items (weapons, alcohol, unlawful drugs, etc.) or other possessions determined to be a threat to the safety or security of the student or others will be confiscated and turned over to the police. Items which may be used to disrupt or interfere with the educational process may be temporarily removed from a student’s possession or forfeited in accordance with law. A general search of district facilities and properties, including but not limited to lockers or desks, may occur at any time. Items belonging to the district or items which are unlawful or are in violation of district policy may be seized. Students will be notified that searches of district property have occurred and will be notified of any items seized as appropriate.

Referrals Process

A “referral” is a communication from the classroom teacher to the Assistant Principal describing a student’s misconduct that has violated classroom or school rules. The referral represents a request by the teacher for disciplinary action. When the student is directed to leave the class by the teacher, the student will:

  • Leave the room quickly and quietly, and report immediately to the Student Service Center.
  • Sign in with the Attendance Clerk, report the reason for being sent to the office, and turn in their electronic devices.
  • Be seated in the assigned area and wait quietly until the end of the period.
  • Students who fail to report to the student service office may be suspended.
  • They will then report to his/her next class when the bell rings unless directed by the Assistant Principal to do otherwise.
  • On the next day that the class meets, the student will return to the dean’s office during the same period for a conference with the Assistant Principal. Most problems can be resolved at that time and the student will be returned to class. When a referral has been written on a student, they may not return to that class until directed to do so by the Assistant Principal.

Note: Students are usually not seen immediately after being sent to the office in order to allow the Assistant Principal to conduct an appropriate investigation. After discussing the situation with the teacher, the Assistant Principal will meet with the student to hear his/her side of the story and will take the necessary action. Parents will be informed of the student’s behavior and the disciplinary consequences.

Birthday Celebrations

Loud and/or destructive displays for birthday celebrations cause disruption to the regular school activity. Therefore, “birthday bashing” (i.e. spraying with whipped cream, shaving cream, throwing water balloons, or physical punishment) is not allowed and carries strict consequences. Also, the posting of birthday displays (i.e. handbills, posters, etc.) is not permitted. Cards are acceptable as long as they do not create a classroom distraction.

Loss of Senior Privileges

Seniors Privileges are defined as school related events that are specifically for or comprised mostly of the senior class. These include, but are not limited to, Prom and walking in the graduation ceremony. Suspendible offenses can cause the loss of such activities. These offenses include but are not limited to the following: Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol at school or at a school event, involved in a fight or being involved in a destructive senior prank. These infractions face the likelihood of losing all or some of their Senior privileges.


Bikes, scooters and skateboards are not to be used on campus. Bikes should be walked on campus and locked in the bike cage during school. Scooters and skateboards are to be carried on campus and placed in a locker or special long board locker during school.

Cell Phones/Electronic Devices

Students are not to use cell phones or electronic devices for calls, texts, photos, or other purposes except during lunch and breaks unless a teacher has given permission to the student to use the phone for academic purposes. Students are not to receive or initiate calls to anyone, including parents, except during the designated time and except for a 911 call in a situation requiring a police response. In an emergency, parents are to contact the office and students will call home from the office. Otherwise, please leave a message on voice mail or text your student, understanding that they are not allowed to check for a text or message until a break. Students caught using their cell phones during class without permission for academic reasons will have their phones confiscated under the following offense criteria:

  • 1st offense - Teacher will turn it over to the Assistant Principal’s Office. The Assistant Principal will keep the electronic device or other item until after school the following school day (inclusive of weekends) and will return the device or item the following school day.
  • 2nd offense - The item will not be returned until a parent conference is held at school with the Assistant Principal.
  • 3rd offense - Student will not be allowed to bring the item to school for the remainder of the school year.
  • 4th offense - The Dean will issue discipline, which may include school suspension.

Refusal to provide cell phone or item to any adult school employee

If a teacher or other adult school staff member requests that a student hand over a cell phone or any other item that has been requested, the resulting disciplinary action will include additional consequences for willful defiance which may include suspension.

Responsibility for Cell Phones

Students are not to receive or initiate calls to anyone, including parents, except during the designated time and except for a 911 call in a situation requiring a police response. In an emergency, parents are to contact the office and students will call home from the office. Otherwise, please leave a message on voice mail or text your student, understanding that they are not allowed to check for a text or message until a break.

Closed Campus

The school is a CLOSED CAMPUS. Students are not allowed to leave campus for lunch. The athletic fields, football bowl, tennis courts, adult education areas, and all parking lots are off limits during the school day. Students from other schools, alumni, or older individuals are not allowed to visit the campus of Del Mar

Lunch and Food Deliveries

Del Mar High School provides lunch services on regular school days. Students are not allowed to order food, such as pizza, and get it delivered to any part of the campus, including the main office, student service center, a classroom, or the front of the school. School administrators will refuse any food ordered by students for delivery at their own expense. Parents are allowed to bring students a lunch, which must be dropped off in the main office. It is then the student’s responsibility to pick up the food after the bell has rang for the start of lunch. Parents, family members, or friends may not drop off beverages, such as Starbucks or Jamba Juice during other parts of the day.


Loitering in the neighboring community or business areas is prohibited before, during and after the regular school day. Students coming to school are expected to come directly on to campus for class or an activity. Parents of a student who is in violation of this policy will be contacted for an initial offense and given a detention. Additional offenses will result in a suspension and can lead to expulsion if the violations continue. Please note: Students of Del Mar or students from other schools can be cited for trespassing by the police if they are loitering in the parking lots or across the street from the school, and the student will be given a detention to be served.

Student Dress Code

Students are expected to dress appropriately for school. Wearing clothing that is considered revealing, displays symbols or suggests, displays, or promotes drugs/alcohol, sexually explicit, discriminatory, violent, or is considered a disruption by the administration, staff, or other students in any way is strictly forbidden. Any clothing which may be reasonably interpreted as symbolic of gang association is prohibited. Specific examples of PROHIBITED CLOTHING include, but are not limited to:

  • Athletic jerseys, other than School Team attire
  • Tops worn by girls that do not cover lingerie straps. (Spaghetti straps, halter-tops, tube tops or one shoulder tops are not acceptable). Straps are to be 2 fingers wide.
  • Short shorts or very short skirts.
  • Sagging pants or shorts that reveal underwear.
  • Low cut, revealing or see-through tops. Tops that expose the midriff.
  • Jewelry with spikes or studs.
  • Any items containing reference to alcohol, drugs, tobacco, or their related slogans or emblems.
  • Clothing with any suggestive sexual or violent connotation.
  • Gang-related insignias or colors.
  • COLORS: With the exception of blue jeans, any article of clothing that is solid blue, red, burgundy or other variation of the colors red and blue.
  • Calf-length shorts, usually with long socks that are easily identifiable as gang attire
  • Bandanas/”rags” either worn or carried (visible or concealed)
  • Dangling belts
  • Any piece of clothing, backpack, book, notebook or other item which is inscribed or marked with tagging or gang-associated symbols, words or names
  • Nike Cortez shoes and “Godfather” slippers, etc.
  • Shoes must be worn at all times.
  • Students will be asked to change their clothes if they are wearing inappropriate items. Parents may be contacted. Repeat violators will be subject to school discipline.

Behaviors and Use of Symbols

The display or use of any symbol, word(s) or “tag” which may reasonably be interpreted as symbolic of gang association is prohibited. Specific examples include BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO:

  • Tagging of backpacks, books, notebooks, or other personal belongings
  • Tagging of lockers (either inside or outside), desks, walls or any other school property
  • Visible gang or gang-like tattoos or body drawing
  • Displaying a “rag” or other similar object
  • Gang hand signs
  • Giving a look to another student for the purpose of intimidation (i.e. “dogging.”)
  • Moving around campus as part of a group of students for the purpose of intimidation

Students who are identified by the school as “at risk of gang involvement” will be placed on a far more restrictive dress code and behavior contract, and they will be referred to an on-campus gang intervention program.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is defined as making unsolicited and unwelcome written, verbal, physical and/or visual contact with sexual overtones, or continuing to express sexual interest after being informed that the interest is unwelcome if a student is comfortable stating this. If a student believes that he or she is being sexually harassed by another student, the first step is to tell the offending person that their actions are unwelcome if a student is comfortable stating this. If the action persists or if the student is not comfortable telling the harasser to stop, the student should make a formal complaint to his or her counselor or Assistant Principal. If a student believes he or she is being sexually harassed by a staff member, the student should report the incident to the principal or the AP.

Harassment based on other protected characteristics (including race, sexual orientation, national origin, religion or disability) is also prohibited and unlawful.

PDA – Public Display of Affection

Public displays of affection between any two students are not allowed. Holding hands is considered the limit on campus or at any school event on or off campus. Making out, laying/sitting on top of your partner, or any other act considered intimate behavior is not allowed. Students caught engaging in this behavior will result in a referral to the Assistant Principal’s office followed by detention to suspension.

Sexual Battery

Sexual battery includes touching an intimate body part (female's breast or anyone's anus, groin, sexual organ, or buttocks) against that person's will (without consent) for a sexual purpose, even if the touching is through clothing. This behavior will result in an automatic suspension followed by a recommendation for expulsion.

Athletic Events Rules & Conduct

  • Any student or adult, who attends the school sporting events, whether at home or away, are expected to display conduct reflecting good sportsmanship. All school guidelines, rules and policies extend to away locations.
  • State law dictates that schools are “Tobacco Free Zones.” Neither students nor adults may use tobacco products of any kind while on campus or at a sporting event. This includes the use of vapor pens.
  • All Students and adults attending an athletic event are expected to conduct themselves in a respectful manner. This includes, but is not limited to, refraining from any conduct that degrades, baits, bullies, or intimidates others.
  • Del Mar High School enforces a strict “no in and out” policy at all football and basketball games. Loitering is not allowed outside the gate or lobby of these events.
  • Stadium/gym lights will be turned off shortly after the game is completed so students and parents are encouraged to pack up their belongings and exit the venue in a reasonable amount of time.
  • Students and adults are expected to respect the campus by throwing away any and all trash. No outside food is allowed at athletic events.
  • In the Del Mar Gym, food and/or drink from the snack shack must be consumed in the lobby. To protect recent renovations, food and drink will not be allowed in the main gym.

School Dances Rules & Conduct

Dances are a major activity in the social life of the school and should be a safe and fun experience for all who attend. All dances, with the exception of the Junior/Senior Prom, begin at 7:00 p.m. and end at 10:00 p.m. To maintain the fun and safety of the school’s dances, students are required to observe the following rules:

  • Only students who meet the school’s behavioral and attendance expectations will earn the privilege of attending school dances. A student’s eligibility to attend a dance will be based on his or her behavior and attendance between dances. Examples of behaviors which will result in exclusion from a dance include: five or more single period absences or a school suspension for more than one day. Students may only clear tardies and unexcused absences that they feel are incorrect if the tardy or absence is less than three days old.
  • You will not be able to attend a school dance if you have 5 or more truant period absences between dances.
  • Students will not be admitted to dances after 30 minutes after the set start time, unless otherwise authorized in a writing signed by an administrator.
  • Students must attend a full day of school the day of the dance. Students who are absent for some or all of that day cannot attend the dance.
  • All school students must present a current school photo identification card before being admitted to a dance. Once students leave a dance, they cannot return to the dance and must leave campus immediately. Students will observe school rules of conduct, including those that apply to the use/possession of tobacco, drugs and alcohol. Students may not be under the influence of any alcohol, intoxicant or drug at any school activity including school dances. The school reserves the right to utilize a random breathalyzer test before students enter the dance or during the dance. The school also reserves the right to utilize a breathalyzer test whenever a school administrator or other school staff has a reasonable suspicion that a student has been drinking alcohol or is under the influence of alcohol.
  • Students are expected to be cooperative and follow the direction of the adult chaperones and security officers.
  • School appropriate dress and behavior is expected of all attendees.
  • Dance styles which are provocative or pose the potential for injury are not allowed, and students who insist on or continue doing so after a warning will be removed from the dance. Administration will determine if that individual student will be allowed to attend future dances. Specifically, any dance that is sexually suggestive (i.e. “freaking”) is strictly prohibited. Students will be given one or two warnings. If the student does not change his or her behavior, his or her parents will be called and asked to pick up their student from the dance.
  • NOTE: Students committing a suspendible offense at a school dance will lose the privilege of attending ALL future dances for the year including the Prom and potentially other school activities.
  • Guests: Generally, only this school’s students are allowed to attend dances. The exception is for dances that are
  • traditionally date dances. Announcements will be made prior to dances if guests are allowed, and if so, a guest pass must be secured and approved in advance.


A detention is a period of time served for minor infractions. A normal detention period is for 30 minutes but it can be assigned longer if the Assistant Principal determines the infraction warrants more time. Detention is held after school on designated days and locations. Students may be assigned detention in the morning.

Suspensions and Expulsions

Student misconduct may be serious enough to warrant a suspension and/or expulsion. The Education Code of the State of California dictates which behaviors can or must result in a suspension and/or expulsion.