New Mexico - Disciplinary Due Process: Program Requirement

Area: 
Program Requirement
Policy Type: 
Statute
Summary: 

State law provides comprehensive assurances of due process for students facing disciplinary action.

New Mexico Administrative Code 6.11.2.12 Procedure for Detentions, Suspensions and Expulsions

G. Long-term suspension and expulsion.

  • (1) Each local school board shall authorize appropriate administrative authorities to initiate procedures leading to long-term suspension or expulsion. Where prompt action to suspend a student long-term is deemed appropriate, a temporary suspension may be imposed while the procedures for long-term suspension or expulsion are activated. However, where a decision following the required formal hearing is delayed beyond the end of the temporary suspension, the student must be returned to school pending the final outcome unless the provisions of Subsection G, Paragraph (4), Subparagraphs (j) and (k) of Section 6.11.2.12 NMAC below apply.
  • (2) A student who has been validly expelled or suspended is not entitled to receive any educational services from the local district during the period of the exclusion from school. A local school board may provide alternative arrangements, including correspondence courses at the student's or parent's expense pursuant to public education department requirements, if the board deems such arrangements appropriate.
  • (3) Each local school board shall establish, or shall authorize appropriate administrative authorities to establish, appropriate processes for handling long-term suspensions and expulsions. Unless the terms expressly indicate otherwise, nothing in the procedures below shall be construed as directing that any required decision be made by any particular person or body or at any particular level of administrative organization.
  • (4) The following rules shall govern the imposition of long-term suspensions or expulsions:
    • (a) Hearing authority; disciplinarian. The same person or group may, but need not, perform the functions of both hearing authority and disciplinarian. Where the functions are divided, the hearing authority's determination of the facts is conclusive on the disciplinarian, but the disciplinarian may reject any punishment recommended by the hearing authority.
    • (b) Review authority. Unless the local school board provides otherwise, a review authority shall have discretion to modify or overrule the disciplinarian's decision, but may not impose a harsher punishment. A review authority shall be bound by a hearing authority's factual determinations except as provided in Subsection G, Paragraph (4), Subparagraph (o) of Section 6.11.2.12 NMAC below.
    • (c) Disqualification. No person shall act as hearing authority, disciplinarian or review authority in a case where (s)he was directly involved in or witnessed the incident(s) in question, or if (s)he has prejudged disputed facts or is biased for or against any person who will actively participate in the proceedings.
    • (d) Local board participation. A local board may act as hearing authority, disciplinarian or review authority for any cases involving proposed long-term suspensions or expulsions. Whenever a quorum of the local board acts in any such capacity, however, the Open Meetings Act, Section 10-15-1 et seq., NMSA 1978 requires a public meeting.
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