School Safety & Health Resources

School Safety Hotline

Mission

To provide a safe and secure school environment conducive to learning with the cooperation of students, parents, teachers, school administrators, and the community.

Toll-Free School Safety Hotline: 1-877-SAY-STOP

On August 14, 1998 the Georgia Department of Education announced the arrival of Georgia's toll-free, anonymous 1-877-SAY-STOP (1-877-729-7867) school safety hotline. 1-877-SAY-STOP is the nation's first state-sponsored school safety hotline and is one example of the Georgia Safety and Violence Task Force's accomplishments.

Jeff Hodges has been selected to work the hotline. Mr. Hodges is a criminal justice graduate of the University of Georgia and is certified by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council.

How does the hotline work?

The hotline is designed for crisis prevention. If students know of an unsafe situation in school (weapons violations, bomb threats, drugs or alcohol, bullying, etc.), they can anonymously pass on that information through the hotline, initiating immediate and appropriate action.

Depending on the urgency of the call, the hotline operator will contact the appropriate law enforcement agency and the local school system. The local school system is asked to inform the Georgia Department of Education of the outcome and subsequent actions taken in conjunction with the call.

Of course, not all hotline calls are emergencies. The hotline is also a valuable information resource for educators, administrators, parents, and anyone who may have questions regarding safety in Georgia schools.

When can I call 1-877-SAY-STOP?

1-877-SAY-STOP is a toll-free, 24-hour school safety hotline. During regular business hours, the operator at the Georgia Department of Education works the hotline. Hotline calls are transferred to the Georgia Department of Public Safety after regular business hours and on weekends and holidays.

Do I have to reveal my identity?

No. Hotline callers are not asked to reveal their identities unless they choose to do so.

What is being done to promote the hotline?

To give the hotline maximum exposure, Georgia schools are asked to promote the hotline. The Georgia Department of Education developed a poster to help schools promote the hotline. The poster is available for download below.

Download the Hotline poster

Medical Excuse

If your student needs a medical excuse for school, please complete the GCA Medical Form [PDF] document and email to your homeroom teacher.

Health & Emergency Form

This purpose of this form is to enable parents and guardians to authorize the provision of emergency treatment for children who become ill or injured while under school authority, when parents or guardians cannot be reached. Health and Emergency Form [PDF]

Student Release Form

The purpose of this form is to authorize the school to release the student to another adult as designated by the parent and guardian. Student Release Form [PDF]

Immunizations & Health Certificates

All students must comply with the requirements of the State Immunization Code. Details of Georgia state requirements are listed below from the Georgia Department of Education website:

Immunizations & Health Certificates (Forms 3300 and 3231)

Form 3300 (Certificate of Eye, Ear, Dental Exam)

A student, regardless of grade level, who has never been in a Georgia public school must provide certification of eye, ear, and dental examinations on the Georgia Department of Human Resources Form 3300. Any child admitted to school without a certificate must present one within 60 calendar days. Forms may be obtained and completed at the local public health departments or physician offices.

Form 3231 (Certificate of Immunization)

  1. Georgia Law requires children attending school (Kindergarten – 12th grade) to be age appropriately immunized with all the required vaccines at the time of first entry in school. A new entrant is a child entering a school in Georgia for the first time or entering after having been absent from a Georgia school for more than 12 months or one school year. All students, regardless of grade and including foreign exchange students, must have the Georgia Department of Human Resources Form 3231 immunization certificate marked “Complete for School” unless any of the following situations exist:
  2. Medical exemption: In this case, the 3231 has an expiration date no more than 12 months from date of issue. There must be an annual review of the medical exemption, and the certificate must be reissued with or without indication of the medical exemption.
  3. Religious exemption: For a child to be exempt from immunization on religious grounds the parent or guardian must furnish the school with a notarized statement, and it must meet the following criteria: (A) state that their religious beliefs conflict with immunization requirements; (B) the statement must be signed and dated by the parent/guardian; (C) the statement must be notarized, dated, and signed by a Notary Public; (D) the statement should be submitted to the school in lieu of an immunization certificate (form 3231); (E) the statement does not expire.
  4. Waiver of 30 calendar days granted to new entrants by the Head of School or designee.
  5. Waiver of 90 calendar days may be granted by the Head of School or designee to students entering Georgia public schools from out of state, if documentation is on file from the county health department or a medical doctor stating that an immunization sequence has been started and can be completed within the ninety (90) day waiver period.
  6. Immunizations are required for diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis B, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (chicken pox). Protection against each of these diseases must be addressed on the form 3231. The form can be computer generated, and if the child attends more than one school, an original or a photocopy of the form must be submitted to the second school.

Sixth Grade Requirements

All currently enrolled children entering sixth grade on or after July 1, 2015, must meet the following requirements:

  1. Two doses of Measles vaccine, two doses of Mumps vaccine, one dose of Rubella vaccine, or laboratory proof of immunity against each of these three diseases.
  2. Two doses of Varicella (chicken pox) vaccine or documentation of disease or laboratory proof of immunity. At the time your child entered school, only one dose of this vaccine was required.

Seventh Grade Requirements

Effective July 1, 2015, all children born on or after January 1, 2002 who are attending seventh grade and children who are new entrants into a Georgia school in grades eight through twelve:

  1. One dose of Tdap vaccine
  2. One dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine

For more information about Georgia's immunization program or the immunization requirements for school entry and attendance, please click on the following links to the Georgia Department of Human Resources:

Georgia Immunization Requirements for Child Care & School Attendance [PDF]

Georgia Department of Public Health - Immunization Section

If Georgia Cyber Academy has not received immunization records for a student and/or a student is not compliant with Georgia’s immunization requirements by October 15th of each school year, the student may be withdrawn.

Please contact the Georgia Cyber Academy office with any questions regarding health requirements: 404-334-4790

Scoliosis Screening

In Georgia, Scoliosis screenings are required in at least two grades – sixth, seventh or eighth. Scoliosis is a physical condition characterized by a lateral deviation of the spine away from the midline of the body. It is known that two children out of every 100 may have Scoliosis. If this condition is detected early and appropriately treated, progressive spine irregularity can usually be prevented. The procedure for screening is a simple test in which the child’s back is examined in the standing position and while bending forward.

Helpful Scoliosis Resources:

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

United Way

How to Check for Scoliosis (You Tube Video)

The child’s primary healthcare provider or a health department can provide complete information for suggested screenings, programs, and any necessary treatment. 

Please contact the Georgia Cyber Academy office with any questions regarding health requirements: 404-334-4790

Behavior Guidelines

Georgia Cyber Academy expects all students to behave in a manner that is respectful of others and towards school property. All violations of the Code of Conduct will be part of a student’s disciplinary record and may be used in a student disciplinary hearing pursuant to Georgia Cyber Academy’s progressive discipline process. Suspension of a student from school for not more than ten (10) consecutive days is considered a short-term suspension, not subject to formal rights of hearing or appeal. Although there are no such rights guaranteed by law, parents/ guardians may contact the Office of the Head of School to discuss their disciplinary incidents and actions involving their children.

The following are some examples of misbehavior that will result in discipline:

  • Violations against property including but not limited to damage to or destruction of school property or the property of others, failure to compensate for damage or the destruction of such property, arson, breaking and entering, theft, robbery, possession of stolen property, extortion, trespassing, unauthorized usage, or vandalism (including outing locations and test sites).
  • The use of profanity or obscene language or the possession of obscene materials.
  • Gambling
  • Hazing
  • Defiance toward faculty/ staff members
  • Using, possessing or distributing tobacco or tobacco paraphernalia
  • Using, possessing, distributing or being under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances.
  • Using, possessing, distributing or being under the influence of narcotics, drugs or other controlled substances (except as proscribed by a physician).
  • Using, possessing or distributing items or articles that are illegal or harmful to persons or property including, but not limited to, drug paraphernalia.
  • Using, possessing or distributing weapons or other dangerous objects.
  • Possession of ammunition including, but not limited to, bullets or other projectiles designed to be used as a weapon.
  • Possession, use or distribution of explosives or any compound mixture, the primary or common purpose or intended use of which is to function by explosion.
  • Possession, use or distribution of fireworks or any substance or combination of substances or article prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or an audible effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration or detonation.
  • Violation of any local, state or federal laws (as appropriate).
  • Acts disruptive of the educational process including but not limited to, disobedience, disruptive or disrespectful behavior, defiance of authority, insubordination, failure to identify oneself, improper activation of fire alarms or bomb threats.
  • Possession of nuisance devices or objects which cause distractions including, but not limited to, pages, radios and phones.
  • Possession or distribution of slanderous, libelous or pornographic materials.
  • Student attire or personal grooming which creates a danger to health or safety or creates a disruption to the educational process, including clothing which bears a message which is lewd, vulgar or obscene, apparel promoting products or activities that are illegal for use by minors, or clothing containing objectionable emblems, signs, words, objects or pictures communicating a message that is racist, sexist, or otherwise derogatory to a protected minority group or which connotes gang membership.
  • Falsification of any records, documents, notes or signatures.
  • Tampering with, changing or altering records or documents of the school district by any method including, but not limited to, computer access or other electronic means.
  • Impertinent or disrespectful language toward teachers or other school district personnel; sexual abuse or harassment.
  • Actions including fighting or other assaultive behavior, which causes or could cause injury to students or other persons or which otherwise endangers the health, safety or welfare of teachers, students, other school personnel or other persons.
  • Committing an act which inflicts great bodily harm upon another person, even though accidental or a result of poor judgement.
  • Violations against persons including, but not limited to, assault or threatened assault, fighting, harassment, interference or obstruction, attack with a weapon, sexual assault, illegal or inappropriate sexual conduct or indecent exposure.
  • Verbal assaults or verbally abusive behavior including, but not limited to, use of language that is discriminatory, abusive, obscene, threatening, intimidating or that degrades other people.
  • Physical or verbal threats, including but not limited to, the staging or reporting of dangerous or hazardous situations that do not exist.
  • Inappropriate, abusive, threatening, or demeaning actions based on race, color, creed, religion, sex, marital status, status regarding public assistance, disability, national origin, or sexual orientation.
  • Disobedience or insubordination to teachers or other school district personnel.
  • Violation of school rules, regulations, policies or procedures.
  • Other acts, as determined by the school district, which are disruptive of the educational process or dangerous or detrimental to the student or other students, school district personnel or surrounding persons or which violates the rights of others or which damages or endangers the property of the school, or which otherwise interferes with or obstructs the mission or operations of the school district or the safety or welfare of students or employees.
  • Retaliation

Students who fail to comply with these requirements are subject to the following disciplinary actions*:

  • A verbal warning
  • An in-person, online or telephone meeting with the student, parent, teacher, counselor and school administrator will be arranged to discuss the student’s behavior.
  • Suspension
  • Expulsion

* In the case of a severe offense and at the discretion of school administration, verbal and written warnings may be bypassed. In cases of severe infractions, local legal authorities may be contacted.

Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying occurs when a minor is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another minor using the internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones. For this behavior to be considered cyberbullying, the infraction needs to take place between two minors. Cyberbullying is not tolerated in any form at Georgia Cyber Academy.

  • Cyberbully includes but is not limited to the following:
  • Assuming a false identity online to trick others.
  • Spreading lies and rumors about victims.
  • Tricking people into revealing personal information.
  • Sending or forwarding mean text messages.
  • Posting pictures of victims without their consent.

Effects of Cyberbullying include, but are not limited to:

  • Physically, emotionally or mentally harming a student.
  • Placing a student in reasonable fear of physical, emotional or mental harm.
  • Placing a student in reasonable fear of damage to or loss of personal property.
  • Creating an intimidating or hostile environment that substantially interferes with a student’s educational opportunities.

How to Prevent and Stop Cyberbullying

Below are some preventative measures that students can take to minimize their risk of being cyberbullied, as well as help stop the cyberbullying cycle:

  • Be very cognizant of what you share online. All information shared online may potentially be viewed by millions of people.
  • Be careful with whom you interact online. Block messages or request from people that you do not know.
  • Do not pass along or forward cyberbullying messages.
  • Discourage your friends from cyberbullying.

What Should You Do if You Are Cyberbullied?

Cyberbullying is no longer an anonymous crime. Technology allows for easy tracking of the source. Cyberbullying is illegal and violators can be prosecuted.

For Learning Coaches: If your student comes to you and reports being bullied, please report it to your child’s homeroom teacher immediately.

If the accused is a student of the school, school administration will investigate the accusation. If the accusation is proven true, the school discipline policy will apply. If the accused is not a student of the school, the school administration will help the victim and his/ her family contact local authorities and/ or the local school district.

School Discipline Policy for Cyberbullying*

If a student is found guilty of cyberbullying, the following consequences will apply based on the severity of the infraction:

First Offense or Minor Infraction: The student will receive a verbal warning and meet with the school counselor to learn about cyberbullying.

Second Offense or More Severe Infraction: The student, parent/ guardian, counselor and administrator will hold a conference. A record of the infraction will be placed in the student’s file.

Third Offense or Severe Infraction: Repeated Infractions or Severe Infractions may result in the student being expelled from the school

* Determination of the severity of an infraction is at the discretion of the GCA Administration.

To learn more about cyberbullying, visit the following websites:

stopbullying.gov

kidshealth.org

cyberbullying.org

pacerteensagainstbullying.org

School Property

Georgia Cyber Academy provides materials, books and other curricular supplies. Georgia Cyber Academy also provides computers and printers to families per financial need. The materials are school property and must be kept in good condition. Facilities that are used for Georgia Cyber Academy outings/ test sites locations are also considered school property. Parents are responsible for the repair or replacement of all lost, stolen or damaged school property. A list of property that must be returned is provided to parents. All property and equipment must be returned in good working condition upon withdrawal from the program.

All printed materials are copyrighted and unauthorized copying of those materials is copyright infringement. Materials cannot be sold or transferred and are to be used solely by the student in his or her studies while enrolled in the school. Parents and students are to comply with this policy and all the terms and conditions of the Use of Instructional Property Agreement submitted with the enrollment materials.

Off Campus Behavior

Students are expected to be responsible representatives of the school at all times, whether online at an in-person school event or “off campus”- meaning outside of school activities. Adverse behavior that affects the school’s community or reputation may result in disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion. Georgia Cyber Academy Administration reserved the right to address students and their families whose off-campus interactions have impacted the school community.

Conduct at School Sponsored Events

Georgia Cyber Academy expects its students to adhere to its behavior guidelines while at school events, on school trips and during educational and co-curricular activities offered year round. Safety, civility and respect for the worth of every member of our community remain the philosophical foundation of our school. Georgia Cyber Academy acknowledges that the family is responsible for a child’s behavior after school hours and on weekends, and our usual policy is to respect a student and the family’s privacy in that regard. However, behavior that significantly affects students when they are attending school sponsored events, that suggests a threat to the emotional or physical safety of our students may require action by the school.

Pupil Privacy Rights Act

PPRA (20 U.S.C. § 1232h) affords parents of elementary and secondary students certain rights regarding the conduct of surveys, collection and use of information for marketing purposes, and certain physical exams. These include, but are not limited to, the right to:

  • Consent before students are required to submit to a survey that concerns one or more of the following protected areas (“protected information survey”) if the survey is funded in whole or in part by a program of the U.S. Department of Education (ED) –
    1. Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student’s parent;
    2. Mental or psychological problems of the student or student’s family;
    3. Sex behavior or attitudes;
    4. Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;
    5. Critical appraisals of others with whom respondents have close family relationships;
    6. Legally recognized privileged relationships, such as with lawyers, doctors, or ministers;
    7. Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or student’s parent; or
    8. Income, other than as required by law to determine program eligibility.
  • Receive notice and an opportunity to opt a student out of –
    1. Any other protected information survey, regardless of funding;
    2. Any non-emergency, invasive physical exam or screening required as a condition of attendance, administered by the school or its agent, and not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of a student, except for hearing, vision, or scoliosis screenings, or any physical exam or screening permitted or required under State law; and
    3. Activities involving collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for marketing or to sell or otherwise distribute the information to others. (This does not apply to the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for the exclusive purpose of developing, evaluating, or providing educational products or services for, or to, students or educational institutions.)
  • Inspect, upon request and before administration or use –
    1. Protected information surveys of students and surveys created by a third party;
    2. Instruments used to collect personal information from students for any of the above marketing, sales, or other distribution purposes; and
    3. Instructional material used as part of the educational curriculum.

These rights transfer from the parents to a student who is 18 years old or an emancipated minor under State law.

Georgia Cyber Academy (GCA) has developed and adopted policies, in consultation with parents, regarding these rights, as well as arrangements to protect student privacy in the administration of protected information surveys and the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information for marketing, sales, or other distribution purposes. GCA will directly notify parents of these policies at least annually at the start of each school year and after any substantive changes. GCA will also directly notify, such as through U.S. Mail or email, parents of students who are scheduled to participate in the specific activities or surveys noted below and will provide an opportunity for the parent to opt his or her child out of participation of the specific activity or survey. GCA will make this notification to parents at the beginning of the school year if the school district& has identified the specific or approximate dates of the activities or surveys at that time. For surveys and activities scheduled after the school year starts, parents will be provided reasonable notification of the planned activities and surveys listed below and be provided an opportunity to opt their child out of such activities and surveys.  Parents will also be provided an opportunity to review any pertinent surveys. Following is a list of the specific activities and surveys covered under this direct notification requirement:

  • Collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected from students for marketing, sales, or other distribution.
  • Administration of any protected information survey not funded in whole or in part by ED.
  • Any non-emergency, invasive physical examination or screening as described above.

Parents who believe their rights have been violated may file a complaint with:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202