State law provides comprehensive assurances of due process for students facing disciplinary action.
Kansas Statutes 72-6115. Duration of suspension or expulsion; notice; hearings, opportunity afforded, waiver, time, who may conduct.
(a) A suspension may be for a short term not exceeding 10 school days, or for an extended term not exceeding 90 school days. An expulsion may be for a term not exceeding 186 school days. If a suspension or expulsion is for a term exceeding the number of school days remaining in the school year, any remaining part of the term of the suspension or expulsion may be applied to the succeeding school year.
(b)(1) Except as authorized in provision (2), no suspension for a short term shall be imposed upon a pupil without giving the pupil notice of the charges and affording the pupil an opportunity for a hearing thereon. The notice may be oral or written and the hearing may be held immediately after the notice is given. The hearing may be conducted informally but shall include the following procedural due process requirements: (A) The right of the pupil to be present at the hearing; (B) the right of the pupil to be informed of the charges; (C) the right of the pupil to be informed of the basis for the accusation; and (D) the right of the pupil to make statements in defense or mitigation of the charges or accusations. Refusal of a pupil to be present at the hearing will constitute a waiver of the pupil’s opportunity for a hearing.
(2) A short-term suspension may be imposed upon a pupil forthwith, and without affording the pupil a hearing if the presence of the pupil endangers other persons or property or substantially disrupts, impedes or interferes with the operation of the school.
(c) A written notice of any short-term suspension and the reason therefor shall be given to the pupil involved and to the pupil’s parent or guardian within 24 hours after the suspension has been imposed and, in the event the pupil has not been afforded a hearing prior to any short-term suspension, an opportunity for an informal hearing shall be afforded the pupil as soon thereafter as practicable but in no event later than 72 hours after such short-term suspension has been imposed. Any notice of the imposition of a short-term suspension that provides an opportunity for an informal hearing after such suspension has been imposed shall state that failure of the pupil to attend the hearing will result in a waiver of the pupil’s opportunity for the hearing.
(d) No suspension for an extended term and no expulsion shall be imposed upon a pupil until an opportunity for a formal hearing thereon is afforded the pupil. A written notice of any proposal to suspend for an extended term or to expel from school, and the charges upon which the proposal is based shall be given to the pupil proposed to be suspended or expelled from school, and to the pupil’s parent or guardian. Any notice of a proposal to suspend for an extended term or to expel from school shall state the time, date and place that the pupil will be afforded an opportunity for a formal hearing, and that failure of the pupil and the pupil’s parent or guardian to attend the hearing will result in a waiver of the pupil’s opportunity for the hearing. The hearing shall be held not later than 10 days after the date of the notice. The notice shall be accompanied by a copy of this act and the regulations of the board of education adopted under K.S.A. 72-8903, and amendments thereto.
(e) Whenever any written notice is required under this act to be given to a pupil or to a pupil’s parent or guardian, it shall be sufficient if the notice is mailed to the address on file in the school records of the pupil. In lieu of mailing the written notice, the notice may be personally delivered.
(f) A formal hearing on a suspension or expulsion may be conducted by any person or committee of persons authorized by the board of education to conduct the hearing.
Kansas Statutes 72-6116. Procedural due process requirements; record of appeal costs; report of findings and result of hearing; information regarding behavior improvement programs.
(a) The formal hearing provided for in K.S.A. 2017 Supp. 72-6115, and amendments thereto, shall be conducted in accordance with regulations relating thereto adopted by the board of education. Such regulations shall afford procedural due process including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) The right of the pupil to have counsel of the pupil’s own choice present and to receive the advice of such counsel or other person whom the pupil may select;
(2) the right of the parents or guardians of the pupil to be present at the hearing;
(3) the right of the pupil and the pupil’s counsel or advisor to hear or read a full report of testimony of witnesses against the pupil;
(4) the right of the pupil and the pupil’s counsel to confront and cross-examine witnesses who appear in person at the hearing, either voluntarily or as a result of the issuance of a subpoena;
(5) the right of the pupil to present the pupil’s own witnesses in person or their testimony by affidavit;
(6) the right of the pupil to testify in the pupil’s own behalf and give reasons for the pupil’s conduct;
(7) the right of the pupil to have an orderly hearing; and
(8) the right of the pupil to a fair and impartial decision based on substantial evidence.
(b) In all extended-term suspension and expulsion from school cases, there shall be made a record of the hearing of an appeal of the suspension or expulsion, whichever is applicable, by mechanical or electronic recording or by an official court reporter, and the costs thereof shall be paid by the school district.
(c) At the conclusion of a formal hearing which results in a suspension for an extended term or an expulsion, the person or committee conducting the hearing shall make a written report of the findings and results of the hearing. The report shall be directed to the board of education of the school district and shall be open to the inspection of the pupil who is suspended or expelled and, if the pupil is a juvenile, to the parents or guardians and counsel or other advisor of the pupil. If the pupil is an adult, the report shall be open to the inspection of the parents or guardians and counsel or other advisor of the pupil only upon written consent of the pupil. Whenever a formal hearing results in suspension for an extended term or expulsion, the person or committee conducting the hearing may make a finding that return to school by the pupil, pending appeal or during the period allowed for notice of appeal, is not reasonably anticipated to endanger the safety of others, to cause continuing repeated material disorder, disruption or interference with the operation of school, or to substantially or materially impinge upon or invade the rights of others, in which case the pupil may return to school until the period for filing a notice of appeal has expired with no notice filed, or until the determination of any appeal if a notice of appeal is filed. Whenever the person or committee conducting a hearing fails to make the findingspecified above, the report of the hearing shall provide that the suspension or expulsion of the pupil shall continue until appeal therefrom is determined or until the period of suspension or expulsion has expired, whichever occurs sooner. Any such pupil shall be provided with information concerning services or programs offered by public and private agencies that work toward improving those aspects of the pupil's attitudes and behavior that contributed to the conduct upon which the suspension or expulsion was based. If the pupil is a juvenile, the information shall also be provided to the parents or guardians of the pupil.
Kansas Statutes 72-6117. Notice of hearing results; appeal to board of education; hearing officers; procedure.
(a) Written notice of the result of any hearing imposing an extended-term suspension or an expulsion from school shall be given to the pupil suspended or expelled from school, and to the parents or guardians of the pupil within 24 hours after determination of such result.
(b) Any pupil, age 18 or older, who has been suspended for an extended term or expelled, or one of the pupil’s parents or guardians of a pupil under age 18, may appeal such suspension or expulsion to the board of education of the school district by filing a written notice of appeal with the clerk of the board of education not later than 10 calendar days after receiving the written notice. Any such appeal shall be heard by the board of education, or by a hearing officer appointed by such board, not later than 20 calendar days after such notice of appeal is filed. The pupil and the pupil’s parents or guardians shall be notified in writing of the time and place of the appeal hearing at least five days prior thereto. Such appeal shall be conducted under rules which are consonant with K.S.A. 72-8903, and amendments thereto. Except as provided by subsection (c), the decision on any such appeal shall be rendered not later than five days after the conclusion of the appeal hearing.
(c) For the purpose of hearing an appeal of an extended-term suspension or an expulsion, the board of education may appoint one or more hearing officers. Any such hearing officer shall be a member of the board of education, a certificated employee of the school district, or an attorney admitted to the practice of law in this state. Any such appointment shall apply to a particular hearing or to a set or class of hearings as specified by the board of education in making the appointment. Whenever a hearing officer appointed under authority of this section hears any appeal, the hearing officer shall prepare a written report thereon to the board of education. After receiving any such report, the board of education shall determine the matter with or without additional hearing. If a hearing officer is appointed to hear an appeal, the board shall render its decision not later than the next regularly-scheduled meeting of the board following the date of the conclusion of the hearing of the appeal by the hearing officer. Any matter determined by the board of education in accordance with this subsection shall be valid to the same extent as if the matter were fully heard by the board of education without a hearing officer.
Kansas Statutes 72-6119. Powers and duties of persons conducting hearings.
(a) Any person, hearing officer or any member of a committee or the board of education conducting a hearing under this act may:
(1) Administer oaths for the purpose of taking testimony;
(2) call and examine witnesses and receive documentary and other evidence; and
(3) take any other action necessary to make the hearing accord with procedural due process.
(b) Any hearing officer, any member of a committee or the board of education holding a formal hearing or an appeal hearing under this act may and, upon the request of any pupil for whom any such hearing is held or upon the request of the pupil’s parents or guardians or counsel, shall petition the chief judge of the judicial district in which the school district is located requesting that the clerk of the district court be authorized to issue subpoenas for the attendance and testimony of the principal witness or witnesses and the production of books, records, reports, papers and documents relating to the proposed suspension or expulsion from school in the same manner as provided for the issuance of subpoenas in civil actions pursuant to K.S.A. 60-245, and amendments thereto.