Lamar County Schools Unsafe School Choice Option
- Definitions: A transfer option school (TOS) in the state of Alabama is one in which for three (3) consecutive school years the school has expelled one percent (1%) of the student population or five (5) students (whichever is greater) for violent criminal offenses committed on school property during school hours or committed at school-sponsored activities. The words “transfer option school,” “TOS,” or “TOS school” shall mean a “persistently dangerous school” as those words are used in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Public Law 107-110, Title IX, §9532(a) and (b). For the purpose of this definition, a “violent criminal offense” shall mean homicide; robbery; assault in the first and/or second degree; sexual battery (including rape) as these offenses are defined in the Criminal Code of Alabama (see § 13A-6-1, et. seq., Ala. Code 1975); and use of a handgun, firearm component, explosive, knife, and other "unknown weapons" as defined by the Student Incident Report (SIR).
- A student who becomes a victim of a violent criminal offense committed on school property during school hours or at school-sponsored activities shall be given an opportunity to transfer to a safe public school within the Lamar County School System. The Lamar County School System shall notify the student’s parent/guardian of the right to transfer as soon as practicable, not to exceed ten (10) calendar days from the date of a final determination by the school board or its designee that a violent criminal offense has occurred. All Lamar County School System transfer procedures will be observed. It shall be the policy of the Alabama State Department of Education (SDE) to notify the LEA annually when one or more of its schools have been identified as a transfer option school. Each Superintendent or his or her designee shall orally notify the Prevention and Support Services Section of the State Department of Education within twenty-four (24) hours of the decision that a violent criminal offense has occurred, followed by written confirmation. The State Department of Education will assist the LEA in resolving all safety issues. At a minimum, an LEA that has one or more schools identified as persistently dangerous must:
(i) Step 1. Notify parents/guardians of each student attending the school within ten (10) working days that it has been identified as a transfer option school and offer students the opportunity to transfer to a safe public school within the LEA if another school is available.
(ii) Step 2. Complete the transfer for those students who opt to do so within 20 working days.
(iii) Step 3. Develop a corrective action plan to be submitted to the SDE for approval within 20 working days of the LEA’s receipt of status.
(iv) Step 4. Implement the corrective action plan.
Once a school has been identified as a transfer option school, it can return to safe status by (1) completing Steps One through Four above and (2) completing two consecutive years with less than one percent (1%) of the student population or five (5) students (whichever is greater) expelled for violent criminal offenses as defined in its policy.