State law establishes minimal assurances of due process for students facing disciplinary action.
Alabama Administrative Code 290-3-1-.02 Regulations Governing Public Schools.
(iii) Appeals Process. The appeal of a decision under Part I: Enrollment Status shall be submitted to the local school system. (I) To appeal, the student shall submit written notification of intent to appeal within 15 days of the issuance of enrollment status, including a statement of reasons for the appeal to the appropriate school principal. (II) Except as otherwise provided herein, the appeals process shall follow the procedures adopted by the local board of education for a long-term suspension or expulsion. The local board of education may adopt a different appeals process so long as it provides minimal due process.
Code of Alabama 16-1-24.1 Safe school and drug-free school policy; treatment of policy violators; promulgation and distribution of discipline policy; liability limited for discipline actions; local boards may adopt more stringent guidelines.
(f) The local school board shall adopt and make available to all teachers, school personnel, students, and parents or guardians, at the beginning of the 1992-93 school year and each school year thereafter, a code of student conduct developed in consultation with teachers, school personnel, students, and parents or guardians. The code shall be based on the rules governing student conduct and discipline adopted by the school board and may be made available at the school level in the student handbook or similar publication. The code shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
- (1) Specific grounds for disciplinary action.
- (2) Procedures to be followed for acts requiring discipline.
- (3) An explanation of the responsibilities and rights of students with regard to attendance, respect for persons and property, knowledge and observation of rules of conduct, the right to learn, free speech and student publications, assembly, privacy, and participation in school programs and activities.
(g) Except in the case of excessive force or cruel and unusual punishment, no certified or noncertified employee of the State Board of Education or any local board of education shall be civilly liable for any action carried out in conformity with state law and system or school rules regarding the control, discipline, suspension, and expulsion of students.
(h) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent a local board of education from promulgating more stringent rules and regulations than those adopted on the state level, in order to foster and maintain a safe and drug-free environment in the public schools.