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State Supreme Court Won't Hear RIH Conduct Policy Case

Lower court ruling stands regarding Ramapo Indian Hills attempt to punish students for drug and alcohol use outside of school

The state supreme court won't hear arguments regarding a local school district's attempt to broaden rules of conduct on students, according to reports.

The New Jersey Supreme Court decision Tuesday, according to a story published on northjersey.com, effectively means the court agreed with a lower court decision stating that the Ramapo Indian Hills Regional High School District overstepped its authority in 2009 when it attempted to link out-of-school unlawfulness with sports and extra curricular activity bans.

The regional school board adopted the policy in response to concerns about teenage alcohol and drug use that required students at Ramapo and Indian Hills high schools to conform to "reasonable standards of acceptable behavior" and to refrain from conduct that constitutes "criminal offenses or juvenile delinquency as defined by law."

The policy allowed the board to potentially suspend students from extracurricular activities, including sports, if they were "formally charged and/or arrested by law enforcement for an alleged violation of the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice and/or applicable municipal codes or ordinance provisions."

"The board never listened to parents," said Franklin Lakes Parent Terri Meese in 2010 after the state's appeal of the board's initial passage of the policy. Meese, along with her husband Gregory, brought the suit on behalf of their children. "Trying to pass an unlawful policy is unacceptable."

Read more:

  • Judge: RIH Went Too Far with Conduct Policy — July 2, 2010
  • Final Ruling on RIH Conduct Policy Expected in Sept. — July 30, 2010
  • State Strikes Down RIH Board's Conduct Policy — Sept. 16, 2010

Have a question or news tip for Oakland Patch? Contact editor Joseph M. Gerace at Joseph.Gerace@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox every morning, sign up for our daily newsletter.

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