OLEAN – Changes are coming to the Olean Schools Student Code of Conduct, aimed at safety and security in the school building.

During his presentation to members of the School Board last week, Intermediate School Principal Joel Whitcher said a measure to allow students to carry backpacks and pencil cases throughout the building during the day will take effect in the coming school year.

“Students will be able to carry clear backpacks and pencil cases,” Whitcher said.

“The bags will have to be similar to those that you see allowed at sporting events, where we can see what’s in them.”

In addition, using e-cigarettes will be added to the list of behavior open to discipline because it “endangers the safety, moral, health or welfare of another.”

More specifically, the term has been inserted into the policy to be banned along with tobacco products.

A major change in detentions for tardiness has been changed.

The former policy would make the tardiness punishable under the same 30-, 60- and 90-minute detention schedule as other offenses.

“We feel that the model escalates too quickly for something like a tardy,” Whitcher said.

“In too many cases, it is not the fault of the student for the tardy, it is because a parent was late in getting them to the building.”

The new schedule will see instances one through three receive a warning, four through six with a Level 1 detention (30 minutes), seven through 10 a Level 2 (60 minutes) and 11 and more a Level 3 detention (90 minutes).

At the halfway point, in January, the number of tardies resets to zero, Whitcher said.

“If we have to go as high as 11, we may also want to involve other outside agencies to find out what’s going on,” Whitcher said.

The new policies will take effect when school starts in the fall.