State law encourages districts to use alternatives to out-of-school suspension or expulsion, such as in-school suspension, behavioral interventions, or restorative practices.
Nebraska Revised Statutes 79-209. Compulsory attendance; nonattendance; school district; duties; collaborative plan; considerations; referral to county attorney; notice.
(2) All school boards shall have a written policy on attendance developed and annually reviewed in collaboration with the county attorney of the county in which the principal office of the school district is located. The policy shall include a provision indicating how the school district will handle cases in which excessive absences are due to illness. The policy shall also state the circumstances and number of absences or the hourly equivalent upon which the school shall render all services to address barriers to attendance. Such services shall include, but not be limited to: (a) Verbal or written communication by school officials with the person or persons who have legal or actual charge or control of any child; and (b) One or more meetings between, at a minimum, a school attendance officer, a school social worker, or a school administrator or his or her designee, the person who has legal or actual charge or control of the child, and the child, when appropriate, to attempt to address the barriers to attendance. The result of the meeting or meetings shall be to develop a collaborative plan to reduce barriers identified to improve regular attendance. The plan shall consider, but not be limited to: (i) Illness related to physical or behavioral health of the child; (ii) Educational counseling; (iii) Educational evaluation; (iv) Referral to community agencies for economic services; (v) Family or individual counseling; (vi) Assisting the family in working with other community services; and (vii) Referral to restorative justice practices or services.
Nebraska Revised Statutes 79-258. Administrative and teaching personnel; authorized actions.
Administrative and teaching personnel may take actions regarding student behavior, other than those specifically provided in the Student Discipline Act, which are reasonably necessary to aid the student, further school purposes, or prevent interference with the educational process. Such actions may include, but need not be limited to, counseling of students, parent conferences, referral to restorative justice practices or services, rearrangement of schedules, requirements that a student remain in school after regular hours to do additional work, restriction of extracurricular activity, or requirements that a student receive counseling, psychological evaluation, or psychiatric evaluation upon the written consent of a parent or guardian to such counseling or evaluation.
Nebraska Revised Statutes 79-265. Principal; suspend student; grounds; procedure; written statement; conference; guidelines for completion of classwork.
(1) The principal may deny any student the right to attend school or to take part in any school function for a period of up to five school days on the following grounds:
- (a) Conduct constituting grounds for expulsion as set out in the Student Discipline Act; or
- (b) Any other violation of rules and Standard of behavior adopted under the act.
(2) Such short-term suspension shall be made only after the principal has made an investigation of the alleged conduct or violation and has determined that such suspension is necessary to help any student, to further school purposes, or to prevent an interference with school purposes.
(3) Before such short-term suspension takes effect, the student shall be given oral or written notice of the charges against him or her, an explanation of the evidence the authorities have, and an opportunity to present his or her version.
(4) Within twenty-four hours or such additional time as is reasonably necessary following such suspension, the principal shall send a written statement to the student and his or her parent or guardian describing the student’s conduct, misconduct, or violation of the rule or standard and the reasons for the action taken. The principal shall make a reasonable effort to hold a conference with the parent or guardian before or at the time the student returns to school.
(5) Any student who is suspended pursuant to this section may be given an opportunity to complete any classwork, including, but not limited to, examinations, missed during the period of suspension. Each public school district shall develop and adopt guidelines stating the criteria school officials shall use in determining whether and to what extent such opportunity for completion will be granted to suspended students. The guidelines shall be provided to the student and parent or guardian at the time of suspension.
Nebraska Revised Statutes 79-267. Student conduct constituting grounds for long-term suspension expulsion or mandatory reassignment; enumerated; alternatives for truant or tardy students.
It is the intent of the Legislature that alternatives to suspension or expulsion be imposed against a student who is truant, tardy, or otherwise absent from required school activities.