District Discipline Hearings

René Malamed, Ed.D
Discipline Hearing Officer/Chairperson
[email protected]
209.754.2124

 

CUSD Discipline Hearings

When corrective measures and supports put in place at the school site have been ineffective, or a student is involved in a serious discipline incident, a student may be referred to a discipline or expulsion hearing. The purpose of a district discipline hearing is to support student, family, and school efforts to improve academic progress, attendance, and positive citizenship.

 

Discipline Review Hearings

Discipline Review Hearings are recommended when students continue to violate school rules or a student is involved in a serious discipline incident (for example, drug/alcohol possession or use, fighting, sexual or racial harassment, hazing, etc.) The student and his/her family, along with school administrator, meet before a panel of other school administrators. A panel typically develops a “rehabilitation plan” – a contract to support a child’s positive citizenship, attendance, and academic progress. As appropriate, the panel may recommend after school tutoring, assignment of a peer mentor, drug counseling, etc. When appropriate, such as in a case when a student has violated a current district contract, the panel may recommend a change of placement, or involuntary transfer, to an alternative educational site.

 

Involuntary Transfers

The Governing Board desires to enroll students in the school of their choice, but recognizes that circumstances sometimes necessitate the involuntary transfer of some students to another school or program in the district. The Superintendent or designee shall develop procedures to facilitate the transition of such students into their new school of enrollment.

Students may be involuntarily transferred under either of the following circumstances:

  1. If a high school student commits an act enumerated in Education Code 48900 or is habitually truant or irregular in school attendance, he/she may be transferred to a continuation school. (Education Code 48432.5) (cf. 6184 - Continuation Education)
  2. If a student is expelled from school for any reason, is probation-referred pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code 300 or 602, or is referred by a school attendance review board or another formal district process, he/she may be transferred to a community day school. (Education Code 48662)

In addition, a pupil may be assigned to a community day school only if he or she meets one or more of the following conditions:

  1. The pupil is expelled for any reason.
  2. The pupil is probation referred pursuant to Sections 300 and 602 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
  3. The pupil is referred to a community day school by a school attendance review board or other district level referral process. (Education Code 48662)

Administrative Hearing Panel (Expulsion Hearing)
An Administrative Hearing Panel is held when a student violates California Education Code and the site administrator recommends the student be expelled from school.
Within thirty school days of the principal or designee's determination to recommend expulsion, the student is entitled to a hearing. The student receives written notice of an expulsion hearing at least ten days prior to the hearing. This notice includes:

  • Date and place of the hearing.
  • The specific facts and charges upon which the proposed expulsion is based.
  • A copy of the disciplinary rules which relate to the alleged violation.
  • Explanation of the right for the student or student's parent or guardian to appear in person, or to obtain and be represented by an attorney.
  • Explanation of the right to inspect and obtain copies of all documents to be used at the hearing.
  • Explanation of the right to confront and question all witnesses who testify at the hearing, and to question all other evidence presented.
  • Explanation of the right to present evidence on the student's behalf, including witnesses.

A student is entitled to one postponement of an expulsion hearing. Once the hearing has started, it must be conducted without any unnecessary delay. A parent or guardian may also choose to waive their rights and agree to a stipulated decision.

The Administrative Hearing Panel conducts the hearing to consider the recommendation to expel a student. The panel is made up of at least three district administrators who are vice principals or principals, who are not employed at the student's school. Hearings are tape-recorded and students have access to written materials presented to the panel. At the end of the hearing, several different actions may take place:

  • If the administrative panel recommends that the Board expel a student but suspend the enforcement of the expulsion, the student shall not be reinstated and permitted to return to the classroom instructional program from which the referral was made until the Board has ruled on the recommendation.
  • If the Expulsion Review Panel decides to recommend expulsion, it must also recommend a rehabilitation plan for the student. The rehabilitation plan may include a review and assessment at the time of the application for re-admission to school. The plan may also include recommendations for counseling or other intervention support. The evidence supporting the decision to recommend expulsion, along with the proposed rehabilitation plan, is submitted to the Board for approval.

Upon reviewing the recommendations, the Board will either support the recommendation and order the expulsion, or reject the recommendation and suspend the expulsion order. The Board may also choose to suspend the expulsion order, but still assign the student to a school, class or alternative education school considered appropriate for the rehabilitation plan.

The student or parent/guardian is entitled to file an appeal of the Board's decision with the County Board. The appeal must be filed within 30 days of the Board's decision to expel (Education Code 48919).

 

The Stipulated Expulsion Process

A stipulated agreement is made when a student's parent or guardian agrees that the student did commit an act included in the reason for expulsion and is being recommended for expulsion, and do not want to participate in a hearing.

As part of reaching a stipulated agreement, the student and a parent or guardian will meet with the Child Welfare and Attendance Officer. They will review the evidence gathered in the investigation of the incident leading to the expulsion recommendation. At that time, if they agree to a stipulated decision, the student, parent or guardian and the administrator must all initial and agree upon the following:

  1. They have been informed of and understand the right to due process with regard to the expulsion recommendation.
  2. They have had the opportunity to review the reasons for the recommendation for expulsion and to discuss them with district personnel.
  3. They agree to the facts as stated in the expulsion recommendation.

As part of a stipulated agreement, the student's parent or guardian waives a number of rights:

  1. The right to an expulsion hearing.
  2. All notices and timelines required by policy or law.
  3. The right to be represented by an attorney at the expulsion hearing.
  4. The right to inspect and have copies of the documents which would have been used at the hearing.
  5. The right to confront and question all witnesses who would have testified at the hearing.
  6. The right to question all written evidence presented.
  7. The right to present witnesses and evidence on the student's behalf.
  8. The right to appeal to the county Board of Education if the stipulated expulsion is approved by the Board of Education as agreed upon.

A student's parent or guardian may consult with an attorney about the stipulated expulsion process. The Board of Education must still vote to approve a stipulated expulsion agreement.

 

Re-Entry Hearing

A student may require a re-entry hearing per their expulsion rehabilitation plan. An expulsion order remains in effect until the Board of Education orders the readmission of the student. Depending on the nature of the offense, an expulsion order cannot last longer than one year from the date of expulsion. This is not necessarily the date of offense, which may be much earlier.

  1. A re-entry hearing will be scheduled in which a panel will determine if the student has completed his or her rehabilitation plan and should be readmitted. This decision will take into consideration the nature of the offense leading to the expulsion, and the health, safety and welfare of all district staff and students. At the hearing, the student's rehabilitation plan shall be reviewed and the hearing chairperson and panel shall verify that the provisions of this plan have been met. School regulations shall be reviewed and the student and parent/guardian shall be asked to indicate in writing their willingness to comply with these regulations.
  2. The Superintendent or designee shall transmit to the Board his/her recommendation regarding readmission. The Board shall consider this recommendation in closed session. If a written request for open session is received from the parent/guardian or adult student, it shall be honored to the extent that privacy rights of other students are not violated. If the readmission is granted, the Superintendent or designee shall notify the student and parent/guardian, by registered mail, of the Board's decision regarding readmission.
  3. The Board may deny readmission only if it finds that the student has not satisfied the conditions of the rehabilitation plan or that the student continues to pose a danger to campus safety or to other district students or employees. (Education Code 48916).
  4. The Board shall provide written notice to the expelled student and parent/guardian describing the reasons for denying readmittance into the regular program. This notice shall indicate the Board's determination of the educational program which the Board has chosen. The student shall enroll in that program unless the parent/guardian chooses to enroll the student in another school district. (Education Code 48916).

 

Board Policies

Suspension and Expulsion: http://www.calaveras.k12.ca.us/bp/policy/5000series/AR5144.1.pdf

Involuntary Student Transfers: http://www.calaveras.k12.ca.us/bp/policy/5000series/BP5116.2.pdf

Transfer to Continuation School: http://www.calaveras.k12.ca.us/12%20Board%20Policy/Policy/5000%20Series/5114_1bp.pdf

Community Day School: http://www.calaveras.k12.ca.us/bp/policy/6000series/BP6185.pdf

School suspension and Expulsion CA Education Codes:

 

More Information

Know Your Rights PDF
https://www.aclunc.org/sites/default/files/kyr_school_discipline.pdf

CA Education Codes
https://safesupportivelearning.ed.gov/discipline-compendium/choose-type/California/Grounds%20for%20possible%20suspension%20or%20expulsion