POLICY MANUAL

Student Suspension-Expulsion - Policy JGD-JGE-RZ

A. Generally
Suspensions are used only as a last resort in disciplining students. Short-term suspensions may vary from one (1) day to ten (10) days. All suspensions for periods longer than ten days must be approved by the School Board Disciplinary Committee. The following violations of the Code of Student Conduct and School Board policy are grounds for suspension or expulsion:

See attached reference table “Offense Codes”

B. School Board Disciplinary Committee
The School Board Disciplinary Committee will be comprised of three school board members.

C. Notice of Suspension
Every effort must be made to contact the parent by phone on the day of the suspension. Copies of the notice of suspension must be (1) given to the student, (2) mailed to the parent or legal guardian, (3) sent to the Director of Student Services, Alternative Education and Behavior Support, and (4) retained in the school in the student’s discipline record in accordance with the Management of the Student's Scholastic Record in the Public Schools of Virginia.

D. Short-term Suspensions
1. Students may be suspended from school for up to 10 school days by a school principal, associate principal, assistant principal, or, in their absence, the principal’s designee.

2. Prior to imposing the suspension, a principal, associate principal, or assistant principal, or principal’s designee must inform the student of the suspected violations of School Board Policy and give the student an explanation of the facts as known to school personnel and an opportunity for the student to present his/her version of the facts. If deemed necessary, a principal, associate principal, assistant principal, or principal’s designee may conduct further investigation into the matter.

3. Upon suspending a student for 10 days or less, the principal, associate principal, assistant principal, or principal’s designee shall make an attempt to contact the parent(s) or guardian(s) by telephone on the day of the suspension to inform them of the incident and the disciplinary action. The school administrator must give the student a written notice of the suspension. The administrator must also mail a copy of the form to the student’s parents or guardians, forward a copy to the Director of Student Services, Alternative Education, and Behavior Support, and place a copy in the student’s record. The notification shall provide information that includes the length of the suspension, information regarding the availability of alternative education options, if applicable, and the student’s right to return to regular school attendance at the end of the suspension.

An administrator must provide a copy of the Student/Parent Due Process Rights form to the student and his/her parent(s) or guardian(s) which include the right to request an appeal if he/she disputes the facts of the case which resulted in the student’s suspension from school, if he/she believes his/her student’s rights have been violated, or if he/she disputes the length of the suspension.

4. If a parent or guardian decides to appeal a decision, students given short-term suspensions would remain in school until the outcome of the appeal has been determined, unless the principal deems the situation dangerous or disruptive to the school environment. A principal, associate principal, assistant principal, or principal’s designee may immediately remove from school a student whose presence poses a continuing danger to person or property or an ongoing threat of disruption. As soon as possible the principal, associate principal, assistant principal, or principal’s designee shall provide to the student the notice of charges, an explanation of facts, and an opportunity for the student to present his/her version of what occurred.

5. Upon written request to the principal, a parent or guardian may appeal a short-term suspension given by the associate principal, assistant principal, or principal’s designee. If the principal upholds or reduces the suspension, he/she must inform the parent or guardian of the option to further appeal the suspension by making a written request within 3 school days of the notice of suspension to the Director of Student Services, Alternative Education, and Behavior Support.

6. A parent or guardian may appeal a short-term suspension given or upheld by the principal to the Superintendent or to the Superintendent’s designee. A parent or guardian must provide a written request to the Director of Student Services, Alternative Education, and Behavior Support within 3 school days of the notice of suspension. If the parent or guardian does not make a written request within 3 school days, the parent or guardian waives the right to an appeal.

7. The Director of Student Services, Alternative Education, and Behavior Support shall inform the parent(s) or guardian(s) in writing of the decision of the Superintendent or the Superintendent’s designee to confirm, reduce or disapprove the disciplinary action. The decision of the Superintendent or Superintendent’s designee is final and may not be appealed to the School Board.

E. Long-term Suspensions
1. A principal may recommend to the Superintendent that a student be suspended from school in excess of 10 days. Upon making this recommendation, the principal shall notify the student and the student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) of this recommendation in writing on the day that the principal makes the long-term suspension recommendation.

The principal shall attach to his/her written recommendation all supportive evidence as to the act or actions of the student prompting the recommendation and, where applicable, evidence of all previous efforts made by the staff to assist the student in the case where the recommendation is the result of a series of acts by the student.
After the principal makes the suspension decision, the principal will provide the parent(s) or guardian(s) with the following information:

a. The proposed action and the reason(s) for the action;

b. The length of the recommended suspension;

c. The right to inspect the student's school records;

d. The student’s eligibility to return to regular school attendance or to an appropriate alternative education program during the suspension; and,

e. The right of the student and student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) to appeal the suspension to the School Board Disciplinary Committee.

2. Within 3 school days of the start of the suspension, the Superintendent must forward to the School Board Disciplinary Committee the principal’s recommendation for a long-term suspension of a student after the Superintendent or Superintendent’s designee has provided the student and student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) with a written notice which summarizes the proposed disciplinary action, the reasons for that action, and the right to appeal the suspension to the School Board Disciplinary Committee.

3. A parent or guardian may appeal a long term suspension to the School Board Disciplinary Committee by providing a written request to the Director of Student Services, Alternative Education, and Behavior Support within 3 school days of the notice of suspension. If the student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) makes a timely request for an appeal, the School Board Disciplinary Committee must hold a hearing within 10 school days of the start of the suspension, unless the student and his/her parent/guardian agree to an extension of time for conducting the hearing. During the interim period between the principal’s recommendation of suspension and the action of the School Board, the student is considered to be suspended from all school activities and school functions and is prohibited from being on school premises.

4. If the parent or guardian appeals a long term suspension to the School Board Disciplinary Committee, the Committee may confirm, reduce, or disapprove the proposed suspension. If the decision of the School Board Disciplinary Committee is not unanimous, the parent(s) or guardian(s) may appeal the decision to the full School Board pursuant to Policy JGD/JGE. A parent or guardian must provide a written request to the Director of Student Services, Alternative Education, and Behavior Support within 3 school days of the decision of the School Board Disciplinary Committee indicating their interest in appealing the decision of the Committee. The full School Board must review the suspension recommendation and render a decision to confirm, reduce, or disapprove the suspension within 30 days.

5. If the parent(s) or guardian(s) does not appeal the suspension or does not file a timely appeal, the School Board Disciplinary Committee will nevertheless review the suspension recommendation on the record and render a decision to confirm, reduce or disapprove the proposed suspension within 10 days of the notice of suspension.

F. Expulsions
1. A principal may recommend to the Superintendent that a student be expelled from school. The principal shall attach to his/her written recommendation all supportive evidence as to the act or actions of the student prompting the recommendation and, where applicable, evidence of all previous efforts made by the staff to assist the student in the case where the recommendation is the result of a series of acts by the student.

2. The School Board authorizes the Superintendent or Superintendent’s designee to conduct a review to determine whether disciplinary action other than expulsion is appropriate for incidents including drug or weapons violations. (See reference table “Offense Codes.”)

The Superintendent or Superintendent’s designee shall consider the following special circumstances:

  • the nature and seriousness of the conduct;
  • the degree of danger to the school community;
  • the student’s disciplinary history, including the seriousness and number of previous infractions;
  • the appropriateness and availability of an alternative education placement or program;
  • the student’s age and grade level;
  • the results of any mental health, substance abuse, or special education assessments;
  • the student’s attendance and academic records; and
  • other appropriate matters.

At the conclusion of the review, the Superintendent or designee shall confer with the principal regarding the appropriate discipline, if any, and shall follow the applicable procedures depending upon the outcome.

3. If the principal’s recommendation is expulsion, he/she shall notify the student and student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) of this recommendation in writing on the day that the principal makes the expulsion recommendation, and provide the parent(s) or guardian(s) with the following information:

a. The proposed action and the reason(s) for the action;

b. The length of the recommended expulsion;

c. The right to inspect the student's school records;

d. The student’s eligibility to return to regular school attendance or to an appropriate alternative education program during the suspension or expulsion;

e. The right of the student and student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) to appeal the expulsion to the School Board Disciplinary Committee.

4. Within 3 school days of the start of the expulsion, the Superintendent must forward to the School Board Disciplinary Committee the principal’s recommendation for an expulsion of a student, together with the results of the review by the Superintendent or designee, after the Superintendent or Superintendent’s designee has provided the student and student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) with a written notice which summarizes the proposed disciplinary action, the reasons for that action, and the right to appeal the suspension to the School Board Disciplinary Committee.

5. A parent or guardian may appeal an expulsion to the School Board Disciplinary Committee by providing a written request to the Director of Student Services, Alternative Education, and Behavior Support within 3 school days of the notice of expulsion. If the student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) makes a timely request for an appeal, the School Board Disciplinary Committee must hold a hearing within 10 school days of the start of the expulsion, unless the student and his/her parent/guardian agree to an extension of time for conducting the hearing. During the interim period between the principal’s recommendation of expulsion and the action of the School Board, the student is considered to be suspended from all school activities and school functions and is prohibited from being on school premises.

6. If the parent or guardian appeals an expulsion to the School Board Disciplinary Committee, the Committee may confirm, reduce, or disapprove the proposed expulsion. If the decision of the School Board Disciplinary Committee is not unanimous, the parent(s) or guardian(s) may appeal the decision to the full School Board pursuant to Policy JGD/JGE. A parent or guardian must provide a written request to the Director of Student Services, Alternative Education, and Behavior Support within 3 school days of the decision of the School Board Disciplinary Committee indicating their interest in appealing the decision of the Committee. The full School Board must review the expulsion recommendation and render a decision to confirm, reduce, or disapprove the expulsion within 30 days.

If the parent(s) or guardian(s) does not appeal the expulsion or does not file a timely appeal, the School Board Disciplinary Committee will nevertheless review the expulsion recommendation on the record and render a decision to confirm, reduce or disapprove the proposed expulsion within 10 days of the notice of expulsion.

7. All expulsions appealed to the School Board Disciplinary Committee must be reviewed by the Board at the end of the expulsion time period. Students who are expelled and who are not permitted to return to regular school attendance or to attend, during the expulsion, an alternative program, may petition for readmission to be effective one year after the date of expulsion. In order to be timely, a written petition for readmission, along with a copy of the School Board's expulsion decision, must be filed with the Superintendent 60 days prior to the end of the expulsion (but no sooner than 90 days prior to the end of the expulsion). The Superintendent may hold a hearing and shall issue a decision prior to the expiration of the one-year expulsion period. An untimely petition may result in a delayed decision on readmission. When a petition for readmission is denied by the Superintendent, the student may petition the School Board for review of such denial. The School Board’s review is based on the written record. An application may be made annually in accordance with the above schedule. Notice of the right to petition for readmission, as well as any conditions, will accompany the expulsion decision.

G. Alternative Education Program
The School Board authorizes the Superintendent or Superintendent’s designee to require any student who has been:

(1) charged with an offense relating to the laws of Virginia, or with a violation of School Board policies, on weapons, alcohol or drugs, or intentional injury to another person, or with an offense that is required to be disclosed to the Superintendent of the school division pursuant to Va. Code § 16.1-260.G;

(2) found guilty or not innocent of an offense relating to Virginia’s laws on weapons, alcohol, or drugs, or of a crime that resulted in or could have resulted in injury to others, or of an offense that is required to be disclosed to the Superintendent of the school division pursuant to Va. Code § 16.1-260.G; or

(3) found to have committed a serious offense or repeated offenses in violation of School Board policies,

to attend an alternative education program. The Superintendent or Superintendent’s designee may require such student to attend such programs regardless of where the offense occurred.

As used in this section, the term “charged” means that a petition or warrant has been filed or is pending against a pupil.

Prior to making the alternative education placement, the Superintendent or Superintendent’s designee must provide written notice to the student and student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) that the student will be required to attend an alternative education program, and notice of the opportunity to appeal the placement to the Superintendent or designee. The parent(s) or guardian(s) may appeal the placement to the Superintendent or Superintendent’s designee, by providing a written request to the Director of Student Services, Alternative Education, and Behavior Support within 3 days of the notice of the alternative education placement. In the case of any pupil the Superintendent or Superintendent’s designee determines may pose a risk of danger to persons or property, or whose presence may create a threat of disruption, the Superintendent or Superintendent’s designee may make an immediate placement in alternative education during the pendency of any appeal or review. If the Superintendent or Superintendent’s designee uphold the placement decision, the parent(s) or guardian(s) may petition the School Board to review that decision by providing a written request to the Director of Student Services, Alternative Education and Behavior Support within 3 days of the notice of the decision. If the parent(s) or guardian(s) does not request a review by the School Board or does not make a timely request, the decision of the Superintendent or Superintendent’s designee is final. If the parent(s) or guardian(s) does file a timely petition, the School Board will review the placement decision on the record, and will render a decision within 30 days. The decision of the School Board is final.

H. Students Suspended or Expelled From Attendance at School From Another District or a Private School
A student who has been expelled or suspended for more than 30 days from attendance at school by another school board or a private school, or for whom admission has been withdrawn by a private school, may be excluded from attendance for no more than one calendar year in the case of expulsion or withdrawal of admission, and in the case of suspension of more than 30 days, for no longer than the duration of such suspension. The school shall provide written notice to the student and his or her parent of the reasons for such possible exclusion and of the right to attend a hearing conducted by the Superintendent or the Superintendent’s designee. The student may not attend school until a review of the case is conducted by the Superintendent or Superintendent’s designee. Exclusion from some or all Lynchburg City School programs shall be imposed upon a finding that the student presents a danger to the other students or staff members of the school division. The decision to exclude shall be final unless altered by the School Board after timely written petition. Upon the expiration of the exclusion, the student may petition the Superintendent for admission.

Adopted: July 12, 2016

Download JGD-JGE-RZ pdf