Vermont - Disciplinary Due Process: Program Requirement

Area: 
Program Requirement
Policy Type: 
Regulation
Summary: 

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

Code of Vermont Rules 22-000-009 Section 4311 Procedures.

When a student is subject to disciplinary action, the school district shall afford the student due process procedures as follows:

4311.1 In all cases of short-term suspension from school, which is generally regarded as 10 days or less, the student and his or her parent/guardian shall be given an opportunity for an informal hearing before an appropriately designated school official. Except for cases set forth in the last paragraph 4311.3, the hearing must precede the suspension and the district shall provide:

  • (1) notice of the charges;

  • (2) explanation of the evidence against the student;

  • (3) opportunity for the student to tell his or her side of the story;

  • (4) decision in writing to the parent/guardian.

4311.2 In cases of a long term suspension which is generally more than 10 days unless a school district establishes a shorter period, the student and his or her parent/guardian shall be given an opportunity for a formal hearing before the school board and the district shall provide:

  • (1) written notice of the following:

    • (a) nature of charges against the student;

    • (b) date, time and place of hearing;

    • (c) right to legal representation;

    • (d) possible penalties involved;

  • (2) opportunity to present evidence;

  • (3) opportunity to cross-examine witnesses;

  • (4) decision in writing to parent/guardian.

4311.3

(1) When a student, because of his or her conduct or condition, is an immediate threat to himself or herself, others, property or educational environment, the school district may take whatever action is appropriate under the circumstances, including, but not limited to, immediate suspension pending a hearing as soon as possible thereafter. In addition, in cases where a student brings a weapon (as defined in the federal Gun-Free School Act) to school, the school district must refer the student to a law enforcement agency and expel the student for a period of not less than one calendar year unless such expulsion is modified in accordance with the provisions of 16 V.S.A. § 1166(b)(2) in circumstances such as but not limited to:

  • (a) the student is unaware that he or she has brought a weapon to school,

  • (b) the student did not intend to use the weapon to threaten or endanger others,

  • (c) the student is disabled and the misconduct is related to the disability,

  • (d) the student does not present an ongoing threat to others and a lengthy expulsion would not serve the best interest of the student.

(2) In situations where a student with a disability brings a weapon to school, the provisions of regulation 4312(2) shall apply. In any such situation, an opportunity for a hearing prior to an expulsion must be provided prior to the expulsion, pursuant to 16 V.S.A. § 1166(b)(2).

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