Student Discipline and Due Process


StudentDiscipline and Due Process

Suspensionand expulsion constitute disciplinary measures that can be used toexclude a learner from school. Short-term suspension describes asituation where a student is kept out of school for 10 or fewer days.Alternatively, a long-term suspension is a situation where a learnerbecomes excluded from school for a period longer than ten days, butless than 90 days. On the other hand, expulsion is keeping a scholarout of school for not more than 12 months (Lee &amp Kaplin, 2013). Ashort-term suspension does not call for a formal hearing before theboard of the school, but a student who is being given a short-termsuspension deserves to be offered an opportunity to be heard.However, long-term suspension and expulsion necessitate the action ofa school board and there must be a hearing. The formality of asuspension needs proper documentation, when the learner is to be keptout of school for a period exceeding ten days (ELC, 2012).

Accordingto the Central Islip School District board policies, a learner may begiven a suspension or an expulsion depending on the issue that thestudent has been involved with that calls for disciplinary measures.The due processes that the school applies for short-term andlong-term suspensions are not similar. When a learner is to be givena short-term suspension, he needs to appear before the school headand be informed on why he is being given the short-term suspension.After presenting the case to the principal, the student is offered anopportunity to submit his version of the story it is after thehearing that the principal orders the suspension. However, there isa difference when a learner is being given a long-term suspension.During long-term deferral, a student is required to appear before theschool board, where he presents his version of the case, and theboard is left with the decision of whether the suspension should begiven or not.

InGrossv. Lopez,nine students from one junior high school and two high schools inColumbus were issued with suspensions for 10 days. The school headsdid not hold hearings for the learners prior to ordering theirsuspensions. The actions of the school heads were challenged, and thefederal court ruled that the rights of the learners had beenviolated. Based on the provisions of the Constitution, citizens areentitled to receive an education. Since public schools are designedto ensure that citizens receive the right to education, they aresupposed to determine whether there is misconduct in students who areaccused of being involved in disorderly behavior (Pyle &amp Bast,2016). This ensures that learners are not denied the opportunity toacquire knowledge for no reason. Therefore, there is a need for a dueprocess when students are to be kept out of school for 10 days. Theschool principals did not act in the right way by not giving thelearners a hearing that could have determined their need for deferral(Pyle &amp Bast, 2016).

Inconclusion, schools need to have a due process that they shouldfollow when suspending students. Learners have a right to have ahearing before being suspended because it helps students inpresenting their case, which may assist in establishing whethermisconduct occurred or not. However, the due process for a short-termsuspension is different for a long-term suspension since the schoolboard has to be involved when it comes to a long-term deferral.


ELC(2012). StudentDiscipline Rights and Procedures: A Guide for Advocates.New Ark, NJ: Education Law Center.

Lee,B. A., &amp Kaplin, W. A. (2013). Thelaw of higher education.San Francisco, Calif: Jossey-Bass.

Pyle,C.R. &amp Bast, M.C. (2016). Foundationsof Law: Cases, Commentary and Ethics.New York: Cengage Learning.