The School Board of Miami-Dade County
Bylaws & Policies
Unless a specific policy has been amended and the date the policy was revised is noted at the bottom of that policy, the Bylaws and Policies of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools were adopted on May 11, 2011 and were in effect beginning July 1, 2011.
 

5610 - SUSPENSION AND EXPULSION OF STUDENTS

Suspension and expulsion are the most severe sanctions and cannot be imposed without due process. Prior to the use of suspension, the administrator should consider less restrictive alternatives such as the School Center for Special Instruction (SCSI). Students assigned to SCSI must be afforded the opportunity to complete classwork. Students with disabilities must continue to receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) while assigned to SCSI.

No student is to be suspended, expelled, or excluded from an activity, program, or a school unless his/her behavior represents misconduct as specified in the Code of Student Conduct (CSC), Policy 5500. The CSC shall also specify the procedures to be followed by school officials. In addition to the procedural safeguards and definitions in this policy and the CSC, the procedures in Policy 2460 shall apply to students identified as disabled under the IDEA and/or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Definitions

 

A.

"Suspension" shall be the temporary exclusion of a student from the District's program for a period not to exceed ten (10) school days.

     
 

B.

"Expulsion" shall be the exclusion of a student from a traditional school for the number of school days remaining in the school year in which the incident that gives rise to the expulsion takes place and one (1) additional school year.

Suspension from School or From Riding School Bus

 

A.

When a student's actions violate law, School Board policies, or school rules, the student may be suspended by the Principal. A student who is suspended shall not be allowed to attend his/her regular classes or school-sponsored activities for a prescribed number of days not to exceed ten (10). The Principal may suspend a student from riding the school bus for a prescribed number of days not to exceed ten (10). Parents of students suspended from the school bus have the obligation to provide transportation to and from school. If bus transportation is a related service on a studentís Individualized Education Plan (IEP), a bus suspension must be counted towards the ten (10) days of suspension. Outdoor suspension criterion are located in the CSC.

 

B.

A teacher shall not suspend a student from school or class, nor shall a bus driver suspend a student from riding a school bus.

     
 

C.

The Superintendent may suspend a student from any or all co-curricular or extra-curricular activities for violations of the CSC. The length of suspension shall be determined according to the CSC. Additionally, a manifestation determination meeting may be required for students with disabilities, depending on the number of days of suspension given (Policy 2460).

     
 

D.

Prompt notice of a suspension shall be given by telephone to the student's parent if possible. Formal written notification to the student's parent shall be initiated within twenty-four (24) hours of the time the student is informed of the suspension.

     
 

E.

Except in the event of emergencies or disruptive conditions which require immediate suspension or in the case of a serious breach of conduct that is defined as willful disobedience, open defiance of authority of a member of the school staff, violence against persons or property, or any other act which substantially disrupts the orderly conduct of the school, all out-of-school suspensions shall not begin prior to the beginning of the next school day following the infraction unless the parents have been notified.

     
 

F.

Prior to the suspension, the student shall be given an informal and impartial hearing before the Principal and shall be informed of the charge(s) against him/her which may result in suspension. If the student denies the charge(s), s/he shall be given an explanation of the evidence, an opportunity to present his/her version of the case, and notification of the action taken by the Principal. In cases of extremely disruptive or dangerous behavior, persons or groups involved may be immediately suspended and ejected from the school campus without a prior hearing. In such instances, each student shall be afforded an informal hearing before the Principal prior to the expiration of suspension. Students are not entitled to full procedural rights that the law guarantees to students who are recommended for expulsion or are defendants in criminal cases. At suspension hearings, students are not:

     
 

1.

entitled to the presence of an attorney;

   

2.

allowed to confront or cross-examine witnesses;

   

3.

allowed to record mechanically, or have a court reporter record the proceedings unless the Principal has elected to record or report the hearing verbatim.

     
   

If the parent(s) feel that the child has not been afforded a fair hearing at the school, they may request a review by the Region Superintendent. The appeal may consist of a review of the previous hearing, with a ruling on the facts and the validity of the suspension, or the hearing may be reconvened by the Region Superintendent or designee for additional testimony that may be deemed necessary in making a final decision.

     
 

G.

The Principal shall determine, in consultation with teachers, when appropriate, whether the student should be given the opportunity to make up school work and course requirements missed while absent due to out-of-school suspension. If this privilege is given, the student shall have a reasonable amount of time, up to five (5) school days comparable to the days of suspension, following the suspension to complete the school work missed and shall do so on his/her own initiative. Failure to make up all written assignments missed during the approved time frame of suspension will result in the student being given the academic grade of "F" for those written assignments. Under no circumstances are teachers required to make special provisions to comply with this procedure. Upon completion of the make-up work, the student should submit the work to the teacher. The teacher must grade and record the make-up work as it is received. For students in exceptional education classes, refer to the Exceptional Student Education Policies and Procedures (SP&P) Policy 2460.

     
 

H.

The Superintendent may grant to a Principal the authority to waive mandatory suspension policies.

Expulsion/Administrative Assignment

 

A.

A Principal may recommend expulsion of a student to the Superintendent. The Principal shall provide the Superintendent an adequate history of the student's actions and alternative measures taken relevant to the recommendation. When the Superintendent makes a recommendation for expulsion to the Board, written notice shall be given to the student and his/her parent of the recommendation and charges and advising the student and parent of their right to due process. Offenses requiring the recommendation for expulsion are located in the CSC.

 

B.

Upon receipt of a recommendation for expulsion from the Principal, the Superintendent may make an administrative assignment in lieu of expulsion or a Work Back in Lieu of Expulsion program.

     
 

C.

For students in exceptional student education, refer to Exceptional Student Education Policies and Procedures (SP&P), Policy 2460.

     
 

D.

All students who are recommended for expulsion shall undergo screening to determine if they qualify for exceptional education programs.

     
 

E.

A student who has been suspended or expelled by another district temporarily may be assigned to an alternative school for the same length of time as imposed by the other district.

     
 

F.

The informal hearing at the school level shall be conducted by the Principal. If available, the student shall be given an opportunity to be heard at this hearing. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Principal will reaffirm the suspension and recommendation for expulsion, or, based upon consideration of the facts and circumstances explained at the hearing, will advise the parent of the schoolís intention to withdraw the request for expulsion and take some alternative action.

     
 

G.

The parent shall be informed that, prior to any Board action being taken on the expulsion or administrative assignment, they will be given the opportunity to request a hearing before an impartial hearing officer. Prior to a formal hearing, the parent will be offered an appeal conference with a representative from School Operations/Alternative Education.

     
 

H.

Students with disabilities who are expelled are entitled to a Due Process Hearing with the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings. However, during the course of litigation, the studentís placement is at the alternative school. Students with disabilities must continue to receive FAPE while assigned to an alternative school. Refer to the Exceptional Student Education Policies and Procedures (SP&P) Policy 2460.

A copy of this policy is to be made available to students and parents upon request. Key provisions of the policy should also be included in the CSC.

F.S. 1002.20, 1003.02, 1006.07, 1006.09
F.A.C. 6A-6.03312
18 U.S.C. Section 921
20 U.S.C. 8921