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North Texas school districts enforcing disciplinary action for students who intentionally cough on others

With some students soon going back to school during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dallas ISD and Fort Worth ISD have made updates or changes to their discipline guide.

DALLAS — Updated at 6:20 p.m. Thursday with policies from additional North Texas school districts. 

Many North Texas school districts have changed or updated their policies to address what will happen if students intentionally try to or act like they are trying to spread COVID-19 to others.

At both Fort Worth ISD and Dallas ISD, students who intentionally cough, sneeze or spit on others will face potential disciplinary action.

Fort Worth ISD released additional details Monday on protocols for the return to school, saying this type of intentional act will be considered a form of assault

The district is basing its definition from Texas Penal Code 22.1(a)(3), which is labeled as "intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative."

Once a campus administrator is notified of a student acting this way, all students involved will go to the school nurse for evaluations.

If the alleged behavior is determined to be intentional, the punishment can "begin with the minimum disciplinary action and may progress to the more serious disciplinary consequences established in the Student Code of Conduct."

Parents of all students involved will be notified.

RELATED: Fort Worth ISD releases additional details for re-opening plan | Full list of districts

Dallas ISD is still finishing its discipline guide for the school year, but part of the current draft says a Dallas ISD officer will investigate these types of incidents.

If a student intentionally coughs, sneezes or spits on another student, a campus administrator will be notified.

The students will be removed and taken to a school nurse to be evaluated. Parents of each student involved in the incident will be notified. 

A campus administrator will investigate the incident to determine intentionality. If the alleged behavior is determined to be intentional, a Dallas ISD officer will be contacted to classify the incident per the Student Code of Conduct.

Frisco ISD is working internally to consider a variety of scenarios and issues that may arise when schools reopen, as well as how staff should appropriately respond to these situations. 

This review will include an addendum to the Student Code of Conduct to make sure the language reflects the unique circumstances presented by COVID-19.

Garland ISD is currently reviewing and revising its Code of Conduct. Training and communication regarding the mistreatment of others will be updated to include information and examples specific to COVID-19. 

Plano ISD is also reviewing its student code of conduct as it relates to COVID-19.

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