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STUDENT SUSPENSION, EXPULSION, AND CLASSROOM REMOVAL - REGULATION

Policy Number: 
Board File: JKD/JKE-R

Procedure for Suspensions

The following procedures shall be followed in any suspension.

  1. Notice The principal, the principal’s designee, or the Superintendent shall give the student notice whenever a suspension is contemplated. Notice may be oral or in writing.
     
  2. Contents of Notice The notice shall contain the following:

    a.  A statement of the policy or regulation, which the student is alleged to have violated.

b.  A statement of the factual basis for the allegation.

c.  The time and place set for hearing the matter (which, for suspensions of ten days or less, may be at the time and place notice is given).

  1. Informal Hearing Any student suspended for ten days or less shall be given an opportunity to explain his or her position regarding a disruption in the classroom or an incident constituting grounds for discipline. An informal hearing, however, does not generally include representation by counsel, the ability to confront and cross-examine witnesses, or to call witnesses to verify the student’s version of the incident. However, the administrator conducting the informal hearing may, acting within his or her discretion, allow the student to present witnesses and may call persons who witnessed the alleged improper conduct to present evidence in the presence of the student. As a minimum, the student must be given an explanation of the evidence against him or her.
     
  2. Review Any student suspended for more than ten days shall be given the opportunity to request a review of the suspension before the Superintendent or designee. The decision of the Superintendent or designee shall be final.
     
  3. Timing Notice and an informal hearing should precede removal of the student from school unless immediate removal is necessary as provided in paragraph 6 below. There need be no delay between the time notice is given and the time of hearing. Once a determination has been made to suspend a student, the student shall be required to leave the school building and the school grounds immediately upon arrangements being made for a transfer of custody in accordance with paragraph 7 below.
     
  4. If the Student’s Presence in School Presents a Danger Notice and an informal hearing need not be given prior to removal from school where a student’s presence constitutes a continuing danger to the student himself or herself, other persons or property, or a continuing threat of disrupting the academic process. In such cases, notice to the student of the alleged misconduct and an informal hearing shall follow as soon as practicable after the student’s removal from school. Any student who poses a threat of physical harm to himself or herself or other persons shall be removed from school immediately upon arrangements being made for a transfer of custody in accordance with paragraph 7 below.

The principal or designee shall immediately remove a student with a disability from a situation in which he or she poses a threat of physical harm to himself or herself or to other persons. The student shall be suspended or placed in an appropriate alternative setting, subject to the limitations imposed on the discipline of students with disabilities by federal law, as set forth in this regulation.

  1. Transfer of Custody No student of minor age shall be released from the custody of school personnel, except in the case of a transfer to law enforcement authorities, until arrangements have been made for a transfer of custody with a parent, guardian, legal custodian, or parent’s designee. In accordance with state law, law enforcement authorities may be involved in the removal of students from school where there are reasonable grounds to believe that the student has committed an act which would be a felony, misdemeanor, or municipal ordinance violation if committed by an adult. If transfer is made to law enforcement authorities, the student’s parents, guardian, or legal custodian shall be notified as soon as practicable.
     
  2. Report Following a suspension, the principal or his/her designee shall immediately attempt to notify the student’s parents, guardian, or legal custodian of the action by telephone. In addition, a written report stating the length of suspension, reasons for the action, and time and place for the parents, guardian, or legal custodian to meet to review the suspension, shall be mailed or delivered to the student’s parents, guardian, or legal custodian within three school days following a suspension or as soon thereafter as practicable.
     
  3. Readmittance No student shall be readmitted to school until a meeting has taken place between the principal or designee and the student’s parents, guardian, or legal custodian to review the suspension, or until, in the discretion of the principal or designee, a parent, guardian, or legal custodian of the suspended student has substantially agreed to review the suspension with the principal or designee. If the principal or designee cannot contact the parent, guardian, or legal custodian of such student or if a parent, guardian, or legal custodian repeatedly fails to appear for scheduled meetings, the suspending authority may readmit such student. The purpose of the re-admittance conference shall be to address whether there is a need to develop a remedial discipline plan for the pupil in an effort to prevent further disciplinary action.
     
  4. Students with Disabilities Students with disabilities are subject to suspension on the same grounds as students without disabilities, except that such students are subject to the special considerations and procedures outlined in this regulation and current law.

Students with disabilities who engage in misconduct may be removed from their current placement and be suspended, placed in an appropriate interim alternative educational setting, or placed in another setting for not more than 10 consecutive school days, and for additional periods of not more than 10 consecutive school days in that same school year for separate incidents of misconduct (as long as those removals do not constitute a change of placement under applicable law). In addition, a student with an IEP may be removed from his or her current placement and placed in an interim alternative setting chosen by the IEP team for not more than 45 consecutive school days if a hearing officer so orders, or if the student, while at school or at a school function: (1) carried or possessed a weapon; (2) knowingly possessed or used illegal drugs, or sold or solicited a controlled substances; or (3) inflicted serious bodily injury upon another person. Section 504 students may be disciplined for the use or possession of illegal drugs or alcohol to the same extent as students without disabilities.

If school personnel seek to remove a student with disabilities from his or her current placement for more than 10 consecutive school days (except as provided in the proceeding paragraph), then the District must, no later than by the date the decision to take such disciplinary action is made, notify the parent of that decision and of all procedural safeguards accorded under applicable law, and, no later than 10 school days after the disciplinary decision is made, meet with the parent and relevant members of the student’s IEP or § 504 team (as determined by the District and the parent), to determine in accordance with applicable law if the student’s conduct was a manifestation of his or her disability. 

If the IEP or § 504 team determines that the student’s conduct was not a manifestation of the student’s disability, then the District may proceed with discipline in the same manner as with a student without disabilities, except that a student with an IEP must continue to receive educational services as determined by the IEP team. In addition, as deemed appropriate by the IEP team, the student may receive a functional behavioral assessment and behavioral intervention services and modifications designed to address the behavior for which the student was suspended, or, if behavioral intervention services and modifications are already in place, have them reviewed and modified as the IEP team deems necessary.

If the IEP or § 504 team determines that the student’s conduct was a manifestation of the student’s disability, then the District must discontinue the suspension proceedings and return the student to the placement from which he or she was removed, unless otherwise agreed to by the parent. In addition, for students with IEPs, the IEP team must conduct a functional behavioral assessment and implement a behavioral intervention plan for the student, or, if a behavioral intervention plan was already in place, review and modify it as the team deems necessary.

Procedure for Expulsion

In the event that the Superintendent contemplates action expelling any student, the following procedures shall be followed:

  1. Notice Not less than ten days prior to the date of contemplated action, the Superintendent shall cause written notice of such proposed action to be delivered to the student and his or her parents, guardian, or legal custodian. Such delivery may be by United States mail or by personal delivery. If mailed, delivery shall be deemed to be completed at such time as the notice is deposited in the United States mail addressed to the last known address of the student or his or her parents, guardian, or legal custodian.
     
  2. Emergency Notice In the event the Board determines that an emergency exists necessitating a shorter period of notice, the period of notice may be shortened to the extent the Board may direct, provided that the student or his or her parents, guardian, or legal custodian have actual notice of the hearing prior to the time it is held.
     
  3. Contents of Notice The notice shall contain the following:

a.   A statement of the rule or regulation, which the student is alleged to have violated.

b.  A statement that a hearing on the question of expulsion will be held within the period of suspension applicable to the student if requested by the student or his or her parents, guardian, or legal custodian.

c.  A statement of the date, time, and place of the hearing in the event one is requested.

d.  A statement that the student may be present at the hearing and hear all information against him or her; that the student will have an opportunity to present such information as is relevant; and that the student may be accompanied and represented by his or her parents, guardian, or legal custodian and an attorney.

e.  A statement that failure to request a hearing within five calendar days or failure to participate in such a hearing constitutes a waiver of further rights in the matter.

f.   A statement of the effective date and duration of the contemplated expulsion.

  1. Hearing The hearing shall be conducted by the Superintendent, or his/ her designee acting as the hearing officer. A recording of the hearing will be made.

a.  At the hearing the student may be represented by an attorney. If a student is represented by an attorney, the student or the student’s parent must notify the Superintendent or designee of this fact by telephone or in writing when an expulsion hearing is requested, and in no event fewer than three business days before the hearing date. Failure to provide timely notification of attorney representation will result in a continuance of the hearing and a corresponding extension of the period of suspension to allow the District to obtain legal counsel.

b.  The student will be afforded the opportunity to confront and cross-examine witnesses called by the school administration. The student may call his or her own witnesses. The school administration may cross-examine the witnesses called by the student. The hearing officer may limit the number of witnesses. Factors justifying the limitation of witnesses include:

1.  Whether the witness saw the offense or possesses other relevant information regarding the offense; and

2.  Whether the witness’s testimony is redundant or duplicates other testimony already given.

c.  If a hearing officer conducts the hearing, the hearing officer will make specific factual findings and will promptly submit to the Superintendent those findings and a recommendation regarding the expulsion.

  1. Superintendent’s Decision The Superintendent will review the hearing officer’s factual findings and recommendation, or if the Superintendent conducts the hearing, the Superintendent will make factual findings. No later than five business days after the hearing conducted by the Superintendent or hearing officer, the Superintendent will issue a written decision.
     
  2. Appeals to the Board

a.  The student or parent may appeal the Superintendent’s written decision to the Board of Education. A request for appeal must be in writing and be received by the District no later than ten business days after the student, parent, or representative receives the Superintendent’s decision. The written request for appeal must state the grounds for appealing the Superintendent’s written decision and explain why those grounds exist and support the relief the appellant seeks (such as a re-hearing, a shortening of the expulsion period, or a complete overturning of the expulsion decision). The grounds for appeal must be one of the following:

1. The Superintendent’s decision is not supported by the facts established at the hearing;

2. The student was not afforded procedural due process; or

3. The student was expelled in violation of Board policy.

The Superintendent or designee may address matters raised in the request for appeal for inclusion in the record to be considered by the Board. Failure to request an appeal within five business days of receipt of the Superintendent’s decision will result in a waiver of the right to appeal and the Superintendent’s written decision will become final.

 b.  If an appeal is properly requested, the Board will review the record concerning the expulsion. The record includes notices and other documents concerning the suspension and expulsion, the transcript of the testimony, if any, the hearing exhibits, the findings and recommendation of the hearing officer or Superintendent, the Superintendent’s written decision, and other documents concerning the expulsion. The student may be represented by counsel at the appeal. Representatives of the District and the parents may make brief statements to the Board, but no new evidence will be presented unless such evidence was not reasonably discoverable at the time of the hearing.

c.  The Board will make a final determination regarding the expulsion of the student and will inform the student and his or her parent(s) of the right to judicial review.

  1. Students with Disabilities Students with disabilities are subject to expulsion on the same grounds as students without disabilities, except that such students are subject to the special considerations and procedures outlined in this regulation and the law.

Before expelling a student with disabilities, the District must, no later than by the date the decision to take such disciplinary action is made, notify the parent of that decision and of all procedural safeguards accorded under applicable law, and, no later than 10 school days after the disciplinary decision is made, meet with the parent and relevant members of the student’s IEP or § 504 team (as determined by the District and the parent), to determine in accordance with applicable law if the student’s conduct was a manifestation of his or her disability.

If the IEP or § 504 team determines that the student’s conduct was not a manifestation of the student’s disability, then the District may proceed with expulsion in the same manner as with a student without disabilities, except that a student with an IEP must continue to receive educational services as determined by the IEP team. In addition, as deemed appropriate by the IEP team, the student may receive a functional behavioral assessment and behavioral intervention services and modifications designed to address the behavior for which the student was expelled, or, if behavioral intervention services and modifications are already in place, have them reviewed and modified as the IEP team deems necessary.

If the IEP or § 504 team determines that the student’s conduct was a manifestation of the student’s disability, then the District must discontinue the expulsion proceedings and return the student to the placement from which the student was removed, unless otherwise agreed to by the parent. In addition, for students with IEPs, the IEP team must conduct a functional behavioral assessment and implement a behavioral intervention plan for the student, or, if a behavioral intervention plan was already in place, review and modify it as the IEP team deems necessary.

  1. Parental Responsibility for School Attendance If a student between the ages of six and seventeen is expelled for the remainder of a school year, the parents, guardian, or legal custodian of the student are responsible under state law for ensuring compliance with Colorado’s compulsory attendance laws during the period of expulsion.
     
  2. Readmittance A readmittance conference of the type described in paragraph 9 of the procedures for suspension section of this policy shall be held prior to an expelled student being readmitted to school.

Procedure for Classroom Removal

The following procedures shall be followed with respect to any disciplinary removal of a student from the classroom.

  1. A teacher may remove a student from the teacher’s classroom for one day for causing a material and substantial disruption in the classroom through behavior that is initiated, willful, and overt on the part of the student.
     
  2. Except as otherwise set forth in this section, prior to any disciplinary removal of a student from the classroom, the teacher shall provide the same level of due process to which the student would be entitled for a suspension from school of ten days or less, as set forth above and in Policy JKD/JKE. Also prior to any disciplinary removal of a student from the classroom, the teacher shall consult with the principal or principal’s designee to ensure that the student has received due process in connection with the removal and that the student is receiving the appropriate level of discipline for his or her behavior.
     
  3. The teacher initiating the disciplinary removal of a student from the classroom shall provide the principal or principal’s designee with assignments and other course work to be completed by the student during the period of removal, and shall contact the parent or legal guardian of the student as soon as possible after the removal to request the parent’s or legal guardian’s attendance at a conference with the teacher concerning the removal.
     
  4. The teacher may develop a behavior plan approved by the principal or principal’s designee after a student’s first one-day removal from the classroom during any grading term (quarter, trimester, or semester) and shall develop a behavior plan approved by the principal or principal’s designee after a student’s second one-day removal from the classroom during any grading term. The behavior plan shall indicate that the third incident during a grading period of material and substantial disruption in the classroom through behavior that is initiated, willful, and overt on the part of the student after classroom removals for the first two incidents will result in the student’s removal from the classroom for the remainder of the grading term. The teacher shall provide a copy of the behavior plan, as well as a copy of each revision thereto, to the student and the parent or legal guardian of the student.
     
  5. For any student removed from the classroom for the remainder of the grading term as provided in paragraph 4 above, the teacher responsible for the removal shall provide the principal or principal’s designee with a lesson plan, assignments, other coursework, quizzes, and exams for the remainder of the grading term which the teacher must grade and return to the student within a reasonable time so as to allow the student to complete and receive credit for the course.
     
  6. Disciplinary classroom removals shall not count as suspensions for purposes of declaring a student as “habitually disruptive.”
     
  7. A teacher’s ability to remove a student with disabilities from the classroom for disciplinary purposes shall be subject to governing law and the terms and conditions of the student’s IEP or § 504 plan.
     

Current practice codified 1978
Issued: November 21, 1978
Revised: September 16, 1986
Revised: September 21, 1993
Revised: August 20, 1996
Revised: July 20, 1999
Revised: August 1, 2000
Revised: June 21, 2005
Revised:  June 3, 2008
 

LEGAL REFS.:
20 U.S.C. 1401 et seq. (Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004)
C.R.S. 22-20-101 et seq. (Exceptional Children’s Educational Act)
C.R.S. 22-32-109.1 (safe schools)
C.R.S. 22-33-102(4.7) (defines “informal hearing”)
C.R.S. 22-33-105 (Suspension, expulsion, and denial of admission)
C.R.S. 18-6-401 (1) (definition of child abuse)
C.R.S. 22-32-109.1 (2)(a) (adoption and enforcement of discipline code)
C.R.S. 22-32-109.1 (2)(a)(III) (discipline of habitually disruptive students is required part of safe schools plan)
C.R.S. 22-32-109.1 (3) (agreements with state agencies)
C.R.S. 22-32-109.1 (9) (immunity provisions in safe schools law)
C.R.S. 22-32-126 (5) (disciplinary information to staff)
C.R.S. 22-33-106 (1)(a-e) (grounds for suspension, expulsion and denial of admission)
C.R.S. 22-33-106 (1)(c.5) (habitually disruptive students)
C.R.S. 22-33-202 (identification of at-risk students)
Jensen v. Reeves, United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, Case No. 99-4142, by Murphy, J.; Anderson, J.; and Kane, J.; entered February 9, 2001. (schools can disclose disciplinary information to victims and witnesses in some circumstances)