The school principal and the law on the support and reintegration of minors

The bill currently pending on the support and rehabilitation of minors provides for a new catalog of powers for the head of the establishment. If the provisions come into force, he will be able to take educational measures with regard to minors without warning the authorities of demoralization or a criminal act.

The bill deals with a comprehensive regulation of the problem of minors whose behavior requires the intervention of state authorities; included

  • create new facilities for minors – district educational centers,
  • introduce the possibility of an extrajudicial response to inappropriate behavior by minors,
  • determine the minimum age of responsibility for demoralization at the level of 10 years.

The project also includes solutions expanding the catalog of powers of the headteacher in the field of application to minor pupils according to the educational impact.

Obligation to notify a criminal act – there will be exceptions

In accordance with art. 4 of the bill, anyone who finds the existence of circumstances proving the demoralization of a minor is obliged to remedy them, and above all – to inform the parents or guardians of the minor, the school, the family court , the police or any other competent authority. In addition, anyone who learns that a minor has committed a criminal offense has a social obligation to inform the family court or the police.

However, the law indicates that in a situation where a minor shows signs of demoralization or has committed a criminal act on school premises or in connection with the fulfillment of compulsory schooling or the obligation to study, the principal of this school may, with the consent of the parents or of the minor and of the guardian of the minorapply, if sufficient, an educational measure in the form of:

  • instructions,
  • an oral warning or a written warning,
  • apologize to the injured party,
  • restoration of the previous state,
  • do some cleaning work for the school.

The use of a pedagogical impact measure will not exclude the application of the sanction provided for by the school statute.

However, this provision will not be applicable in the event that a minor commits a prohibited act presenting the characteristics of an offense prosecuted ex officio or a tax offence. Therefore, the director’s right to apply educational measures does not apply to minors who commit the most serious crimes.

It is important to note that if the legal representative of a minor or a minor does not agree with the proposal of the headteacher, the director will be required to inform the family court of the demoralization or a criminal act.

Pedagogical influences to be applied by the director

The explanatory memorandum of the project explains how to apprehend the different types of pedagogical impact measures that can be applied by the school head.

Instruction

consists of indicating to a minor that his behavior does not comply with the applicable regulations, in particular the statutes of the school, with an indication of these regulations.

Warning

It consists of identifying incorrect behavior and includes an indication that in the event of repeated undesirable behavior, further action will be taken, with notification to the family court of the need to
start the procedure.

Apologize to the injured party

It applies when, due to the behavior of a minor, a person (student, teacher, other school employee) has been harmed.

Return to previous state

It is used when the minor’s behavior includes, for example, littering, rearranging desks and other school materials, writing on school walls, the principal may order trash cans to be cleaned, materials either put away in the correct order or that the inscription removed from the wall.

Carrying out specific cleaning work for the school

the catalog of cleaning work in the school premises will be determined by the director.

The law on support and reintegration of minors will replace the law on juvenile delinquency procedures

The new law on the support and reintegration of minors replaces the current law of October 26, 1982 on the prosecution of juvenile delinquency.

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Compiled by Marta Wysocka

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