School Discipline in Connecticut

The prospect of your child being expelled from public or private school in Connecticut can be extremely stressful and challenging. If you and your child have received notice from the superintendent or an administrator that your student is facing expulsion you may wish to contact an experienced Connecticut school expulsion attorney.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN “EXPULSION” AND “SUSPENSION”?

School suspension is an exclusion from “school privileges” for not more than ten consecutive days. Expulsion, on the other hand, is the exclusion from school for more than 10 consecutive days. Further, unless extenuating circumstances exist, school suspensions should be served as “in-school” suspensions, and not out-of-school. The difference between a suspension and expulsion in Connecticut is crucial because the procedures the school most follow can differ greatly between the two. A Connecticut school expulsion attorney can ensure that your student is afforded the required rights depending on the length of the proposed exclusion.

CONNECTICUT SCHOOL EXPULSION PROCEDURES

It is important to know that expulsion and suspension should be a last resort for school administrators. If your student is facing suspension or expulsion in Connecticut it is important to know a few key things:

First, unless an emergency exists, no Connecticut student can be expelled without first being afforded appropriate due process. This means that the minor student and his parents first have a right to receive notice of the time, date and purpose of an expulsion hearing. Notice must be reasonable. Thus, you must be apprised of the allegations made against your student in a timely matter so that you can effectively defend against a possible expulsion. You have a right to know the facts and reasons the school is basing its decision to expel your student and your school expulsion attorney can review the allegations to determine whether expulsion is appropriate.

Second, due process requires that no student may be expelled without a fair hearing, and your student has a right be represented by an attorney at the expulsion hearing. If your student is facing expulsion, you may wish to contact a Connecticut school expulsion attorney to represent them at the expulsion hearing. Your Connecticut school expulsion attorney will investigate the relevant facts and issues, help negotiate an outcome before a hearing if possible, or, if necessary, cross examine the school board’s witnesses and present witnesses in defense of your student.

In cases of an emergency situation your student may be expelled without first having a hearing. However, your student is still entitled to one as soon after as possible.

Third, school expulsion procedures in Connecticut can move very quickly. Since a formal hearing must occur prior to any expulsion you may feel as though you are forced to act very quickly and, if you are rushed, you may feel forced to agree to your student’s discipline without knowing the full impact of such a decision. If your child has been suspended, expulsion may not be far behind. You should discuss your student’s situation with an attorney as soon as possible so that you can be better prepared to effectively deal with the process.

ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS

Expulsion is a severe punishment, and you must be sure to exercise every possible right afforded to your student in order avoid it.

Here are some other things to consider:

  1. If your child is facing expulsion and has never been suspended or expelled before then the current expulsion may be “suspended” and shortened or waived upon the completion of school sanctioned program or by meeting other school set conditions.
  2. There are different procedures in place for special education students facing expulsion. If your student is facing expulsion and requires special education, it is important to determine whether the alleged misconduct was caused by the student’s disability. If your child is a special education student facing expulsion you may wish to discuss the unique procedures for expelling a special education student in Connecticut.