Utah - Alternatives to Exclusionary Discipline: Programs and Services

Programs And Services
Policy Type: 

State law requires districts to use alternatives to out-of-school suspension or expulsion, such as, in-school suspension, behavioral interventions, or restorative practices.

Utah Code 53A-11-911 Responses to school-based behavior. [Revised and renumbered as of 1/24/2018]

1) As used in this section:

  • (a) "Class A misdemeanor person offense" means a class A misdemeanor described in Title 76, Chapter 5, Offenses Against the Person, or Title 76, Chapter 5b, Sexual Exploitation Act.
  • (b) "Mobile crisis outreach team" means the same as that term is defined in Section 78A-6-105.
  • (c) "Nonperson class A misdemeanor" means a class A misdemeanor that is not a class A misdemeanor person offense.
  • (d) "Restorative justice program" means a school-based program that is designed to enhance school safety, reduce school suspensions, and limit referrals to court, and is designed to help minors take responsibility for and repair the harm of behavior that occurs in school.

(2) This section applies to a minor enrolled in school who is alleged to have committed an offense:

  • (a) on school property; or
  • (b) that is truancy.

(3) If the alleged offense is a class C misdemeanor, an infraction, a status offense on school property, or truancy, the minor may not be referred to law enforcement or court but may be referred to alternative school-related interventions, including:

  • (a) a mobile crisis outreach team, as defined in Section 78A-6-105;
  • (b) a receiving center operated by the Division of Juvenile Justice Services in accordance with Section 62A-7-104; and
  • (c) a youth court or comparable restorative justice program.

(4) If the alleged offense is a class B misdemeanor or a nonperson class A misdemeanor, the minor may be referred directly to the juvenile court by the school administrator or the school administrator's designee, or the minor may be referred to the alternative interventions in Subsection (3).

Utah Code 53G-8-207. Alternatives to suspension or expulsion.

(1) Each local school board or governing board of a charter school shall establish:

  • (a) policies providing that prior to suspending or expelling a student for repeated acts of willful disobedience, defiance of authority, or disruptive behavior which are not of such a violent or extreme nature that immediate removal is required, good faith efforts shall be made to implement a remedial discipline plan that would allow the student to remain in school; and
  • (b) alternatives to suspension, including policies that allow a student to remain in school under an in-school suspension program or under a program allowing the parent or guardian, with the consent of the student's teacher or teachers, to attend class with the student for a period of time specified by a designated school official.
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