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Student Due Process: JKD

  • Students: J
Student Due Process: JKD
Updated

School District 27J will provide due process to students through procedures consistent with applicable laws regarding suspension, expulsion or denial of admission of students.

1. Factors for Interventions and Consequences. Proportionate disciplinary interventions and consequences will be imposed to address the student's misconduct and maintain a safe and supportive learning environment for students and staff. The following factors will be considered in determining consequences for student violations of the Code of Conduct.

  • 1.1 The student's age;
  • 1.2 The student's disciplinary history;
  • 1.3 The student's eligibility as a student with a disability;
  • 1.4 The seriousness of the violation committed by the student;
  • 1.5 The threat posed to any student or staff; and
  • 1.6 The likelihood that a lesser intervention would properly address the violation.
  • 1.7 The impact the violation had or is likely to have on the school learning environment.

2. Definitions. For the purposes of this policy, the following definitions apply:

  • 2.1 "Suspension" means the exclusion of a student from attending school and participating in school activities for a specified period of time as set forth in suspension procedures set forth below.
  • 2.2 "Expulsion" means the withdrawal and exclusion of a student from attending school and participating in all school activities, whether on or off campus, for a period of time as determined by the Superintendent not to exceed 365 days. Access to continuing educational services for expelled students will be offered as required by law.
  • 2.3 "In School Suspension" means the exclusion of a student from the classroom and from participation in school activities, with staff supervision and access to continuing academic work, in a location separate from the traditional classroom. The opportunity for and appropriateness of in school suspension is at the discretion of school administration, and is dependent upon the circumstances of the violations) and the availability of necessary resources to provide this service.
  • 2.4 "Informal Hearing" means an opportunity for a student to be informed of the evidence and to explain his or her position regarding an incident suspected of violating the Code of Conduct, and thus subject to disciplinary action. An informal hearing does not include legal representation, the ability to confront or cross-examine witnesses, or the ability to call upon witnesses.
  • 2.5 "Alternative to Suspension" means the opportunity for a student to have the length or terms of a suspension reduced through completion of intervention activities, or by having a parent shadow the student in school with permission of the building principal. Alternatives to suspension are not required and are considered exclusively at the discretion of school administration depending on the nature and circumstances of the violations) for which the student was suspended.
  • 2.6  "Alternative to Expulsion" means the opportunity for a student to avoid expulsion or to reduce the length of an existing expulsion by completing required interventions as may be identified by district administration, in cooperation with the building principal. Alternatives to expulsion are not required and are considered exclusively at the discretion of school and district administration depending on the nature and circumstance of the violation(s) for which the student was expelled.
  • 2.7 "Denial of Admission" means a student is restricted from requested enrollment in school based upon grounds authorized by policy and law.

3. Suspension

  • 3.1 An initial suspension not to exceed ten (10) days may be imposed by the principal or principal's designee for serious violations as identified in Policy JK - Student Code of Conduct. An initial suspension not to exceed five (5) days may be imposed by the principal or principal's designee for other violations as identified in the same policy. The Superintendent or designated district administrator may extend the suspension as set forth in this policy for a period not to exceed twenty-five (25) school days, except when otherwise extended by agreement of all involved parties.
  • 3.2 When the principal or designee determines that suspension is warranted, reasonable effort should be made as promptly as possible under the circumstances at the time to notify the parent of the suspension and the basis for the suspension.
  • 3.3 The parent and the school staff should confer as to the best way to transfer custody of the student to the parent. Upon transfer of custody, the suspended student will be required to leave the school building and the school grounds immediately.
  • 3.4 Law enforcement authorities may assist with the removal and/or transfer of students when necessary and as permitted by law.
  • 3.5 Suspended students may not be readmitted to school until a reentry meeting or acceptable arrangements occur between the parent and the school administration. If the parent cannot be contacted or fails to appear for scheduled reentry meetings, school administration may determine whether the suspension should be extended. Except when safety concerns exist, the period of suspension should not be extended because such a meeting has not occurred.
  • 3.6 Absences due to suspension are considered excused and as such suspended students may make up missed work according to Policy JH - Student Attendance.
  • 3.7 In some cases, suspended students may be provided the opportunity to remain in school for a portion of the suspension at the discretion of school administration. Such alternative to suspension opportunities may include but are not limited to permitting the parent to attend classes with the student for a specified period of time, with permission of school administration. Other alternative to suspension opportunities may be considered depending on the circumstances of the suspension and availability of resources.
  • 3.8 School administration may remove the alternative to suspension opportunity in the event that the student or parent does not comply with or complete all agreed expectations, in which case the remaining unserved suspension will be reinstated and the student will not be considered for future alternative to suspension opportunities for up to one school year.
  • 3.9 Appeals of suspensions must be directed to the building principal within two (2) days after the suspension is imposed. The decision of the building principal on suspensions of nine (9) days or less shall be final.
  • 3.10 Appeals of suspensions of ten (10) or more days should be directed to the Director of Intervention Services for review within two (2) days after the suspension is imposed. The decision of the Director of Intervention Services regarding the suspension will be final.
  • 3.11 Students will continue to serve the suspension during appeal procedures.

4. Expulsion

  • 4.1 District officials will provide parents with written notice of a student's potential expulsion either in person, by mail to the last known address or electronically via e- mail if such method is agreed to by the parent. The notice will contain the following information:
    • 4.1.1 A statement of the alleged Code of Conduct violations resulting in the extended suspension and potential expulsion;
    • 4.1.2 A statement of the nature of the evidence supporting the charges;
    • 4.1.3 A statement offering the student and parent a due process hearing regarding the extended suspension and potential expulsion.
    • 4.1.4 A statement that the student may attend and participate in the hearing, may present relevant information and may be represented by a parent and/or an attorney;
    • 4.1.5 A statement that failure to attend or waiver of the opportunity to participate in the due process hearing constitutes a waiver of further rights in the matter, including the right to appeal the decision.
    • 4.1.6 Students may be expelled for up to 365 days.
  • 4.2 Upon expulsion, a student will be withdrawn from school.
  • 4.3  Recommendations of hearing officers shall not restrict the prerogative of the Superintendent or District Administrative designees or the Board of Education to act in accordance with Colorado statutes or existing 27J policy.
  • 4.4 The principal of the expelling school will determine what, if any, academic credit may be awarded and under what conditions for work completed during the grading period which is in progress at the time of the expulsion.
  • 4.5 Expulsions will be recorded on the student's enrollment and discipline history. Expulsions will not be recorded on a student's academic transcript.
  • 4.6 Educational alternatives which may be available to students who are expelled include participation in the District's expelled students program, private or parochial school, online or charter school, or homeschooling. Parents are responsible for all costs associated with such educational options.
    • 4.6.1 The opportunity to participate in the District's expelled students program will be at the discretion of District administration. Failure to comply with expelled student program requirements may result in the student being withdrawn from the program for the duration of the expulsion.
    • 4.6.2 Students who have further violations of the Code of Conduct while under expulsion may have their expulsion extended or the terms of the expulsion otherwise modified.
    • 4.6.3 For students under the age of 17 who are expelled for the remainder of the school year, the parent is responsible for ensuring that the student complies with statutory compulsory attendance requirements.
  • 4.7 In some cases students may be provided the opportunity to avoid expulsion and remain in school subject to voluntarily completing an alternative to expulsion agreement. Alternative to expulsion agreements may be considered at the collaborative discretion of school and district administration for students who face expulsion, yet demonstrate motivation to improve their conduct and remain in school. Based on the severity of the case and any aggravating factors at the time, school officials may determine that alternative to expulsion is not an appropriate option. This decision is not subject to appeal.
    • 4.7.1 Alternative to expulsion agreements typically require the student and parent to successfully complete educational, treatment and/or counseling services, as well as other expectations related to school attendance, academic effort and behavior. Any associated costs will be the responsibility of the student and parent, although in many cases district staff may be able to assist with referrals to low- cost services through community providers.
    • 4.7.2 Failure to progress or to successfully complete alternative to expulsion requirements within prescribed timeframes will result in imposition of the full term of the originally contemplated expulsion. Such expulsion will begin at the time of the notice of the violation of the alternative to expulsion agreement. The exact length and timing of such expulsion may be modified depending on the nature of the violation of the agreement and the timing within school grading periods.
    • 4.7.3 Students are permitted to participate in alternative to expulsion services a maximum of one time per school level (i.e. elementary, middle and high school).
  • 4.8 Appeal of expulsions may be submitted for review by the Board of Education by filing a written notice of appeal within ten (10) days of the receipt of the Superintendent's written expulsion decision. Failure to request an appeal with ten (10) days 1s considered a waiver of further right to appeal the decision.
    • 4.8.1 Expulsion appeals must state specific facts and arguments that support the reversal of the expulsion decision on one of the following grounds:
    • 4.8.1.1 The decision is not supported by the facts established in the hearing; or
    • 4.8.1.2 The student was not afforded due process procedures; or
    • 4.8.1.3 The student was otherwise expelled in violation of existing Superintendent or Board of Education policy.

5. Denial of Admission

  • 5.1 Students may be denied or excluded from admission to school subject to guidelines established in Policy JHD - Denial of Admission, Exclusions and Exemptions from School Attendance.

6. Emergency Removal. School administrators are authorized to immediately exclude a student from school in an emergency during which the student's welfare or the welfare of others may be threatened.

  • 6.1 Examples of conditions which might result in emergency removal include but are not limited to concerns regarding communicable diseases or mental health crises.
  • 6.2 Emergency removals will be recorded as excused absences.
  • 6.3 Emergency removals should not extend beyond the conclusion of the following school day except by agreement of school administration and the parent.

7. Referrals to Law Enforcement. The following Code of Conduct violations or suspected violations require notification of law enforcement.

  • 7.1 Firearms use or possession.
  • 7.2 Physical assault, including sexual assault.
  • 7.3 Any dangerous weapons violation as defined in Policy JICI- Weapons in School, or Any suspected criminal offense involving a weapon.
  • 7.4 Drug or alcohol violations, with the possible exception of those involving over-the- counter medications.
  • 7.5 Bomb threats, false alarms, arson or other criminal behavior involving substantial property damage.
  • 7.6 Other situations at the discretion of school administration based on the circumstances at the time, including those factors identified elsewhere in this policy.

8. Students with Disabilities. Except as otherwise provided in federal and state law, students with disabilities are subject to the Code of Conduct and related procedures.

  • 8.1 Definition. Students with disabilities include those students receiving special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Section 504).
  • 8.2 A student may assert procedural protections under IDEA if it can be established that prior to engaging in the misconduct resulting in the proposed discipline, a parent of the student expressing in writing to District certified or administrative staff that the student needs special education services.
  • 8.3 Suspension of a Student with a Disability.
    • 8.3.1 Suspensions of a student with a disability may be conducted in the same manner and for the same reasons as for a non-disabled student, for a period not to exceed ten (10) consecutive days.
  • 8.4 A student with a disability may be suspended for more than one incident of misconduct in a school year if each removal does not exceed ten (10) school days and cumulatively the removals do not constitute a pattern that constitutes a change of placement as determined by the Director of Special Education.
  • 8.5 Suspensions of students with disabilities which exceed ten (10) consecutive school days or a pattern of removals that result in a change of placement will necessitate a manifestation determination review meeting. The District may provide continuing education services as allowable by law so as to enable the student to continue to participate in the general education curriculum, although in another setting, toward meeting the student's individual education plan goals.
  • 8.6 Expulsion of Students with Disabilities.
    • 8.6.1 Parents will be notified through the same processes as would occur for a non- disabled student.
    • 8.6.2 As soon as possible, but not later than ten (10) school days after the student is suspended, the student's IEP team and other qualified district personnel will convene to review the relationship between the student's disability and the alleged misconduct in a manifestation determination review meeting. The outcome of the manifestation determination review will determine the ability of the District to expel or change the placement of the student, and/or to otherwise modify services for the student.
    • 8.6.3 Interim Alternative Educational Setting. By agreement of the Director of Special Education, a student with a disability may be removed from school and placed in an alternative educational setting for not more than forty-five (45) school days without regard to whether the behavior has or may be determined to be a manifestation of the student's disability. In such cases the IEP team with involvement of the Director of Special Education will determine the setting and the services to be provided in toward the goal of allowing the student to continue to access the general education curriculum and to progress to the student's individual education plan goals. Such placement may occur if at school or during a school event:
      • 8.6.3.1 The student carries or possesses a weapon; or
      • 8.6.3.2 Knowingly possesses or uses, sells or solicits the sale of illegal drugs or controlled substances, or
      • 8.6.3.3 The student inflicts serious bodily injury on another person.
  • 8.7 Section 504 Students. When a student identified as disabled under Section 504, but does not otherwise qualify for special education services, the student's Section 504 Team will convene a manifestation determination review to determine whether the student's conduct is a manifestation of his or her disability. If the behavior is not a manifestation of the student's 504 disability, officials may process with disciplinary proceedings in the same manner as for non-disabled students, including suspension and expulsion. In such cases educational programming will be provided to the same extent as would be the case for non-disabled students and is not subject to the approval of the 504 Team. The student may not be expelled if the behavior is determined to be a manifestation of the student's disability, although interim alternative educational placement options may be considered as otherwise explained in this policy.

9. Miscellaneous

  • 9.1 Trespassing. Students who are suspended or expelled are prohibited from attending any District or school sanctioned activity or event, whether on or off campus, as well as from being on any District or school campus or property without prior written approval of school administration. Failure to abide by the restriction will be considered trespassing, and as such may be referred to law enforcement. Such violations may also result in an extension of the student's exclusion from school.
  • 9.2 Victim Concerns. When a student is expelled for violations on or off campus which victimize or jeopardize the safety of specific students or staff, the offending student may be prohibited from returning to the school in which the victim of the offense, or a member of the victim's immediate family, is enrolled or employed, as provided by law. Administrative transfers may be imposed in such cases at the discretion of the Superintendent or District administrative designee. Such transfers may occur in lieu of or in addition to expulsion, and may occur immediately or at the conclusion of the student's exclusion from school.
  • 9.3 Completion of Proceedings. Should a parent request to withdraw a student from school during an active suspension or pending expulsion proceedings, such proceedings will continue through completion with or without participation by the parents) or student. Records of such discipline proceedings will be included in the educational records provided to a subsequent school in which the parent may seek to enroll the student, upon the District's receipt of a valid request for educational records.
  • 9.4 Reopening Investigations. The District may reopen any investigation of Code of Conduct violations involving student safety if newly acquired information or evidence is discovered.
  • 9.5 Transfer of Records. Records of violations of Code of Conduct related policies noting the date, type of offense and resulting disciplinary action will be maintained in the District's electronic student database, consistent with the recording of all other student behavior records.
  • 9.6 Immunity. An act of a District 27J employee shall not be considered child abuse if the act was performed in good faith and in compliance with 27J Superintendent or Board of Education Policy. Any employee acting in good faith and in compliance with the Code of Conduct shall be immune from criminal prosecution or civil liability unless acting willfully or wantonly.
  • 9.7 Assessment of Potentially Dangerous Student Behavior. Upon recognition or receipt of a report that a student may pose a safety risk to himself or herself, or to other students or staff, trained staff may conduct a suicide and/or a threat assessment. The purposes of such assessment are to consider the possible risk, to initiate measures to ensure the safety of involved parties, and to help identify an appropriate response and support plan. Parents or guardians will be notified when a suicide or threat assessment will be conducted, or as soon as possible after such an assessment has been conducted. Exact timing of the notification may depend on the circumstances at the time. Records of such assessments will be provided to parents upon request.

10. Criminal Charges - Crimes of Violence. When the District receives confirmation that a petition to charge, or that actual charges have been filed against a student regarding commission of a criminal offense which would constitute a crime of violence, the student may immediately be suspended based on such notification to allow for further investigation by school officials. In consultation with District administration, the principal will investigate to determine whether the student has exhibited behavior that is detrimental to the safety, welfare and morals of other students or of school personnel, and whether educating the student in school may disrupt the learning environment in the school, or is otherwise likely to provide a negative example for other students, teachers, and personnel. Additional procedures for such situations include:

  • 10.1 District administration will determine in collaboration with the principal whether the student should continue to be educated in the school, and if so under what conditions, or whether the student should be referred for expulsion based on the available evidence.
  • 10.2 Alternatively, District administration and the principal may decide to delay a decision on expulsion proceedings until the conclusion of any criminal court proceedings in relation to the matter, in which case the District will provide access to alternative education services, potentially including the opportunity to attend the District's expelled students program, through the resolution of the court proceedings. Such placement will be considered an administrative transfer.
  • 10.3 A student who is being educated in an alternative to expulsion or expulsion program under such circumstances will not be permitted to return to his or her home school until there has been a disposition of all charges and such approval is granted by District administration.
  • 10.4 If a student pleads guilty, is found guilty, or is otherwise adjudicated as a delinquent juvenile, the District may proceed with discipline up to and including expulsion in accordance with state law.