Must a student be expelled for assaulting a staff member? When is an expelled student eligible for reinstatement? What special rules apply for students with disabilities? How much “process” is due a student before a suspension or expulsion?
Before disciplining a student, school officials must understand the interplay between constitutional due process requirements; federal law, including the Gun-Free Schools Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act; and state law, including the Revised School Code’s mandatory suspension and expulsion requirements.
Many schools have outdated, confusing, and internally inconsistent student discipline policies. Most schools do not have preprinted letters, resolutions, or forms to help officials meet their legal obligations. Without clear and consistent policies and forms, schools run the risk of violating a student’s rights, violating the law, and facing potential civil liability and financial penalties.
To assist our clients in complying with the various student discipline requirements, Thrun Law Firm is developing a model student discipline policy and related forms. Included with the policy are form notification letters; board resolutions for suspension, expulsion, and reinstatement; a statement of procedural rights; and a detailed student discipline checklist.
The policy and forms are intended for those schools that have, or intend to adopt, a discipline model for which building administrators are delegated authority to suspend students on a short-term basis (e.g., up to 10 days), the superintendent or chief executive officer is delegated authority to suspend students for longer periods of time, and the board reserves the authority to long-term suspend and expel. If your school uses a different discipline model, please contact a Thrun Law Firm attorney to discuss how the documents may be individually tailored for your school.
The complete discipline policy and related forms will be available for purchase in early August. Schools may preorder the policy by completing and returning the attached order form.