Shalhevet Just Community Constitution

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We the students, faculty, administration and staff members of shalhevet high school, a school founded on Jewish values of torah, halacha, menschlekeit, and Zionism, in order to form a more just and caring community; provide for a mutually respectful learning environment; honor each persons dignity and worth; promote each individual’s moral reasoning and ethical development; and secure democratic values of liberty, equality, and justice; do establish this constitution for our democratic just community.

Purpose and scope

This constitution is a body of principles, which establishes and regulates the basic order of the democratic just community. It lays down the organization, function, powers and limits to power of the schools community governance structure and the basic rights and duties of its constituents.

Limits of the democracy

The jurisdiction of the shalhevet democratic just community does not include the domains of curriculum, Halacha, and local, state and federal law.

Relationship between democracy and school rules

The student handbook is a collection of rules and procedures, which govern the school. The handbook shall consist of two parts, which may be intermingled for topical purposes. One part of the handbook is produced solely by the administration, while another part consists of those rules and policies that are approved by the community. The democratically adopted portions of the handbook shall be uniquely noted as such, and constitutes a cumulative body of laws at shalhevet: these laws shall not be altered without consideration by the community at large. All proposals approved in town hall shall be written into the handbook in the appropriate section.

Article I legislative – section 1.01: the proposal process

Proposals to add or adapt rules, procedures or policies must be submitted in writing to a member of the agenda committee. Written proposals must include a concise statement of the issue, including its background and/ or history, and how it affects different groups within Shalhevet. It must also include a suggested resolution, which must clearly address its benefits to shalhevet. The resolution should include explicit recommendations for its execution, implementation, and long term monitoring and enforcement. Upon review of a proposal, the agenda committee may exercise one of the following four options.

  1. The proposal may be returned to the author (s) for further revision, clarification, or amplification.

  2. The proposal may be brought to community forums for discussion and clarification in preparation for formal submission to a town hall meeting.

  3. If a majority of the agenda committee believes that a proposal goes beyond the bounds of democracy, the proposal may be rejected or sent to the judicial review committee.

  4. The proposal may be brought to a town hall meeting for discussion and consideration within the community without editing or revision.

Proposals brought before a town hall meeting may be formally or verbally amended by any member of the community. The amendment must be accepted by a majority of the members present to be included as part of the proposal. Once a proposal is passed according to standard voting procedures, it will be considered community law. The accepted proposal and its official vote shall be recorded as an official policy of the shalhevet just community democracy and added to the permanent record of the community by the secretary of the agenda committee. If, after a proposal is passed, a community member questions the fairness or legitimacy of the new law, he/she may request that the agenda committee reconsider it possible for submission to the judicial review committee.