Michigan - Limits on Exclusionary Discipline: Prohibitions or Restrictions

Area: 
Prohibitions Or Restrictions
Policy Type: 
Statute
Summary: 

State law discourages district use of zero tolerance approaches andencourages school administrator discretion in determining sanctions for violations of school policy.

Michigan Compiled Laws 380.1310c Restorative practices as alternative or in addition to suspension or expulsion; definitions

(1) A school board or its designee shall consider using restorative practices as an alternative or in addition to suspension or expulsion under this act. If a school board or its designee suspends or expels a pupil under this act, the school board or its designee shall consider using restorative practices in addition to suspension or expulsion. If a school board or its designee decides not to suspend or expel a pupil for a disciplinary issue, the school board or its designee shall consider using restorative practices to address the disciplinary issue.

(2) Restorative practices may include victim-offender conferences that are initiated by the victim; that are approved by the victim’s parent or legal guardian or, if the victim is at least age 15, by the victim; that are attended voluntarily by the victim, a victim advocate, the offender, members or the school community, and supporters of the victim and the offender; and that provide an opportunity for the offender to accept responsibility for the harm caused to those affected by the misconduct and to participate in setting consequences to repair the harm. The attendees, known as a restorative practices team, may require the pupil to do 1 or more of the following: apologize; participate in community service, restoration, or counseling; or pay restitution. The selected consequences shall be incorporated into an agreement that sets time limits for completion of the consequences and is signed by all participants. Restorative practices should be the first consideration to remediate offenses such as interpersonal conflicts, bullying, verbal and physical conflicts, theft, damage to property, class disruption, and harassment and cyberbullying.

(3) As used in this section:

  • (a) “Bullying” and “cyberbullying” mean those terms as defined in section 1310b.

  • (b) “Restorative practices” means practices that emphasize repairing the harm to the victim and the school community caused by a pupil’s misconduct.

  • (c) “School board” means a school board, intermediate school board, or the board of directors of a public school academy.

  • (d) “School district” means a school district, an intermediate school district, or a public school academy.


Michigan Compiled Laws 380.1311 Suspension or expulsion of pupil

(2) Subject to subsection (3) and section 1310d, if a pupil possesses in a weapon free school zone a weapon that constitutes a dangerous weapon, commits arson in a school building or on school grounds, or commits criminal sexual conduct in a school building or on school grounds, the school board, or the designee of the school board as described in subsection (1) on behalf of the school board, shall expel the pupil from the school district permanently, subject to possible reinstatement under subsection (6). However, a school board is not required to expel a pupil for possessing a weapon if the pupil establishes in a clear and convincing manner at least 1 of the following:

  • (a) The object or instrument possessed by the pupil was not possessed by the pupil for use as a weapon, or for direct or indirect delivery to another person for use as a weapon.

  • (b) The weapon was not knowingly possessed by the pupil.

  • (c) The pupil did not know or have reason to know that the object or instrument possessed by the pupil constituted a dangerous weapon.

  • (d) The weapon was possessed by the pupil at the suggestion, request, or direction of, or with the express permission of, school or police authorities.

(3) There is a rebuttable presumption that expulsion under subsection (2) for possession of a weapon is not justified if both of the following are met:

  • (a) The school board or its designee determines in writing that at least 1 of the factors listed in subsection (2)(a) to (d) has been established in a clear and convincing manner.

  • (b) The pupil has no history of suspension or expulsion.

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