Presentation on theme: "EDAD 520 Legal and Ethical Foundations of Educational Leadership."— Presentation transcript:
EDAD 520 Legal and Ethical Foundations of Educational Leadership
Iowa Code Section 279.66 requires district school boards to review their existing policies related to the student discipline and conduct. As a general rule, school districts are given room and discretion by the courts regarding punishment of students who misbehave. However, the district must follow appropriate due process requirements.
Due Process Clause prohibits state and local governments from depriving persons of life, liberty, or property without certain steps being taken to ensure fairness. Due Process Clause
Local school boards may confer upon any teacher, principal, or superintendent the power to temporarily suspend a student. Notice of the suspension must be given in writing to the President of the board. The short term suspension must be 10 days or less (defined by the U.S. Supreme Court)
Oral or written notice to the student of the allegation(s) against him/her. If student denies, they are entitled to an explanation of the evidence in the school’s possession. The student is then asked for their side of the story. The explanation does not need to take place in front of the school board. It may be explained to the school administrator or superintendent.
The right of parents to tell their child’s side of the story. Pre-suspension notification to parents Providing the student time between notice and informal hearing. The right to secure counsel The right to remain silent The right to confront or cross-examine witnesses or call his/her own witnesses.
Appellee Ohio public high school students, who had been suspended from school for misconduct for up to 10 days without a hearing, are challenging the judgment of a three judge federal court seeking a declaration that the Ohio statute permitting such suspensions was unconstitutional and an order enjoining the officials to remove the references to the suspensions from the students' records. What steps should the administrator(s) have completed to properly suspended the students for their actions?
Stakes are much higher which makes the process much longer!! Three key areas 1. Notice 2. Hearing Conduct for Student 3. Decision Process
Must be in writing Must be directed to the parents or guardians if the student is a minor. Must specify date, time and place of expulsion hearing Must be given to the student or parent/guardian sufficiently in advance of the hearing to enable student to prepare for defense.
Must include a summary of allegation(s) against the student specific to the student allowing them to prepare a defense and must include a copy of any documents to be relied upon by the district in presenting its case to the school board. Must include students rights
The right to be represented by parent, guardian(s), friend or attorney. ( District is not liable for attorney fees) The right to present witnesses or evidence The right to cross-examine adverse witnesses The right to examine documents to be presented to the board The right to a closed hearing before the board unless the student asks the hearing remain open
Student is always given the full opportunity to be heard Opening and closing statements Cross examining of adverse witnesses Present own witnesses or evidence School board must be impartial No board member can have a prior involvement in the matter
Board members cannot have any contact with the parties involved Board’s decision must be based on adequate facts Hearsay evidence is admissible at the expulsion hearing No new charges can be raised at the hearing
No one who had advocated a position at the hearing may present during allegations The vote on the punishment itself must occur in an open session Student is entitled to a written decision included are the facts, charge(s) and penalty telling the student what punishment will be handed down for the actions or behavior
Did Michael McClain receive procedural due process rights? McClain’s physical education teacher noticed him carrying a knife in the school’s gymnasium. McClain was taken to the principal's office where he admitted to having the knife and that he knew the rules and consequences for carrying a weapon at school.
McClain was sent back to class and a scheduled meeting with him and his mother was set for the following morning. At the meeting McClain’s mother was notified that he was suspended indefinitely for the possession of the knife. They were given a letter with the date, time and reason for the hearing with the school board. She was also notified that she could attend and request for Michael’s reinstatement
The McClain’s brought suit on the grounds that the procedural due process rights were violated when Michael was suspended indefinitely without a hearing. Also Michael’s rights were violated because he did not have the chance to question witnesses and be represented by counsel.
There was never a question regarding if Michael had done something wrong. Michael was give an opportunity to present his side of the story, state, point out or deny any of the allegations regarding the matter. He and his mother appeared and participated at the school board meeting. There was nothing unfair or legally prejudicial in the proceedings the school board acted within its boundaries for the welfare of its students and faculty.
Be very familiar with the student handbook Make sure all forms are filled out and signed by the parent/guardians stating they are aware of all rules and regulations of the school Teachers and faculty members keep documentation and make and notify administrator immediately.