The following procedural elements are applicable to the initiation and processing of student suspensions. A student who is insubordinate or disorderly, or whose conduct endangers the safety, health or welfare of others, or whose physical or mental condition endangers the health, safety or welfare of himself/herself or of others, may be suspended.
The Board of Education retains its authority for the suspension of students. The Board places the prime responsibility for such suspension(s) with the Superintendent of Schools, and to the Building Principals in cases of suspension for up to five (5) days.
The Building Principal, in processing a case for suspension, shall gather the facts relevant to the matter and shall record them for subsequent presentation, if necessary.
If a suspension of five (5) days or less is determined to be the appropriate form of disciplinary action, the Superintendent/Building Principal shall immediately notify the student, the student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) orally that the student has been suspended from school. If possible, such notice will also be provided by telephone.
Every reasonable effort will be made to provide written notice by personal delivery, express mail delivery, or equivalent means reasonably calculated to assure receipt of the notice within twenty-four (24) hours of the suspension at the last known address(es) of the parent(s) or guardian(s).
Both the oral and the written notice shall provide a description of the charges against the student, and the incident(s) which resulted in the suspension and shall inform the parent(s) or guardian(s) of their right to request an immediate informal conference with the Building Principal.
Both the notice and informal conference shall be in the dominant language or mode of communication used by the parent(s) or guardian(s).
At this conference, the parent(s) or guardian(s) shall be permitted to ask questions of complaining witnesses under such procedures as may be established by the Superintendent. After the conference, the Building Principal shall promptly advise the parent(s) or guardian(s) of his/her decision and that they may appeal the decision to the Superintendent.
When in consultation with the Building Principal, the Superintendent agrees that a suspension of at least five (5) days is warranted, he/she shall give reasonable notice to such pupil and the parent(s) or guardian(s) of their right to a fair hearing. At this time the pupil shall have the right of representation by counsel, with the right to question witnesses against him/her and present witnesses and other evidence on his/her behalf. The Superintendent shall personally hear and determine the proceeding or may, in his/her discretion, designate a hearing officer to conduct the hearing. The Superintendent/ Hearing Officer shall be authorized to administer oaths and to issue subpoenas in conjunction with the proceeding before him/her. A record of the hearing shall be maintained, but no stenographic transcript shall be required. A tape recording shall be deemed a satisfactory record. The hearing officer shall make findings of fact and recommendations as to the appropriate measure of discipline to the Superintendent. The report of the hearing officer shall be advisory only, and the Superintendent may accept all or any part thereof. An appeal of the decision of the Superintendent may be made to the Board of Education which will make its decision solely upon the record before it. The Board may adopt in whole or in part the decision of the Superintendent.
For a student who is suspended who is not of compulsory attendance age or otherwise legally entitled to alternative instruction, the Superintendent will consider on a case by case basis, in its complete discretion, whether to offer alternative instruction to that student. Factors such as the student’s academic record, behavior record, and the seriousness of the offense(s) leading to suspension, along with other relevant factors, may be considered by the Superintendent. If alternative instruction is offered, it is incumbent on the student to attend and positively engage in such alternative instruction. Any actions by the student which are a violation of the Student Code of Conduct or otherwise inconsistent with positive participation in alternative instruction may result in the alternative instruction being withdrawn.
Suspension Procedures for Students with Disabilities
With the exception of the five (5) day or less suspension, this regulation does not apply to a student who has been identified as having one or more disabilities. All matters of discipline for students who are known to have or who are suspected of having a disability shall immediately be referred to the Manifestation Team. The Manifestation Team shall determine whether the action causing the suspension is related to the disability(ies). If the determination is that the cause of the suspension is related to the disability(ies), the case will be immediately referred to the CSE for review and modification of such student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) if appropriate.
The requirement to conduct a manifestation determination occurs only when school officials seek to impose a suspension or removal that constitutes a disciplinary change of placement. A change in placement is a suspension or removal of a student with a disability from his or her educational placement for more than ten consecutive days; or a suspension or removal for a period of ten consecutive days or less if the student is subjected to a series of suspensions or removals that constitute a pattern because they add up to more than ten school days in the school year. Conversely, the CSE is not required to conduct a manifestation determination for suspensions or removals of ten days or less in the school year, or for subsequent short-term suspensions or removals (less than ten cumulative days), that do not constitute a pattern of removal.
The CSE must convene a meeting to make a manifestation determination whenever:
- school officials impose a suspension or removal that constitutes a disciplinary change of placement;
- the Superintendent of Schools decides to place a student in an interim alternative educational setting (IAES) for behavior involving weapons, illegal drugs or controlled substances; or
- an impartial hearing officer decides to place a student in an IAES when it has
been determined that continuing the student’s placement is substantially likely to result in injury to the student or to others.
If the behavior of a student endangers the health and safety of himself/herself or others, the Superintendent will seek parental consent or, if appropriate, a court order for immediate alternative placement of the student.
A synopsis of the process and procedures associated with student suspensions will be included in student handbooks which are distributed annually.
5310, Student Discipline
Education Law §3214
8 NYCRR §100.2(l)(iv)
Honig v. Doe, 108 S. Ct. 592 (1988)
Reviewed March 28, 2000
Reviewed December 13, 2011
Revised and Reviewed March 6, 2018