Student Conduct

For the complete conduct and due process procedures, please read Foothill-De Anza Board Policy, Administrative Procedures AP 5510 - Student Conduct, and Administrative Procedures AP 5520 - Student Due Process and Discipline.

At Foothill, we believe in personal honor based on integrity, common sense and respect for civil and moral law. We expect our students will conduct themselves honorably at all times, both on and off campus. Any breach of student conduct may be reported to the Dean of Student Affairs & Activities. The official policies of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District Board of Trustees stipulate that Foothill students have certain rights and privileges, along with certain obligations. To correct unacceptable student conduct, we believe disciplinary proceedings are secondary to counseling and admonition. In the exceptional circumstances when discipline is deemed necessary, the college will observe due process to protect the student from unfair and arbitrary imposition of serious penalties. Various college agencies facilitate due process. Examples are the Multicultural Relations Office and student rights advocate of the Associated Students of Foothill College.

Foothill and De Anza Colleges consider the following principles essential to their educational mission and community life:
  1. Mutual respect between students, faculty and staff;
  2. Pursuit of studies with honesty and integrity;
  3. Respect for College and personal property; and
  4. Compliance with all rules and regulations.

These standards are intended to promote responsible student conduct and fair play.

Students shall be subject to College discipline (as outlined in Administrative Procedure 5520: Student Due Process and Discipline) for any of the following misconduct that occurs at any time on campus or at any off campus facility, including Internet-based courses held on the World-Wide Web, or college-approved or sponsored functions:

  1. Academic dishonesty, such as cheating, plagiarism (including plagiarism included in student publications), or knowingly furnishing false information to the Colleges, or District;
  2. Unauthorized preparation, giving, selling, transfer, distribution or publication, for any commercial purpose, of any contemporaneous recording of an academic presentation in a classroom or equivalent site of instruction, including but not limited to handwritten or typewritten class notes, except as permitted by any district policy or administrative procedure;
  3. Dishonesty, forgery, alteration, or misuse of College or District documents, records or identification;
  4. Obstruction or disruption of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary procedures, or other College or District activities, including its public service functions, or of other authorized activities;
  5. Physical or verbal abuse of any person or conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any such person;
  6. Committing or attempting to commit robbery or extortion;
  7. Causing or attempting to cause damage to College or District property or to private property on campus;
  8. Stealing or attempting to steal College or District property or private property on Campus, or knowingly receiving stolen College or District property or private property on campus;
  9. Willful misconduct that results in injury or death to a student or to College or District personnel or which results in cutting, defacing, or other injury to any real or personal property owned by the College or District or on the campus;
  10. Unauthorized entry to or use of College or District facilities;
  11. Violation of College or District policies or of campus regulations including those concerning registration of student organizations, use of College or District facilities, or the time, place and manner of public expression;
  12. Unlawful possession, use, sale, offer to sell, or furnishing or being under the influence of, any controlled substance as listed in California Health and Safety Code Section 11053 et seq., an alcoholic beverage, or an intoxicant of any kind; or unlawful possession of, or offering, arranging or negotiating the sale of any drug paraphernalia, as defined in California Health and Safety Code Section 11014.5;
  13. Use, possession, or sale of any firearm, knife, explosive, or other object that could be classified as a weapon (unless the student has specific authorization from a College or District official);
  14. Disruptive behavior, willful disobedience, habitual profanity or vulgarity, or the open and persistent defiance of authority, or persistent abuse of College or District personnel;
  15. Gambling on College or District property;
  16. Hazing or any act that injures, degrades, or disgraces or tends to injure, degrade, or disgrace any fellow student or other persons;
  17. Disorderly conduct or lewd, indecent or obscene conduct or expression on District-owned or controlled property, or at District sponsored or supervised functions;
  18. Willful or persistent smoking in any area where smoking has been prohibited by law or by regulation of the College or District;
  19. Theft or abuse of computer time, including but not limited to:
    1. unauthorized entry into a file, to use, read or change the contents or for any other purpose;
    2. unauthorized transfer of a file;
    3. unauthorized use of another person's identification and password;
    4. use of computing facilities to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member or college official;
    5. use of computing facilities to send obscene or abusive messages, or to defame or intentionally harm other persons;
    6. use of computing facilities to interfere with normal operation of the college computing system;
    7. use of computing facilities for student's personal benefit;
  20. Committing sexual harassment as defined by law or as set forth in Board Policy 4640;
  21. Engaging in harassing or discriminatory behavior based on race, sex, religion, age, national origin, disability, or any other status protected by law;
  22. Engaging in expression which is obscene, libelous or slanderous, or which so incites students as to create a clear and present danger of the commission of unlawful acts on College or District premises, or the violation of lawful College or District regulations, or the substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the College or District;
  23. Persistent, serious misconduct where other means of correction have failed to bring about proper conduct.

See Board Policy 5500-Student Rights and Responsibilities at

Student Discipline

Managing Disruptive Behavior

  1. In an emergency where physical safety is endangered, call Campus Police & Safety at 911.
  2. Many instances of disruptive behavior can be managed by the instructor or staff, and no reporting is necessary.
  3. If the student's behavior seems likely to remain disruptive, immediately speak with your division dean, and then document the incident in writing and send it to the Dean of Student Affairs and Activities. Please do this even if you (faculty or staff) wish to attempt to handle the situation personally. Do try to resolve the issue within the division with help from your dean before requesting help from the Office of Student Affairs and Activities.
    For your convenience, use our online Disruptive Student Incident Report Form. Please do this even if you (faculty or staff) wish to attempt to handle the situation personally. Do try to resolve the issue within the division with help from your dean before requesting help from the Office of Student Affairs and Activities.
  4. If the student is so disruptive that you need to remove the student from class, call campus police. Instructors have the authority to dismiss the student from two class periods (see "Dropping Students", below). During this period, you must notify the Dean of Student Affairs, for further advice. You also must inform your division dean.

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Due Process Requirements & 14th Amendment
  1. The Supreme Court maintains that a fundamental requirement of due process is the opportunity to be heard.
  2. When conflict arises, due process ordinarily requires: 
    1. Notification of the charges. 
    2. A hearing.
    3. An opportunity to defend with knowledge of adverse evidence.
    4. The names of adverse witnesses.
    5. That substantial evidence support any disciplinary action taken.
  3. Before judicial review, administrative remedies must be exhausted.
  4. Various forms of activities carried on in schools and colleges have compelled courts to define rights and responsibilities of students, faculty and administrators. Courts acknowledge that:
    1. School administrators must be free to invoke fair and reasonable procedures for operation of the school.
    2. Schools do not stand in strict in loco parentis with their students.
    3. Each student has rights and responsibilities vis-a-vis other students.
    4. In contemporary society, the loss of educational opportunities is not taken lightly.
  5. Schools are viewed as a "market place of ideas," but no individual has a constitutional right to prevent a school from carrying out its assigned functions. The school must, however, show that a behavior is disruptive before it can sustain disciplinary action-the school cannot arbitrarily prohibit conduct.

"Where there is no finding that engaging in the forbidden conduct would materially and substantially interfere with the requirements of appropriate discipline in the operation of a school, the prohibition cannot be sustained. Constitutional guarantees do not immunize one for conduct which disrupts class work or invades the rights of others."
-Tinker vs. Des Moines Independent School District, USSC, 1969, 21 LIED 2d 731.

Instructors Dropping Students or Students Dropping Classes
General Drop Policy:
Title 5, Education Code, § 55005.5 "Credit Hour", section (l) states that a student may be dropped by an instructor due to absences. In an online course, lack of correspondence where required by the course is effectively an absence. Article 8 of Title 5 gives the College freedom to expand upon drop policies. The Foothill College Faculty Handbook allows each instructor to construct a drop policy for the specific requirements of the course where absence or tardiness may interfere in a student’s progress.

Discipline Drop Policy: According to Education Code, Section 76032, an instructor has the right to remove a student "for good cause" (disruptive conduct) from his or her class for the day of the removal and the next class meeting. However, the instructor must then immediately report this removal to a designated chief administrative officer, in our case, Dean of Student Affairs and Activities, for any further appropriate action, such as long-term suspension or expulsion from the class. As an instructor, you do not have the legal right to suspend a student for more than one class session after the day of removal for a conduct issue. If a student appears to be a danger to others, immediately call the police, and then do not delay notifying your division dean and the dean of student affairs and activities. This will ensure swift appropriate action to legally remove the student from class or campus, without making the college susceptible to a lawsuit. For more complete information, please call the Office of Student Affairs and Activities at x7241.

Students who wish to drop a class should follow the drop procedure on the College website.

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Student Code of Conduct for ETUDES Internet-Based Courses

As a student at Foothill College, your conduct in the classroom and online (Internet classes) is expected to conform to those acceptable standards for all students as described in this handbook. Unacceptable behavior includes, but is not limited to the following:

  1. The use of threatening, harassing, sexually explicit language or discriminatory language or conduct that violates state and federal law and the Foothill-De Anza Community College District policy on sexual harassment or discrimination;
  2. Unauthorized posting or transmitting sexually explicit images or other content that is deemed by Etudes, the Licensee, or any administrator, supervisor or instructor of a course published utilizing etudes or other online software to be offensive;
  3. Conduct that constitutes fraudulent behavior as enumerated in state and federal statutes;
  4. Disruptive behavior online or off-line; or
  5. Vandalism, or any other violation of Foothill- De Anza Community College District Board Policy. Particular attention should be given to college policy on academic dishonesty, which includes plagiarism or otherwise representing others' work as your own.

All Foothill College students are subject to the same consequences for violations of college policy. They include sanctions and consequences for infractions that are outlined in the college's student handbook, course catalog, and on the Foothill College Student and Judicial Affairs Web site under Student Rights & Responsibilities.

All Foothill College students are hereby notified that these documents, available online and in print, serve to alert them to their rights and responsibilities, and the college's obligations.

There are specific requirements of students using etudes systems; software, or other commercial software, and they are detailed in the Terms of Service Agreement. All students are advised to refer to this document and are informed that violations may result in suspension and/or expulsion from the class and/or college, other board sanctions and termination of your password, account or use of the Software. The Terms of Service Agreement include the college's limitation of liability, indemnification, waivers, intellectual property rights, confidentiality and registration information.

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