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Suspension, Expulsion, and Disciplinary Transfer Summarized by Tiffany Waller MED 6490 February 2, 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Suspension, Expulsion, and Disciplinary Transfer Summarized by Tiffany Waller MED 6490 February 2, 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Suspension, Expulsion, and Disciplinary Transfer Summarized by Tiffany Waller MED 6490 February 2, 2010

2 Definitions Suspension– an exclusion from school for failure to conform to legitimate rules for 10 days or less Expulsion– an exclusion from school for the remainder of a quarter, semester, academic year, or permanently due to repeated or major infractions of school rules or criminal conviction

3 Goss V. Lopez Supreme Court of the United States, U.S. 565 Facts During February and March, 1971, six of nine plaintiffs who attended the Columbus, Ohio, Public School System (CPSS) alleged that they were suspended out of school for 10 days for being disruptive or disobedient in the presence of the school administrator who ordered the suspension.

4 FACTS Tyrone Washington (student) was one of many who were demonstrating in the auditorium which disrupted a class that was using the same space. Tyrone was ordered by the principal to leave, refused to do so, the police were contacted and he was consequently suspended. Rudolph Sutton (student) physically attacked the police officer who was attempting to remove Tyrone from the auditorium. He, too, was immediately suspended.

5 FACTS Four other students were suspended for similar conduct. Neither student was given a hearing to determine the facts underlying the suspension; however, they (and their parents) were given the opportunity to attend a conference (after the effective date of the suspension) to discuss the student’s future.

6 FACTS Dwight Lopez & 75 others were suspended from Central High School for a disturbance in the cafeteria that involved some physical damage to school property. Lopez claimed that he was not a participant in the disturbance but was an innocent bystander. He never had a hearing.

7 FACTS Betty Crome participated in a demonstration that led to her arrest at a high school other than the one she was attending. She was taken to the police station and released without being formally charged. Before going to school the next day, she was notified that she had been suspended for 10 days.

8 FACTS A hearing was never held & the record does not disclose the basis in which the McGuffey Junior High School principal decided to suspended Betty Crome.

9 THE ISSUE Because students have a valuable property interest in attending school, they must be provided due process prior to their being excluded from school.

10 HOLDING The court decided that the plaintiffs were denied due process of law because they were “suspended without a hearing prior to the suspension or within a reasonable time thereafter.” All references to plaintiffs’ suspensions be removed from school files

11 HOLDING The court also mandated that the Ohio school administrators adopt regulations that provide for fair suspension procedures that would: 1. Permit immediate removal of a student whose behavior endangers others or damages property 2. Require notice of suspension proceedings to be sent to the student’s parents within 24 hours of the decision to conduct them 3. Require a hearing to beheld, with the student present, within 72 hours of his removal.

12 LEGAL DOCTRINE The Due Process Clause protects a student’s entitlement to a public education. Their rights cannot be taken away fro misconduct without adherence to the minimum procedures required by the Clause.

13 RELEVANT CASES Craig v. Selma City School Board, 801 F. Supp 585 (Ala. 1992) Students ere suspended 5 days for fighting at a football game and in the principal’s office. No notice of hearing was given. The court determined that the expulsion hearing as fair & that the case fit within an exception to the pre-deprivation & notice of hearing requirement.

14 Dickens v. Johnson County Board of Education, 661 F. Supp. 155 (Tenn. 1987) disputed the use of a “time-out box” in which a student was put in time-out for approximately 4.5 hours on 6 consecutive days, saying that his due process rights had been violated. The court decided that the behavior modification technique was not unduly harsh or grossly disproportionate (time-out should be favored over suspensions/expulsions).

15 PUBLIC SCHOOL EXPULSION Gonzales v. McEuen United States District Court, Central District of California, F. Supp. 460

16 FACTS 11 high school students were charged with initiating a riot at Oxnard High School which resulted in their suspension and expulsion. Students contend the following: a). They were denied their right to an impartial hearing before an independent fact-finder. b). There was an over-familiarity of the board. c). The district superintendent, Mr. McEuen, was involved with the board of trustees during the hearings.

17 FACTS The Board had information about the plaintiff’s academic and disciplinary records (contained in the “Red Book”) and that they had access to this material days before the expulsion hearings. Members of the board met with school officials prior to the hearings.

18 FACTS Plaintiffs claimed that: -the attorneys acted in dual roles at the expulsion hearing (as prosecutors for the Administration & also as legal advisors for the Board).

19 ISSUE Can students who are recommended for suspension/expulsion have a fair hearing if the decision-makers are involved with the Board proceedings or take on dual roles?

20 HOLDING The court decided the following: 1. The confidential relationship between the attorneys & the board members created an unacceptable risk of bias. 2. The involvement of Mr. McEuen with the Board violated the student’s due process rights (Board was funda- mentally unfair).

21 LEGAL DOCTRINE The 11 students filed suit under the Civil Rights Act and the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

22 RELEVANT INFORMATION A notice of expulsion hearing must communicate the nature of the proceedings to the recipient in addition to: -a statement of the specific charges -basic rights available to the student -right to be represented by counsel -right to present evidence -right to confront & cross examine adverse witnesses

23 A school superintendent should not participate in expulsion hearings in order to avoid a conflict of interest. Instead, the school board should delegate expulsion decisions to an impartial hearing officer.

24 Gun-Free Schools Act of 1994 emerged as a result of the increase in school violence facilitated growth in the “zero-tolerance” policies which were originally designed as a type of “one-strike-you’re-out” solution for serious offenses such as drug trafficking or possession of dangerous weapons

25 less serious issues such as bringing a nail file to school, writing a story about a murderous rampage, and using a thumb & index finger to simulate a gun have made these policies extremely controversial --South Gibson School Board v. Sollman --Lyons v. Penn Hills School Distrct


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