Policy 502.4 - Suspension and Expulsion By Board

SUSPENSION AND EXPULSION BY BOARD

The Board of Directors may, by a majority vote, suspend or expel a student from school for a violation of the rules and regulations approved by the Board or when the presence of the student is determined to be detrimental to the best interests of the school, including, but not limited to, instances when the student’s conduct:

• disrupts or interferes with the educational program; or
• disrupts the orderly and efficient operation of the school district or school activity; or
• disrupts the rights of other students to participate in or obtain their education; or
• is violent or destructive; or
• interrupts the maintenance of an appropriate, disciplined educational environment; or
• violates district policy or policies and/or rules and regulations.

Out-of-school suspensions for longer than ten days (long term suspensions) and student expulsions are severe disciplinary actions reserved by the Board to its own action. When expelled by the Board, a student may be readmitted only by the Board or in the manner prescribed by it.

Suspension/Expulsion Procedures

The following procedures shall be used by the Board for all suspension and expulsion hearings: (Prior to these procedures, a special education student must be provided with additional procedures. A determination must first be made as to whether the student’s misconduct is actually caused by the student’s disability. A staffing team should make this determination and/or whether the conduct is the result of inappropriate placement. Discussions and conclusions of this meeting should be recorded.)

1. The superintendent shall recommend to the Board in writing that there is need for a hearing either because:

a. the superintendent is recommending expulsion; or 

b. the superintendent is recommending long-term suspension.

2. The superintendent shall give notice of the hearing by certified mail or by hand delivery to the student and the student’s head of household.

a. Such notice shall be mailed at least five (5) days prior to the hearing except when the event occurred (i) during the last seven (7) days of a school semester or (ii) within five (5) days of the next scheduled meeting of the Board of Directors.

In the event of such exception, the notice shall be hand delivered at as early a time as possible, but in no event shall a hearing be held with less than forty-eight (48) hours notice.

b. Such notice shall contain:

(1) The name of the head of household.

(2) The name of the student whose suspension or expulsion is to be considered.

(3) The fact that suspension or expulsion is being considered and a brief explanation of the effect of a suspension or an expulsion.

(4) The policy or rule allegedly violated or other cause of the possible suspension or expulsion.

(5) A statement of the evidence the administration has to support the charges which may be in the form of a summary prepared by the superintendent, or in the form of copies of material sent to the superintendent by the building administrator.

(6) The names of all witnesses and copies of all material that will be presented to the Board (if it is intended to consider matters of attendance, past behavior, grades, etc., copies of these records shall be sent with the notice).

(7) Copies of the District’s Student Conduct Code (and/or relevant Board policies, rules and regulations); and the suspension or expulsion procedure.

(8) The time and place of the hearing.

(9) The requirement that the hearing will be closed (private) unless the student or head of household requests in writing that it be held during a meeting open to the public. If the session is to be open, the head of the household must release all relevant confidential information concerning the student.

(10) A brief summary of how the hearing will be conducted, pointing out that the student and head of household will be given a chance to be heard.

(11) Information that the student, head of household and an attorney, if desired, may be present.

(12) Notice that the student may appeal any adverse decision to the Department of Education.

3. The hearing will be held as soon as possible following the incident causing the hearing, so the student, if suspended pending the hearing, will miss as little school as possible. Consideration must be given to the availability of Directors and the notice requirements. The hearing shall be held at a mutually agreeable time.

4. At the hearing the student, accompanied by the student’s head of household, and represented by an attorney of his/her choice, or another person of their choosing, if desired, shall be present at all times when evidence is presented, but not during board deliberations.

5. The student shall have the right to have evidentiary portions of the hearings recorded (not the Board’s deliberation), by a Certified Court Reporter at the student’s expense.

6. The hearing shall be conducted in closed session as follows:

(a) Personnel from the school involved shall present the facts as they understand them and may call witnesses or present testimony by affidavit.

(b) The student (or his/her representative or attorney) and the Board through legal counsel may question school personnel and/or their witnesses.

(c) The student, the head of household, and any other witnesses desired by the student may give such evidence or explanation the student desires. Such evidence or explanation may be by affidavit.

(d) The school personnel and the Board through legal counsel may question the student and/or his/her witnesses.

(e) Both the administration and the student shall have an opportunity to rebut evidence presented by the other, provided that can be done without a continuance.

(f) Both the administration and the student will be allowed to make a summary to the Board with the administration making its presentation first.

(g) After both summaries, the Board, with or without the student present, shall determine whether the violation has been verified. If it is determined that the student was not guilty of the violation (or that the student’s presence is not detrimental to the best interests of the school), the hearing shall cease and the student, if out of school, shall immediately be returned to school.

(1) An attorney hired by the Board may not both present evidence and advise the Board.

(2) Only the Board shall deliberate and decide the issue. However, the Board Secretary may be present and Board’s attorney, if any.

If it is determined that the student is guilty of the violation, the Board shall rule on the consequences to be imposed.

7. The Board shall determine the appropriate disciplinary action, which may be expulsion or any lesser consequence. If the student is expelled, the Board shall determine the length of the expulsion and the terms of readmittance.

Such disciplinary actions may include: probation; in-school suspension; out-of school suspension, and/or expulsion.

A student’s return to the school environment after an expulsion may be conditioned upon meeting the re-admittance requirements set by the Board.

8. At the conclusion of the Board’s deliberation, the Board shall reconvene in open session. The decision to expel shall be based exclusively on the testimony and other material presented at the hearing.

9. In the event of an expulsion, the administration shall, if possible and appropriate under the circumstance, afford the student a chance to continue his/her education in an alternative manner.

10. When this procedure is used as a readmission hearing following an expulsion, the Board may, on the recommendation of the administrator in charge vote to readmit the student without a formal hearing.

Adopted: Unknown
Modified: 05/22/89; 08/21/95; 07/19/99
Reviewed: 03/21/94; 08/07/95; 06/28/99; 11/16//09; 12/07/09; 10/06/14

Legal Reference: Goss v. Lopez, 419 U.S. 565 (1975).
Wood v. Strickland, 420 U.S. 308 (1975).
Southeast Warren Comm. School Dist. v. Dept. of Public Instruction, 285 N.W.2d 173 (Iowa 1979).
Iowa Code 21.5; 282.3, .4, .5 (1993).
281 I.A.C. 12.3(8).

Cross Reference: Series 502 Student Behavior and Discipline

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