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SCHOOL DISCIPLINE JESSICA SCHNEIDER, STAFF ATTORNEY CANDACE MOORE, STAFF ATTORNEY EDUCATIONAL EQUITY PROJECT.

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Presentation on theme: "SCHOOL DISCIPLINE JESSICA SCHNEIDER, STAFF ATTORNEY CANDACE MOORE, STAFF ATTORNEY EDUCATIONAL EQUITY PROJECT."— Presentation transcript:

1 SCHOOL DISCIPLINE JESSICA SCHNEIDER, STAFF ATTORNEY CANDACE MOORE, STAFF ATTORNEY EDUCATIONAL EQUITY PROJECT

2 SCHOOL TO PRISON PIPELINE

3 NATIONAL IMPACT

4

5 LOCAL IMPACT SOURCE: Eric Fischer (2010) at https://www.flickr.com/photos/walkingsf/sets/72157624812674967/map/. https://www.flickr.com/photos/walkingsf/sets/72157624812674967/map/ License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcodehttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

6 LOCAL IMPACT

7 DISCIPLINE BY RACE (‘12-’13)

8 DISCIPLINE FOR STUDENTS W/ DISABILITIES (81%)

9 WHAT DOES THE CHICAGO LAWYERS’ COMMITTEE DO TO COMBAT STPP? EDUCATIONAL EQUITY PROJECT MISSION: PROTECT AND PROMOTE ACCESS TO EDUCATION BY ADDRESSING INDIVIDUAL AND SYSTEMIC BARRIERS THAT DISPROPORTIONATELY IMPACT DISADVANTAGED COMMUNITIES (E.G. RACE, POVERTY, LGBTQ, DISABILITIES, ETC)

10 PROTECTING INDIVIDUAL STUDENTS’ RIGHTS Pro bono cases  Expulsion representation  Re-enrollment advocacy  Anti-bullying advocacy Affirmative litigation  DOE and DOJ complaints based on discrimination  Litigation based on discrimination

11 PROMOTING SYSTEMIC REFORM School policy reform efforts  Changes to student codes of conduct  Addressing systemic discrimination and unfair disproportionality Stakeholder development  Trainings for teachers, administration, parents, and students Reports/briefs/ articles Racial justice work

12 EMPOWERING COMMUNITIES & BUILDING PARTNERSHIPS Advisor to community groups  Standing Up For Each Other (SUFEO)  Restorative Justice Initiative Advocate Partnerships  School Discipline Working Group  School Closings Working Group Outreach  Know your rights trainings for parents and students Community Lawyering  Voices of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE)

13 Overview of School Discipline Law and CPS Updates School-Based Arrests, Suspension, & Expulsion Under IL law and the Code of Conduct 13 ATTORNEY PRO BONO TRAINING

14 CPS  The Chicago Public Schools is the third largest school district in the United States with more than 600 schools providing education to approximately 400,000 children. Our vision is that every student in every neighborhood will be engaged in a rigorous, well-rounded instructional program and will graduate prepared for success in college, career and life. (cps.edu) 14

15 What do we need to cover?  IL School Code (105 ILCS 5/10-22.6, 5/20.12, 5/13A-1)  CPS Code of Conduct  The CPS Discipline system  Suspensions  Expulsions  Other Interventions  Hearings NOTE: A separate presentation will cover law for students with disabilities 15

16 Beyond CPS  Other Codes of Conduct or Student Handbooks  Suburban school districts  Charter schools  Board Policies and Procedures 16

17 Police Involvement in CPS Discipline  School administrators contact the Chicago Police Department (CPD) in two situations:  To seek assistance with an emergency situation or  To notify law enforcement of a criminal act  There are no more situations of mandatory police notification for non-emergency situations (except for drugs and firearms) and there are new guidelines this year of what factors to consider: 17

18 Factors school officials should consider:  Whether student possessed or was in possession of illegal drugs, narcotics, controlled substances, or “look-alikes.”  Whether student was in possession of a firearm (defined in the reference guide) (CPD must be notified in that situation)  The severity of the criminal violation and the degree of harm to the school community 18

19 Factors, continued  Whether a person was physically inured as a result of the student’s conduct  Whether the student presents an imminent danger to the health, safety, welfare of others, and  The student’s age (for 5 th grade or below, school staff must consult with the Law Department PRIOR to reporting to CPD) 19

20 The CPS Student Code of Conduct  The CPS Student Code of Conduct governs what types of punishment are acceptable for which offenses.  Parents and students are both required to sign an “Acknowledgement of Receipt of the Student Code of Conduct.” This will be introduced at a hearing.  The 2014-15 Student Code of Conduct is available online on CPS’ website. Please read the Code of Conduct!  NOTE: While some charter schools use the CPS SCC, most do not. Charters also are exempt from most of IL School Code 20

21 General Requirements Under the SCC  SCC Applies to students at all times during the school day, including  While on school property  While traveling to and from school  At any school-related event  On any vehicle funded by CPS (like a school bus)  While using the CPS network 21

22 New: Guidelines for Effective Discipline (CPS)  Starting this year, school administrators must comply with the Guidelines for Effective Discipline, which shall be issued by the office of Social and Emotional learning  At minimum, a principal or his/her designee has to:  Redirect to correct behavior  Intervene  Gather information  Analyze whether the behavior falls within the SCC  Discuss with the student and provide him/her an opportunity to explain  Make a determination and assign interventions or consequences 22

23 New Guidelines (continued)  The principal/designee also must: o Complete a report in IMPACT for all inappropriate behaviors under the SCC o Inform parents/guardians of their right to appeal if they believe that the consequence is unwarranted tor excessive o Restore the student’s participation in the school community (re-entry meetings) **The Code dictates that administrators use out of school suspensions as a last resort and only when in-school interventions and consequences are insufficient** 23

24 Offenses in the Student Code of Conduct The SCC divides offenses into six groups: Group 1-Innappropriate Behavior Group 2-Disruptive Behavior Group 3-Seriously Disruptive Behavior Group 4-Very Seriously Disruptive Behavior  For each group, there are available interventions and consequences.  Out of school suspension now becomes available starting with Group 4 24

25 Group 5 and 6 Offenses  These are described as “Most Seriously Disruptive Behaviors” and “Illegal and Most Seriously Disruptive Behaviors”  A student may be suspended up to 10 days, but a plan must be created and written justification submitted to IMPACT (Specifically, 5-10 days for Group 6, 3-5 days for Group 5) 25

26 What is a CPS Suspension? 26 In-School Skill Building Suspension  Removal of a student from his/her regular schedule for more than 60 mins. of the school day  Should engage in structured activities  An in-school suspension shall not exceed 5 days.  Reasonable efforts must be made to contact the parent/guardian Out-of-School Suspension  The student is removed from class or school attendance.  An out-of-school suspension shall not exceed 10 days.  Reasonable attempts must be made to contact parent/guardian  They are excused absences  Principal must ensure student is able to obtain homework

27 Suspensions (10 Days or less): Illinois State Law Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 122, § 10-22.6  Suspension must be reported immediately to student’s parents, with a full statement of reasons for the suspension and notice of right to a review  School board must be given summary of the notice, including reasons for the suspension and the suspension length  If requested by the parents, school board must review the action of local school officials  At school board review, parents may appear and discuss the suspension with the board or its hearing officer 27

28 Remember..  Now students in pre-K through second grade may NOT be assigned in-school or out-of school suspensions.  There is a small exception for an emergency one- day suspension if granted by the Network Chief or Designee and after parent/guardian has been notified. 28

29 How Does the School Notify the Parent of a Suspension?  Schools are required to provide a parent with written notification if they decide to suspend a student.  The notice must include three things:  The reason that the child is being suspended  The number of days for which the child is being suspended  Notice of the parent’s right to appeal the school’s decision.  Parent/guardian should be provided a copy of the misconduct report 29

30 Misconduct Report 30

31 Due Process-Goss v. Lopez  The government cannot take away a property interest—like education—without adequate notice and an opportunity to be heard  The Supreme Court created the bright line rule between short-term suspensions (10 days or less, with less procedural Requirements and long-term suspensions or expulsions (more than 10 days, with more procedural protections) 31

32 How Does a Parent Appeal a Suspension?  Once a student makes a decision about a suspension or makes a referral for expulsion, a parent has the right to appeal.  The parent/guardian has the right to ask the principal to review the consequence and reconsider the decision  If suspended, can contact the FACE office (by phone) or the Network Chief and request an appeal 32

33 What is a School Expulsion?  Expulsion is the removal of a student from school for 11 or more consecutive days, up to a maximum of two calendar years.  For Group 5-an expulsion hearing may be requested  For Group 6-An expulsion hearing must be requested for a student in 6 th -12 th grade or for a 6-1 violation, and may be requested for 5 th grade and below  Students who commit extremely serious Group 5 or 6 misconducts can be assigned to an interim alternative education setting 33

34 Expulsion Process-CPS. Notice in writingExpulsion hearing takes place in central office. Hearings are provided over by neutral hearing officer ). Representation Evidence, present witnessesLaw Department represented by CPS Prosecutor 34

35 Expulsion-CPS and IL Law  Expulsions are governed by 105 ILCS 5/10/22.6  Student may be expelled for “gross disobedience or misconduct” Student and parent must receive notice from the board  The notice must state the time, place and purpose of the meeting/hearing and most districts will also advise student can bring representation  Hearing may be at the school, can be two step process (hearing + board meeting) 35

36 Expulsion Hearings-CPS And Others  The rules of evidence apply partially but not fully. Expansive use of hearsay has been found to violate due process, but limited use is viewed as inevitable. Colquitt v. Rich Township, 298 Ill.App.3d 856 (1st Dist. 1998).  Hearsay often takes the form of statements from other students 36

37 At the hearing: It’s not just about whether someone “did it.” 37 Egregiousness of conduct History of past conduct Likelihood of affecting other children Severity of the punishment Interests of the Child Robinson v. OPRF 213 Ill. App.3d 77 (1 st Dist. 1991)

38 SMART Program and Other Interventions-Advocacy  Students in CPS and now charter schools are also entitled to request placement in the SMART program in lieu of expulsion  The SMART program (Saturday Morning Alternative Reach-out and Teach) requires that students attend eight consecutive Saturday sessions. For two of those sessions the student must be accompanied by a parent. The program also includes a 20 hour community service requirement.  Other intervention programs may be assigned and other restorative justice practices may be used.  Administrators now have Effective Discipline Guidelines suggesting restorative practices 38

39 How Does a Parent Appeal an Expulsion?  CPS expulsion decisions may be appealed by filing for certiorari in the chancery division of the circuit court of cook county.  First, parents can appeal the final determination in writing to the Chief Executive Officer’s designee, the Department of Student Adjudication or another identified person in the school district  Courts tend to give a lot of deference to school districts to determine discipline 39

40 How does this work in practice?  CLC receives intake, screens  Figures out CPS or not, where the student is in the process  Depending on timing might get release from the parent right away and contact the school  Need to get release to get information and student records 40

41 Then…  Send out information to list of pro bono volunteers  Get interested volunteer  Volunteer runs conflicts check  Attorney meets with parent and student  CLC staff available for consulting, questions, strategy discussions  Timeline can be quick 41

42 After an expulsion….  What happens to the student?  Do they go to school? Where?  Does that happen automatically? 42

43 Alternative Schools “An expelled pupil may be immediately transferred to an alternative program in the manner provided in Article 13A or 13B of this Code. A pupil must not be denied transfer because of the expulsion, except in cases in which such transfer is deemed to cause a threat to the safety of students or staff in the alternative program.” (105 ILCS 5/10-22.6)  Allows but does not require a district to immediately transfer a student who has been suspended or expelled  Students cannot directly enroll on their own in a program if the district has chosen not to transfer them  Alternative programs can only refuse to accept students if they are “deemed to cause a threat to the safety of students or staff in the alternative program”  The “threat to safety” extends to overcrowding – if the alternative program believes that adding a new student would overcrowd the school and endanger the safety of other students, it may deny the transfer

44 Free Legal Assistance is Available  Several civil rights nonprofits provide free legal assistance to students facing suspension or expulsion from public school.  Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law  312.630.9744  Legal Assistance Foundation  Provides assistance primarily to students with disabilities  312.341.1070  Equip for Equality  Provides assistance exclusively to students with disabilities  800.537.2632  Chicago Coalition for the Homeless  Provides assistance to students who are homeless, in shelters, not in permanent housing, or otherwise at risk.  312.850.4783  Cabrini Green Legal Aid  Provide assistance to Chicago residents meeting income requirements  312.850.4783 44

45 Scenario  Student X is caught at school with marijuana. Administrators talk to a friend of the student who says X has sold to him before. Administrators find text messages supposedly related to the sales on the friend’s phone. They also find a Facebook picture of X smoking marijuana on the friend’s wall. Police are called and student is arrested. Student is charged with school violation of possessing drugs and intent to sell. Student is suspended and referred for expulsion, school administrators have told the parents it would be easier to just withdraw X instead of going through with the hearing. 45

46 Thank You! 46 Jessica Schneider and Candace Moore Educational Equity Project


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