When your child is facing disciplinary actions at school like short-term or long-term suspensions or even an expulsion, it’s important that you protect their rights under the law to minimize the impact such action may have on their education.
If your child is facing a suspension of fewer than 11 school days, he or she has the right to receive an explanation for the suspension and have an opportunity to present his or her side of the story to the school. Your child also has the right to take their textbooks home, get missed homework assignments, and make up any exams missed during the suspension.
Long-term suspensions or expulsions
Your child has some additional rights when they have been suspended for more than 10 school days or expelled. In addition to providing an explanation for the suspension, your child’s school must provide the process by which you may request a hearing to appeal the punishment. Your child is entitled to have an attorney represent him or her throughout this hearing process and be allowed to present evidence and question the school’s witnesses. Any such hearing is to be held in front of a neutral third-party who will issue a written decision that will explain its reasoning.
Your child has the right to appeal the initial hearing decision to the local board of education. Any such decision by the board of education can then be appealed to your county’s superior court.
As with a short-term suspension, your child has the right to take their textbooks home, get missed homework assignments, and make up any exams missed during the first 10 days of their suspension.
To the extent that your child’s suspension is significantly longer than 10 days, your child also has a right to continue his or her education. Unless the school district can present a compelling reason, such as a legitimate threat of violence, it must still provide your child with alternative schooling.
If your child has been suspended for more than 365 days or expelled, they have a right to request readmission to their school after 180 calendar days.