Rules & Policies » Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct is designed to group and define the main objectives of the rules at Palms and the method for achieving those objectives.


The following rules are to allow all students the opportunity to grow academically without disruption.

  1. Arrive to school on time everyday.
  2. Arrive to each and every class on time.
  3. Students are not permitted to leave class except for medical emergencies, office summonses, or behavioral referrals. Passing periods, break, and lunch are to be used to take care of personal needs.
  4. Every effort should be made to be in school for a full day every day. Students provide the Student Services Offices with the student's name, dates and reasons of absence, and parent signature when returning from an absence. Students are to report to the Student Services Center upon arrival at school 7:30am or later, so that they will arrive in class by 8:00am.
  5. Students are identified as truant when they are absent without a valid reason three full days in one school year or are absent for more than any 30-minute period during the school day without a valid reason on three occasions in one school year, or any combination thereof (EC 48260.) Uncleared absences will automatically convert to truancies on the 11th day following the absence.
  6. Absences for educational enrichment must receive prior approval from the Principal to be considered an excused absence.

Disciplinary Action

The following are some of the consequences for failing to live up to the Code of Conduct.

  1. Lunch time detention may be assigned by school deans or school administrative staff.
  2. After school detention may be assigned for one hour on Wednesdays. Students and parents will be notified in advance of the date, time, and place of detention. Late buses will be available to students who ordinarily ride them.
  3. School clean-up, after school on selected Thursdays and lunch and/or break clean-up on any day.
  4. A "U" in work habits for 3 tardies to any class in any grading period.
  5. Class suspension.
  6. Extended school detention may be assigned for up to three hours on Saturday.
  7. "In-house" suspension from all classes.
  8. School suspension.

Other facts about how Palms handles discipline

  • LAUSD schools, including Palms, establish and follow discipline plans.
  • Palms issues Caught Doing Something Good tickets. Students who receive them can earn prizes.
  • In the Palms SUCCESS! program, students are mentored to stay on the right track. Students work with mentors (teachers and administrators) to discuss their needs and other issues at hand. There may be a summit of graduates and parents to celebrate their success.
  • Bullying and other problems must be reported to the deans. If they don't know about a problem, they can't do anything about it. Students should not keep it to themselves.
  • Detention classes are given on Mondays and Wednesdays for some discipline situations. Most situations are handled during the regular school day. In general, the administrators look to alternatives to suspension and opportunity transfers (OT) out of Palms. The goal is to keep kids in school.
  • Since January 1, 2009 schools have had the authority to suspend students who participate in cyber-bullying (using social networking websites, email, instant messaging, or other technologies for deliberate, repeated, and hostile acts toward others). Contact the counselors if you know of any cyber-bullying.


The following rules are designed to enhance learning and leisure by creating a clean and beautiful environment.

  1. Put trash in appropriate containers.
  2. Place recyclable items in appropriate containers.
  3. Do not deface or damage school property.
  4. Food and drink may be consumed only in the cafeteria, outside designated lunch area, or the quad.
  5. Do not throw food or other objects.
  6. Gum chewing is not permitted.
  7. Glass containers are not permitted.
  8. The following items are forbidden at school: skateboards, rollerblades, tennis shoes with wheels, MP3 players, iPods, music players including those with earphones (unless for approved purposes), electronic games, toys or collectibles, pagers, cameras, phones, or electronic signaling devices.
  9. Personal items of value included but not limited to: cell phones, smart watches, Fit Bits, earbuds, headphones, Nintendo Switch, any mobile game devices, computers/laptops, and cameras. Since loss, theft, or damage is possible and such items can be distracting to the educational process these items may be confiscated by school personnel. LAUSD and Palms Middle School are not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged items, including those in lockers.
  10. Students are to turn off all cellular phones and store them in a backpack, purse, pocket, or other place where they are not visible during normal school hours (7:54am to dismissal time) or during school activities. Students must comply anytime a request is made by school personnel to cease the use of a cellular phone, or electronic signaling device on campus before and after school. If such a device is observed by staff during school hours or activities, it shall be confiscated until redeemed by a parent or guardian during a scheduled time with the Dean's Office.

Students must observe the Cell Phones and Electronic Devices policy from the Registration Packet.

Personal items of value should not be brought to school since loss, theft, or damage is possible. Also such items can be distracting to the educational process and may be confiscated by school personnel. The District and Palms Middle School are not responsible for lost or stolen items (including those in lockers).

Ethical Behavior/Respect for Persons or Property

The following rules are designed to create an atmosphere of mutual friendliness, trust and respect among students and all staff at Palms.

  1. Be attentive and follow the directions of all staff at Palms.
  2. Show respect towards substitute teachers.
  3. Maintain a friendly attitude towards fellow students/staff.
  4. Show respect at school assemblies with applause only.
  5. Do not use profanities, slurs or epithets.
  6. Do not represent as your own work that which is not your own, including but not limited to copying from any source. Copying the work of others is also unacceptable.
  7. Do not forge notes or signatures.
  8. Keep textbooks covered at all times.
  9. No plagiarism from any source.

Health and Safety

The following rules are designed to allow Palms students to enjoy a safe, secure environment for learning.

  1. Do not use language that insults or "puts down" other students because of their race, religion, ethnicity, diverse abilities, size, sex or sexual orientation. This includes activities taking place on the Internet.
  2. Keep your hands, elbows, feet, etc. to yourself. This includes "play fighting" and wrestling.
  3. Fighting or threatening to do physical harm to others is not allowed.
  4. Do not wear low-cut tops, tops that have a bare midriff, shorts or skirts above mid-thigh, tank tops with straps less than 3" wide, or other items of clothing inappropriate to middle school, as determined by a school official.
  5. Do not wear or display gang-related clothing or symbols.
  6. Do not leave school grounds once dropped off or before
    being picked up. All students are to report to the P.E. Field after school if they won’t be picked up within 20 minutes of dismissal time.
  7. Do not wear attire that: promotes or advertises alcohol, drugs, or tobacco; has demeaning language (e,g., language about race or sexual orientation), promotes violence, or that is disruptive to the educational process.
  8. Medications may not be brought to school unless approved by a doctor. Forms are available from the school nurse. Approved medications must be kept in the Health Office.
  9. Emergency card information must be kept up to date.
  10. Gambling is forbidden.
  11. Student visitors are not permitted on campus unless part of a school-approved program.
  12. Students are not allowed to congregate in the main building before school and should report to the quad, lunch area, or Library. After school dismissal, do not loiter in front of the school. If you stay after school you must be in the Library, on the after-school playground where there is supervision, or in the ELA or Math tutoring program.
  13. The following items are forbidden at school: Large chains, alcohol, tobacco, vaping devices, prescription or over-the-counter drugs, gum, pepper spray, tear gas, stink "bombs," weapons, box cutters, matches, lighters, explosive devices, shock pens, laser devices, spray paint containers, Sharpies and other permanent marking tools or devices.
  14. Personal selling of food, candy, drinks, or other items is prohibited at school.
  15. To ensure student safety valid picture identification is required when you pick up your child. Check-in with staff at the main entrance on Woodbine Street for student check-out.
  16. Perfumes, colognes, and spray products are prohibited for use on campus.

Student Dress Code

The dress standards are designed to maintain a safe and positive school climate. These standards are enforced to promote the health and safety of the school environment, including causing distraction from or disturbance in any school activity or interfering with the participation of a student in any school activity or learning environment;creating a hazard to the safety of the student or others; or creating a health hazard.

disallowed clothing

Not permitted indoors at school:

  1. Hats, beanies, and hoods. Authorized white hats or caps are permitted outside during break, lunch, and P.E. per state law. See Hat Policy below.
  2. Headscarves and headbands that cover ears.
  3. Headbands
  4. Hairnets
  5. Hair rollers
  6. Curlers
  7. Caps of any kind, including wave caps
  8. Sunglasses indoors
  9. Pajamas or sleepwear
  10. Blankets

Not permitted at school and not permitted at school-related activities:

  1. Pants that do not fit
  2. Pants worn below the waist
  3. Torn clothes mid-thigh and above
  4. Excessively ripped or torn clothing, including jeans
  5. Shoes with open toes, sides, or heels (no Crocs, flip-flops, or sandals)
  6. Low-cut tops
  7. Bare midriffs
  8. Shorts or skirts above mid-thigh
  9. Tank tops with straps less than three inches
  10. Other items of clothing inappropriate to middle school, as determined by a school official

If a student arrives with improper footwear, a parent or guardian will be called to bring alternative shoes.

Students are allowed to wear a crop top with a shirt underneath.

See also: Appropriate Attire for Eighth Grade Culmination

Hat Policy

What headwear is allowed (outdoors only)?

  • Plain white hats
  • Plain white caps
  • Caps with a Palms emblem sold by the school

What headwear is prohibited?

  • Hoods
  • Headscarves that cover ears
  • Headbands that cover ears
  • Beanies
  • Hairnets
  • Hair rollers
  • Curlers
  • Other headgear

When and where can I wear approved headwear?

  • Exterior areas before school
  • P.E. period
  • Break
  • Lunch
  • After school

Where can I not wear headware?

  • Classrooms
  • Hallways
  • Auditorium
  • Tunnel
  • Assembly areas

Disallowed hats will be confiscated. A parent or guardian will need to pick them up after school.

Halloween Costumes

Students may wear costumes to school on Halloween (October 31) or on the Friday before Halloween if October 31 is on the weekend. Students should not wear costumes to the Halloween Dance.

During distance learning, these rules apply to Zoom sessions.

The following rules apply:

  • Costumes must conform to the Palms Middle School Dress Code (see above).
  • Costumes shall not be demeaning to any person or group based on age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity (boys as girls or girls as boys), nationality, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or to any individual staff or student at school.
  • The rules for COVID-19 masks still apply. No Halloween masks are permitted in classrooms, although masks that do not obscure identity or impair vision may be permitted during special activities, provided that safety is not hindered. Indoors, only COVID-19 masks may be worn.
  • Costumes may not cause a disruption or distraction to the school program, i.e. no revealing costumes (nightwear, bathing suits, French maids, etc.).
  • No weapons, toy weapons, or props replicating weapons are to be brought to school. No unsafe props or equipment are allowed.
  • No costume can be worn that is unsafe or that may create a safety hazard. Costumes may not impact a student's vision or movement, e.g., the ability to climb or descend stairs.
  • Costumes must not use images that are vulgar, sexually suggestive, discriminatory, obscene, libelous, contain threats, or that promote illegal or violent content such as the unlawful use of weapons, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or drug paraphernalia.
  • No costumes are allowed that would completely hide the identity of the student, i.e. gorilla suit, "Scream" character.
  • We respect any student's right to be excused from Halloween or other holiday activities based on religious beliefs.
  • If you are not sure, don't wear it! If you have questions, contact an Assistant Principal.

See also: Halloween Dance