JG/JGD/JGE - Discipline - Suspension/Expulsion
Re-adopted: 3/15/95, 8/13/97, 9/28/11, 9/13/17
- Summary Discipline Procedures – discipline for a minor violations of classroom rules or District policy may be handled by the teaching staff or school administrators without using a formal disciplinary procedure. A school administrator may temporarily exclude a student from school for less than one school day using a summary discipline procedure appropriate for the situation. In all summary discipline cases, the students, parents or guardians must be informed of the action taken and a written notation maintained in the student’s school records.
- In-School Suspension – is defined as a temporary exclusion of a refractory student from regular class attendance.
- Out-of-School Suspension – is defined as one of the following:
- A temporary exclusion of a refractory student from school for at least one school day and not more than ten school days;
- Exclusion in cases being investigated pending expulsion;
- A mandatory exclusion from school for a period of five school days in cases being investigated for violation of the weapons policy;
- In special circumstances, a suspension may be continued until some specific pending action occurs such as a physical or mental examination or incarceration by court action;
- If an administrator investigating a complaint recommends an expulsion, the suspension shall continue until the hearing process is complete and a decision rendered or until the appeal process is completed.
- Expulsion – is defined as exclusion of a refractory student from school attendance for longer than ten school days up to the maximum period allowed by law.
- Prior Notice – The school administration shall use all reasonable means to inform students, parents and guardians of District policies concerning student behavior expectations, consequences for failure to meet expectations, and the procedures to deal with refractory students. Copies of these policies shall, at a minimum, be made available in written and electronic formats to students, parents, guardians and the general public at each school site. At the beginning of each school year, each school site administrator shall cause the student behavior expectations and consequences policies to be reviewed with their student bodies.
- Prior Notice of Disciplinary Action to Students – Except in emergency situations, any student facing out-of-school suspension or expulsion shall be provided with prior written or electronic notice of the specific rule or policy alleged to have been violated and of the opportunity for the student to present his or her response to the alleged violation.
- Prior Notice of Disciplinary Action to Parents or Guardians – School administrators shall provide parents or guardians of refractory students with written or electronic notice of informal or summary disciplinary action and in-school suspensions. In the case of out of school suspensions or expulsions, unless it is an emergency situation, school administrators shall provide parents of guardians with written or electronic notice of the specific rule or policy alleged to have been violated by the student and the date and time when the student’s response may be heard.
- Emergency Situations – The administration may forego the prior notice requirements for disciplinary matters and immediately suspend a student in situations where there is serious risk that substantial harm to the student or others will occur. As soon as practicable, the administration shall provide students, parents or guardians suspended in emergency situations with written or electronic notice of the alleged violation and an opportunity to hear the student’s response to the allegations.
- Staff Complaints – students should hear directly from the teacher or the staff member the specific complaints or descriptions of unacceptable behavior where the student so desires.
- Student Complaints – it is recognized that a district official as a public officer shall not be examined as to communications made to him/her in official confidence, when the public interest would suffer by such disclosures. For this reason, in recognition of the special jeopardy in which student witnesses may be placed, and the possible traumatic effects of adversary proceedings conducted by attorneys, police officers or court officials, the complaining student may not be required to face the accused, nor have his/her identity revealed. However, the administrator or other official conducting an investigation is under special obligation to assure careful and cautious investigation of all relevant facts and testimony. When it is determined that the student may not face the accused, the district official then becomes the official complainant.
A student alleged to have violated a school rule or District policy and facing possible out-of-school suspension shall receive notice of the alleged violation in such terms as will permit the student and his/her parents or guardians the opportunity to defend the student’s conduct or show that he/she is innocent of the alleged violation(s).
Suspension Hearing Procedure
- The suspension hearing shall be conducted by the School Building Principal or his/her designee.
- Prior to the hearing, the school shall attempt to contact the student’s parents or guardians to inform them of the allegations and invite them to attend the hearing. When parents or guardians cannot be contacted, the decision to send the student home, to allow him/her to remain on school premises or refer him/her to the proper authorities must be made with the consideration of the student’s age, maturity and the nature of the misconduct that caused the suspension.
- The Building Principal shall provide students suspended under emergency conditions with the same suspension procedures as soon as the emergency condition has passed. These procedures may be postponed in emergency situations relating to health, possible violations of the weapons policy and safety. Emergency situations shall be limited to those instances where there is a serious risk that substantial harm will occur if suspension does not take place immediately.
- No out of school suspension can exceed ten school days.
- The parents or guardians of a suspended student may petition the School Board to review the decision or conditions of suspension using the appeal procedure outlined below.
A student alleged to have violated a school rule or District policy and facing a possible expulsion shall receive written or electronic notice of the allegations in such terms as will permit the student and his/her parents or guardians the opportunity to defend the students conduct or show that he/she is innocent of the alleged violation(s).
- The School Board may expel, or delegate authority to a hearings officer to expel, a student for violating school rules or District policy provided the student and the student’s parents or guardians are given notice of the alleged violations and an opportunity to be heard at a hearing. The student’s parent(s) or guardian, or the student if 18 years of age or older, may waive the right to a hearing. Waiver may take place by the parent, guardian or the student, if 18 years of age or older, notifying the District office in writing of waiver of the right to a hearing. Waiver may also take place by the parent, guardian, or the student, if 18 years of age or older, failing to appear after notice, at the place and time set for the hearing.
- The hearing may be conducted by a hearings officer designated by the Board. If authority to expel the student is delegated to a hearings officer, the student’s parents or guardians, or the student if 18 years of age or over, shall have the right to appeal the hearings officer’s decision to the Board.
- Notice to the student and to the parent or guardian of the scheduled expulsion hearing shall be delivered by personal service or certified mail. The notice shall identify the school rule or District policy alleged to have been violated and the specific facts that support the alleged violation. The notice shall include the statement of intent to consider the allegations as reason for expulsion. Where notice is given by personal service, the person serving the notice shall file a return of service with the District office. Where notice is given by certified mail, the notice shall be placed in the mail at least five working days before the date of the hearing.
- The student shall be permitted to be present at the hearing and to hear the evidence presented by the District.
- Where the student or the student’s parents or guardians cannot understand the spoken English language, an interpreter shall be provided by the District.
- The District and student may be represented at the hearing by counsel or other persons.
- The District and student shall be permitted to introduce evidence by testimony, writings, or other exhibits.
- Strict rules of evidence shall not apply to the proceedings; however, this provision shall not limit the hearings officer’s control of the hearing.
- The hearings officer or the District may make a record of the hearing.
- Unless the parents or guardians or a student, 18 years of age or older requests a public hearing, the hearing will be closed to the public and the proceeding kept strictly confidential. Witnesses will be excluded except during presentation of their testimony.
- The hearings officer shall determine the facts of each case on the evidence presented at the hearing. This may include the relevant past history and the records of the student. Based on the evidence presented at the hearing, the hearings officer shall determine whether or not the student violated school rules or District policy as alleged. If the student is found to be in violation of a school rule or District policy, the hearings officer will determine appropriate disciplinary action, including the duration and conditions of expulsion. The hearings officer’s decision shall be communicated in writing to the parents or guardians and the student within five working days of the hearing. The written decision shall inform the student and parents or guardians of the right to appeal the order of expulsion. The superintendent shall inform the Board of the hearings officer’s decision and the discipline imposed.
- The hearings officer’s decision is final unless the parents or guardians or a student, 18 years of age or older submits to the superintendent a written request for review by the Board within ten working days of receipt of the decision.
- If a student, parent or guardian files a request for review of the hearings officer’s decision, the student shall remain suspended from regular school attendance until the Board acts.
- Expulsion of a student shall not extend beyond the maximum allowed by law.
Post Expulsion Matters
- The parents or guardians of an expelled student or a student 18 years or older who has been expelled may petition the Board at any time for conditional re-admission to school, modification of the terms of expulsion or modification of any other disciplinary action.
- Any student who is suspended or expelled may be permitted to enroll in or receive any alternative educational program or counseling that may be available through the district. Any expelled student who completes the required course work and attains the requisite credits for graduation may be allowed to participate in graduation ceremonies.