State law provides comprehensive assurances of due process for students facing disciplinary action.
Oregon Administrative Rules 581-021-0065 Suspension
(1) Students may be suspended when such suspension contains within its procedures the elements of prior notice (OAR 581-021-0075), specification of charges, and an opportunity for the student to present his or her view of the alleged misconduct. The suspending official shall notify the student's parent or guardian of the suspension, the conditions for reinstatement, and appeal procedures, where applicable. These procedures may be postponed in emergency situations relating to health and safety. (2) Emergency situations shall be limited to those instances where there is a serious risk that substantial harm will occur if suspension does not take place immediately. (3) School district boards shall provide students suspended under emergency conditions with the rights outlined in section (1) of this rule as soon as the emergency condition has passed. (4) In all suspensions ordered by the executive officer of the school district or designated representative, the district school board shall have the right of final review if the action is not taken by the school board itself. (5) School district boards shall limit suspension to a specific maximum number of days. That maximum shall not exceed ten school days. (6) School district boards shall adopt policies that require consideration of the age of a student and the past pattern of behavior of a student prior to imposing the suspension or expulsion of a student. For students in fifth grade or lower, the policies must limit the use of out-of-school suspension to the following circumstances:
- (a) for non-accidental conduct causing serious physical harm to a student or school employee;
- (b) when a school administrator determines, based upon the administrator's observation or upon a report from a school employee, that the student's conduct poses a direct threat to the health or safety of students or school employees; or
- (c) when the suspension or expulsion is required by law (7) When an out of school suspension is imposed for a student who is fifth grade or younger, district policies must require schools to take steps to prevent the recurrence of the behavior that led to the out-of-school suspension and return the student to a classroom setting so that the disruption of the student's academic instruction is minimized. (8) School district boards or designated representatives shall specify the methods and conditions, if any, under which the student's school work can be made up. Students shall be allowed to make up school work upon their return from the suspension if that work reflects achievement over a greater period of time than the length of the suspension. For example, the students shall be allowed to make up final, mid-term, and unit examinations, without an academic penalty, but it is within the districts' discretion as to whether the students may be allowed to make up daily assignments, laboratory experiments, class discussions or presentations. (9) In special circumstances a suspension may be contained until some specific pending action occurs, such as physical or mental examination, or incarceration by court action.
Oregon Administrative Rules 581-021-0070 Expulsion
(1) Each district school board shall adopt written policies that limit the use of expulsion to the following circumstances:
- (a) For conduct that poses a threat to the health or safety of students of school employees;
- (b) When other strategies to change student conduct have been ineffective, except that expulsion may not be used to address truancy; or
- (c) When the expulsion is required by law
- (d) In addition to any limitations imposed by paragraphs (a) to (c) of this subsection, board policies must limit the use of expulsion for students in fifth grade or lower to the following circumstances:
- (i) For nonaccidential conduct causing serious physical harm to a student or school employee;
- (ii) When a school administrator determines, based upon the administrator's observation or upon a report from a school employee, that the student's conduct poses a direct threat to the health or safety of students or school employees;
(2) A school district board may expel, or delegate authority to a hearings officer to expel, a student provided the student is not expelled without a hearing unless the student's parent(s) or guardian, or the student, if 18 years of age, waives the right to a hearing. Waiver may take place by the parent or the student, if 18 years of age, notifying the school district in writing of waiver of the right to a hearing. Waiver may also take place by the parent, or the student, if age 18 or over, failing to appear after notice, at the place and time set for the hearing:
- (a) If the school board acts to expel, the hearing may be conducted by a hearings officer designated by the board. In cases where the hearings officer is conducting the expulsion hearing for the board, the hearings officer shall provide to the board the findings as to the facts, the recommended decision and whether or not the student is guilty of the conduct alleged. This material shall be made available at the same time to the parent or guardian, and to the student, if age 18 or over;
- (b) If the authority to expel a student is delegated to a hearings officer, the parent, or student, if age 18 or over, shall have the right upon appeal to a board review of the decision. If the decision is appealed to the board for review, the board shall be provided findings as to the facts and the decision of the hearings officer. This material shall be made available at the same time to the parent or guardian, and to the student, if age 18 or over. When appealed, the board will affirm, modify, or rescind the decision of the hearings officer.
(3) Student expulsion hearings shall be conducted pursuant to ORS 332.061.
(4) Expulsion hearing policies or rules shall contain provisions for the following:
- (a) Notice to the student and to the parent or guardian shall be given by personal service or certified mail of the charge or charges and the specific facts that support the charge or charges. The notice shall include the statement of intent to consider the charges as reason for expulsion. Where notice is given by personal service, the person serving the notice shall file a return of service. When notice is given by certified mail to a parent of a suspended student the notice shall be placed in the mail at least five days before the date of the hearing.
Oregon Revised Statutes 332.061 Hearing to expel minor students or to examine confidential medical records; exceptions to public meetings law
Notwithstanding ORS 192.610 to 192.690 governing public meetings: (1) Any hearing held by a district school board or its hearings officer on any of the following matters shall be conducted in executive session of the board or privately by the hearings officer unless the student or the student’s parent or guardian requests a public hearing:
- (a) Expulsion of a minor student from a public elementary or secondary school.
- (b) Matters pertaining to or examination of the confidential records of a student. (2) If an executive session is held by a district school board or a private hearing is held by its hearings officer under this section, the following shall not be made public:
- (a) The name of the minor student.
- (b) The issue, including a student’s confidential records.
- (c) The discussion.
- (d) The school board member’s vote on the issue. (3) The school board members may vote in an executive session conducted pursuant to this section.
Oregon Revised Statutes 339.250 Duty of student to comply with rules; policies on discipline suspension expulsion threats of violence or harm firearms and physical force; student handbook or code of conduct; enforcement of policies
(e) When an out-of-school suspension is imposed as provided under paragraph (d) of this subsection, must require the school district to take steps to prevent the recurrence of the behavior that led to the out-of-school suspension and return the student to a classroom setting so that the disruption of the student’s academic instruction is minimized. (f) Must be limited so that:
- (A) The duration of an expulsion may not be more than one calendar year.
- (B) The duration of a suspension may not be more than 10 school days. (g) Notwithstanding ORS 336.010, may require a student to attend school during nonschool hours as an alternative to suspension if the total number of hours does not exceed the equivalent of 10 school days.
(3) Pursuant to the policies adopted as provided by subsection (2) of this section, each school district shall develop a student handbook, code of conduct or other document that: (a) Defines and helps create a learning environment that students respect; (b) Defines acceptable norms of behavior for students and the types of behavior that are subject to discipline; (c) Establishes procedures to address behavior or circumstances that pose a threat to the safety of students or employees of the school; (d) Establishes a system of consequences that are designed to correct student misconduct and promote behavior within acceptable norms; and (e) Makes the system of consequences known to the school community through the dissemination of information to students, parents, legal guardians and school district employees.
(4) Each district school board shall adopt written policies on managing students who threaten violence or harm in public schools. The policies adopted by a district school board under this section shall include all of the following: (a) Staff reporting methods. (b) Provisions that allow an administrator to consider and implement any of the following options:
- (A) Immediately removing from the classroom setting any student who has threatened to injure another person or to severely damage school property.
- (B) Placing the student in a setting where the behavior will receive immediate attention, including, but not limited to, the office of the school principal, vice principal, assistant principal, counselor or a school psychologist licensed by the Teacher Standard and Practices Commission or the office of any licensed mental health professional.
- (C) Requiring that a school obtain an evaluation of a student by a licensed mental health professional before allowing the student to return to the classroom setting. A student who is removed from the classroom setting for an evaluation may not be removed for more than 10 school days unless the administrator is able to show good cause that an evaluation could not be completed in that time period. The policy must describe the circumstances under which the district school board may enter into contracts with licensed mental health professionals to perform any evaluations required under this subparagraph. (c) The requirement that an administrator provide to the parent or legal guardian of the student notification that describes the student’s behavior and the school’s response.