Suspension and Expulsion/Due Process

MJUSD
DIVISION 5000
STUDENTS
ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATION

SUSPENSION AND EXPULSION/DUE PROCESS

Definitions

Suspension from school means removal of a student from ongoing instruction for adjustment purposes. However, suspension does not mean any of the following: (Education Code 48925)

  1. Reassignment to another education program or class at the same school where the student will receive continuing instruction for the length of day prescribed by the Governing Board for students of the same grade level.
  2. Referral to a certificated employee designated by the principal to advise students.
  3. Removal from the class, but without reassignment to another class or program, for the remainder of the class period without sending the student to the principal or designee as provided in Education Code 48910. Removal from a particular class shall not occur more than once every five school days.

Expulsion means removal of a student from the immediate supervision and control or the general supervision of school personnel. (Education Code 48925)

Day means a calendar day unless otherwise specifically provided. (Education Code 48925)

School day means a day upon which the schools of the district are in session or weekdays during the summer recess. (Education Code 48925)

Principal's designee means one or more administrators or, if there is not a second administrator at one school site, a certificated person specifically designated by the principal, in writing, to assist with disciplinary procedures. Only one such person may be designated at any time as the principal's primary designee and only one such person may be designated as secondary designee for the school year. The names of such persons shall be on file in the principal's office. (Education Code 48911)

School property, for the purposes described in Education Code 48900, includes, but is not limited to, electronic files and databases. (Education Code 48900(u))

Notice of Regulations

At the beginning of each school year, the principal of each school shall ensure that all students and parents/guardians are notified in writing of all school rules related to discipline, including suspension and expulsion. (Education Code 35291, 48900.1, 48980)

Grounds for Suspension and Expulsion

Acts for which a student, including a student with disabilities, may be suspended or expelled shall be only those specified as follows:

  1. Caused, attempted to cause, or threatened to cause physical injury to another person; willfully used force or violence upon another person, except in self-defense; or committed as an aider or abettor, as adjudged by a juvenile court, a crime of physical violence in which the victim suffered great or serious bodily injury (Education Code 48900(a) and (t))
  2. Possessed, sold, or otherwise furnished any firearm, knife, explosive, or other dangerous object, unless, in the case of possession of any object of this type, the student had obtained written permission to possess the item from a certificated school employee, with the principal or designee's concurrence (Education Code 48900(b))
  3. Unlawfully possessed, used, sold, otherwise furnished, or was under the influence of any controlled substance as defined in Health and Safety Code 11053-11058, alcoholic beverage, or intoxicant of any kind (Education Code 48900(c))
  4. Unlawfully offered, arranged, or negotiated to sell any controlled substance as defined in Health and Safety Code 11053-11058, alcoholic beverage, or intoxicant of any kind, and then sold, delivered, or otherwise furnished to any person another liquid, substance, or material and represented same as such controlled substance, alcoholic beverage, or intoxicant (Education Code 48900(d))
  5. Committed or attempted to commit robbery or extortion (Education Code 48900(e))
  6. Caused or attempted to cause damage to school property or private property(Education Code 48900(f))
  7. Stole or attempted to steal school property or private property (Education Code 48900(g))
  8. Possessed or used tobacco or products containing tobacco or nicotine products, including, but not limited to, cigars, cigarettes, miniature cigars, clove cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, snuff, chew packets, and betel, except that this restriction shall not prohibit a student from using or possessing his/her own prescription products (Education Code 48900(h))
  9. Committed an obscene act or engaged in habitual profanity or vulgarity (Education Code 48900(i))
  10. Unlawfully possessed, offered, arranged, or negotiated to sell any drug paraphernalia, as defined in Health and Safety Code 11014.5 (Education Code 48900(j))
  11. Disrupted school activities or otherwise willfully defied the valid authority of supervisors, teachers, administrators, other school officials, or other school personnel engaged in the performance of their duties (Education Code 48900(k))
  12. Knowingly received stolen school property or private property (Education Code 48900(l))
  13. Possessed an imitation firearm (Education Code 48900(m))

Imitation firearm means a replica of a firearm that is so substantially similar in physical properties to an existing firearm as to lead a reasonable person to conclude that the replica is a firearm. (Education Code 48900(m))

  1. Committed or attempted to commit a sexual assault as defined in Penal Code 261, 266c, 286, 288, 288a, or 289, or committed a sexual battery as defined in Penal Code 243.4 (Education Code 48900(n))
  2. Harassed, threatened, or intimidated a student who is a complaining witness or witness in a school disciplinary proceeding for the purpose of preventing that student from being a witness and/or retaliating against that student for being a witness(Education Code 48900(o))
  3. Unlawfully offered, arranged to sell, negotiated to sell, or sold the prescription drug Soma (Education Code 48900(p))
  4. Engaged in, or attempted to engage in, hazing (Education Code 48900(q))

Hazing means a method of initiation or pre-initiation into a student organization or body, whether or not the organization or body is officially recognized by an educational institution, which is likely to cause serious bodily injury or personal degradation or disgrace resulting in physical or mental harm to a former, current, or prospective student. Hazing does not include athletic events or school-sanctioned events.

  1. Engaged in an act of bullying (Education Code 48900(r))

Bullying means any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or by means of an electronic act, directed toward one or more students that has or can reasonably be predicted to have the effect of placing a reasonable student in fear of harm to himself/herself or his/her property; cause the student to experience a substantially detrimental effect on his/her physical or mental health; or cause the student to experience substantial interferences with his/her academic performance or ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.

Bullying shall include any act of sexual harassment, hate violence, or harassment, threat, or intimidation, as defined in Education Code 48900.2, 48900.3, or 48900.4 (items #21-23 below), that has any of the effects described above on a reasonable student.

Electronic act means the creation or transmission of a communication originated on or off school site, including, but not limited to, a message, text, sound, image, or post on a social network Internet web site, by means of an electronic device, including, but not limited to, a telephone, wireless telephone, or other wireless communication device, computer, or pager. A post on a social network Internet web site shall include, but is not limited to, the posting or creation of a burn page or the creation of a credible impersonation or false profile for the purpose of causing a reasonable student any of the effects of bullying described above.

Reasonable student means a student, including, but not limited to, a student who has been identified as a student with a disability, who exercises average care, skill, and judgment in conduct for a person of his/her age, or for a person of his/her age with his/her disability. (Education Code 48900(r))

  1. Aided or abetted the infliction or attempted infliction of physical injury on another person, as defined in Penal Code 31. (Education Code 48900(t))
  2. Made terrorist threats against school officials and/or school property. (Education Code 48900.7)

A terrorist threat includes any written or oral statement by a person who willfully threatens to commit a crime which will result in death or great bodily injury to another person or property damage in excess of $1,000, with the specific intent that the statement is to be taken as a threat, even if there is no intent of actually carrying it out. (Education Code 48900.7)

A student in grades 4-12 is also subject to suspension or recommendation for expulsion when it is determined that he/she:

  1. Committed sexual harassment as defined in Education Code 212.5 (Education Code 48900.2)

Sexual harassment means conduct which, when considered from the perspective of a reasonable person of the same gender as the victim, is sufficiently severe or pervasive as to have a negative impact upon the victim's academic performance or to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment. (Education Code 212.5, 48900.2)

  1. Caused, attempted to cause, threatened to cause, or participated in an act of hate violence as defined in Education Code 233 (Education Code 48900.3)

Hate violence means any act punishable under Penal Code 422.6, 422.7, or 422.75. Such acts include injuring or intimidating a victim, interfering with the exercise of a victim's civil rights, or damaging a victim's property because of the victim's race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation; a perception of the presence of any of those characteristics in the victim; or the victim's association with a person or group with one or more of those actual or perceived characteristics. (Education Code 233; Penal Code 422.55)

  1. Intentionally engaged in harassment, threats, or intimidation against district personnel or students that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to have the actual and reasonably expected effect of materially disrupting classwork, creating substantial disorder, and invading the rights of school personnel or students by creating an intimidating or hostile educational environment (Education Code 48900.4)

Removal from Class by a Teacher and Parental Attendance

A teacher may remove a student from his/her class for the remainder of the day and the following day only for acts specified in Education Code 48900 and listed under "Grounds for Suspension and Expulsion" above. (Education Code 48910)

When removing a student from his/her class, the teacher shall immediately report this action to the principal or designee and send the student to the principal or designee for appropriate action. If that action requires the continuing presence of the student at school, he/she shall be appropriately supervised during the class periods from which he/she has been removed. (Education Code 48910)

As soon as possible after the teacher decides to remove the student, he/she shall ask the student's parent/guardian to attend a parent-teacher conference regarding the removal. A counselor or psychologist may attend the conference if it is practicable, and a school administrator shall attend if either the parent/guardian or teacher so requests. (Education Code 48910)

A student removed from class shall not be returned to class during the period of removal without the approval of the teacher of the class and the principal or designee. (Education Code 48910)

A student removed from class shall not be placed in another regular class during the period of removal. However, a student assigned to more than one class per day may continue to attend other regular classes except those held at the same time as the class from which he/she was removed. (Education Code 48910)

The teacher of any class from which a student is removed may require the student to complete any assignments and tests missed during the removal. (Education Code 48913)

Pursuant to Board policy, a teacher may require the parent/guardian of a student whom the teacher has removed to attend a portion of a school day in his/her child's classroom. When a teacher makes this request, the principal shall send the parent/guardian a written notice that the parent/guardian's attendance is requested pursuant to law. (Education Code 48900.1)

The notice shall:

  1. Inform the parent/guardian when his/her presence is expected and by what means he/she may arrange an alternate date
  2. State that if the parent/guardian does not have a means of transportation to school, he/she may ride the school bus with the student
  3. Direct the parent/guardian to meet with the principal after the visit and before leaving school
  4. Direct the parent/guardian to contact the school if there are reasonable factors that would prevent him/her from complying with the attendance requirement

Suspension by Superintendent, Principal, or Designee

The Superintendent, principal, or designee shall immediately suspend any student found at school or at a school activity to be: (Education Code 48915(c))

  1. Possessing, as verified by a district employee, selling, or otherwise furnishing a firearm, unless the student had obtained prior written permission to possess the item from a certificated school employee, with the principal or designee's concurrence
  2. Brandishing a knife as defined in Education Code 48915(g)
  3. Unlawfully selling a controlled substance listed in Health and Safety Code 11053-11058
  4. Committing or attempting to commit a sexual assault as defined in Penal Code 261, 266c, 286, 288, 288a, or 289, or committing a sexual battery as defined in Penal Code 243.4
  5. Possessing an explosive as defined in 18 USC 921

In addition, the Superintendent, principal, or designee may impose a suspension upon a first offense if he/she determines that the student violated any of items #1-5 listed under "Grounds for Suspension and Expulsion" above or if the student's presence causes a danger to persons. (Education Code 48900.5)

For all other offenses, a student may be suspended only when the Superintendent or principal has determined that other means of correction have failed to bring about proper conduct in the student. (Education Code 48900.5)

When other means of correction are implemented prior to imposing suspension or supervised suspension upon a student, the Superintendent, principal, or designee shall document the other means of correction used and retain them in the student's record. (Education Code 48900.5)

Length of Suspension

The Superintendent, principal, or designee may suspend a student from school for not more than five consecutive school days unless the suspension is extended pending expulsion. (Education Code 48911)

A student may be suspended from school for not more than 20 school days in any school year. However, when a student enrolls in or is transferred to another regular school, an opportunity school, or continuation school or class for the purpose of adjustment, he/she may be suspended for not more than 30 school days in a school year. The district may count suspensions that occur while a student is enrolled in another school district toward the maximum number of days for which the student may be suspended in any school year. (Education Code 48903, 48911, 48912)

These restrictions on the number of days of suspension shall not apply when the suspension is extended pending an expulsion. (Education Code 48911)

Due Process Procedures for Suspension

Suspensions shall be imposed in accordance with the following procedures:

  1. Informal Conference: Suspension shall be preceded by an informal conference conducted by the Superintendent, principal, or designee with the student and, whenever practicable, the teacher, supervisor, or school employee who referred the student to the principal. At the conference, the student shall be informed of the reason for the disciplinary action, presented with the evidence against him/her, and given the opportunity to present his/her version and evidence in support of his/her defense. (Education Code 48911)

This conference may be omitted if the Superintendent, principal, or designee determines that an emergency situation exists involving a clear and present danger to the lives, safety, or health of students or school personnel. If a student is suspended without this conference, both the parent/guardian and student shall be notified of the student's right to return to school for the purpose of the conference. The conference shall be held within two school days, unless the student waives his/her right to it or is physically unable to attend for any reason. In such a case, the conference shall be held as soon as the student is physically able to return to school. (Education Code 48911)

  1. Administrative Actions: All requests for student suspension are to be processed by the principal or designee. A school employee shall report the suspension, including the name of the student and the cause for the suspension, to the Superintendent or designee. (Education Code 48911)
  2. Notice to Parents/Guardians: At the time of the suspension, a school employee shall make a reasonable effort to contact the parent/guardian by telephone or in person. Whenever a student is suspended, the parent/guardian shall be notified in writing of the suspension. (Education Code 48911)

This notice shall state the specific offense committed by the student. (Education Code 48900.8)

In addition, the notice may state the date and time when the student may return to school. If school officials wish to ask the parent/guardian to confer regarding matters pertinent to the suspension, the notice may add that state law requires the parent/guardian to respond to such requests without delay.

  1. Parent/Guardian Conference: Whenever a student is suspended, school officials may meet with the parent/guardian to discuss the cause(s) and duration of the suspension, the school policy involved, and any other pertinent matter. (Education Code 48914)

Although the parent/guardian is required to respond without delay to a request for a conference about his/her child's behavior, no penalties may be imposed on the student for the failure of the parent/guardian to attend such a conference. The student may not be denied reinstatement solely because the parent/guardian failed to attend the conference. (Education Code 48911)

  1. Extension of Suspension: If the Board is considering the expulsion of a suspended student from any school or the suspension of a student for the balance of the semester from continuation school, the Superintendent or designee may, in writing, extend the suspension until such time as the Board has made a decision.(Education Code 48911)

Any extension of the original period of suspension shall be preceded by notice of such extension with an offer to hold a conference concerning the extension, giving the student an opportunity to be heard. This conference may be held in conjunction with a meeting requested by the student or parent/guardian to challenge the original suspension. Extension of the suspension may be made only if the Superintendent or designee determines, following a meeting in which the student and the student's parent/guardian were invited to participate, that the student's presence at the school or at an alternative school would endanger persons or property or threaten to disrupt the instructional process. (Education Code 48911)

If the student involved is a foster youth, the Superintendent or designee shall notify the district liaison for foster youth of the need to invite the student's attorney and a representative of the appropriate county child welfare agency to attend the meeting. (Education Code 48853.5, 48911, 48918.1)

In addition to suspending a student, the Superintendent, principal, or designee may provide services or require the student to participate in an alternative disciplinary program designed to correct his/her behavior and keep him/her in school.

Suspension by the Board

The Board may suspend a student for any of the acts listed under "Grounds for Suspension and Expulsion" above and within the limits specified under "Suspension by Superintendent, Principal, or Designee" above. (Education Code 48912)

The Board may suspend a student enrolled in a continuation school or class for a period not longer than the remainder of the semester if any of the acts listed under "Grounds for Suspension and Expulsion" occurred. The suspension shall meet the requirements of Education Code 48915. (Education Code 48912.5)

When the Board is considering a suspension, disciplinary action, or any other action (except expulsion) against any student, it shall hold a closed session if a public hearing would lead to disclosure of information violating a student's right to privacy under Education Code 49073-49079. (Education Code 35146, 48912)

The Board shall provide the student and his/her parent/guardian with written notice of the closed session by registered or certified mail or personal service. Upon receiving this notice, the student or parent/guardian may request a public meeting, and this request shall be granted if made in writing within 48 hours after receipt of the Board's notice. However, any discussion that conflicts with any other student's right to privacy still shall be held in closed session. (Education Code 35146, 48912)

Supervised Suspension Classroom

A student for whom an expulsion action has not been initiated and who poses no imminent danger or threat to the school, students, or staff may be assigned to a supervised suspension classroom in a separate classroom, building, or site for the entire period of suspension. The following conditions shall apply: (Education Code 48911.1)

  1. The supervised suspension classroom shall be staffed in accordance with law.
  2. The student shall have access to appropriate counseling services.
  3. The supervised suspension classroom shall promote completion of schoolwork and tests missed by the student during the suspension.
  4. The student shall be responsible for contacting his/her teacher(s) to receive assignments to be completed in the supervised suspension classroom. The teacher(s) shall provide all assignments and tests that the student will miss while suspended. If no such work is assigned, the person supervising the suspensan alternative means of correction would address the conduct, he/she shall recommend a student's expulsion for any of the following acts: (Education Code 48915(a))
  1. Causing serious physical injury to another person, except in self-defense
  2. Possession of any knife as defined in Education Code 48915(g) or other dangerous object of no reasonable use to the student
  3. Unlawful possession of any controlled substance as listed in Health and Safety Code 11053-11058, except for (a) the first offense for the possession of not more than one ounce of marijuana, other than concentrated cannabis, or (b) the student's possession of over-the-counter medication for his/her use or other medication prescribed for him/her by a physician
  4. Robbery or extortion
  5. Assault or battery, as defined in Penal Code 240 and 242, upon any school employee

In determining whether or not to recommend the expulsion of a student, the Superintendent, principal, or designee shall act as quickly as possible to ensure that the student does not lose instructional time. (Education Code 48915)

Mandatory Recommendation and Mandatory Expulsion

The Superintendent, principal, or designee shall recommend that the Board expel any student found at school or at a school activity to be: (Education Code 48915(c))

  1. Possessing, as verified by a district employee, selling, or otherwise furnishing a firearm, unless the student had obtained prior written permission to possess the firearm from a certificated school employee, with the principal or designee's concurrence

However, possession of an imitation firearm, as defined in Education Code 48900(m), shall not be regarded as an offense requiring a mandatory recommendation for expulsion and mandatory expulsion.

  1. Brandishing a knife as defined in Education Code 48915(g) at another person
  2. Unlawfully selling a controlled substance listed in Health and Safety Code 11053-11058
  3. Committing or attempting to commit a sexual assault as defined in Penal Code 261, 266c, 286, 288, 288a, or 289, or committing a sexual battery as defined in Penal Code 243.4
  4. Possessing an explosive as defined in 18 USC 921

Upon finding that the student committed any of the above acts, the Board shall expel the student. (Education Code 48915)

Student's Right to Expulsion Hearing

Any student recommended for expulsion shall be entitled to a hearing to determine whether he/she should be expelled. The hearing shall be held within 30 school days after the Superintendent, principal, or designee determines that the student has committed one of the acts listed above under "Grounds for Suspension and Expulsion." (Education Code 48918(a))

The student is entitled to at least one postponement of an expulsion hearing for a period of not more than 30 calendar days. The request for postponement shall be in writing. Any subsequent postponement may be granted at the Board's discretion. (Education Code 48918(a))

If the Board finds it impractical during the regular school year to comply with these time requirements for conducting an expulsion hearing, the Superintendent or designee may, for good cause, extend the time period by an additional five school days. Reasons for the extension shall be included as a part of the record when the expulsion hearing is held. (Education Code 48918(a))

If the Board finds it impractical to comply with the

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