State law provides comprehensive assurances of due process for students facing disciplinary action.
Code of Vermont Rules 22-000-003 Section 2122.1.School Facilities and the Learning Environment.
Each school shall maintain a safe, orderly, civil, flexible and positive learning environment, which is free from hazing, harassment and bullying and based on sound instructional and classroom management practices and clear discipline and attendance policies that are consistently and effectively enforced.
The design and operation of the school facilities shall be in full compliance with all state and federal fire, health, and safety, chemical and architectural Standard.
Each school's comprehensive plan for responding to student misbehavior, as required by 16 V.S.A. §1161a(a) , shall address student behavior, language, classroom attendance, clothing and treatment of property, as well as consequences for violations of policy, and shall be clear and consistently enforced.
Each school shall observe due process requirements as set forth in Rule 4300 et seq .
Code of Vermont Rules 22-000-009 Section 4311 Procedures.
When a student is subject to disciplinary action, the school district shall afford the student due process procedures as follows:
4311.1 In all cases of short-term suspension from school, which is generally regarded as 10 days or less, the student and his or her parent/guardian shall be given an opportunity for an informal hearing before an appropriately designated school official. Except for cases set forth in the last paragraph 4311.3, the hearing must precede the suspension and the district shall provide:
(1) notice of the charges;
(2) explanation of the evidence against the student;
(3) opportunity for the student to tell his or her side of the story;
(4) decision in writing to the parent/guardian.
4311.2 In cases of a long term suspension which is generally more than 10 days unless a school district establishes a shorter period, the student and his or her parent/guardian shall be given an opportunity for a formal hearing before the school board and the district shall provide:
(1) written notice of the following:
(a) nature of charges against the student;
(b) date, time and place of hearing;
(c) right to legal representation;
(d) possible penalties involved;
(2) opportunity to present evidence;
(3) opportunity to cross-examine witnesses;
(4) decision in writing to parent/guardian.
(1) When a student, because of his or her conduct or condition, is an immediate threat to himself or herself, others, property or educational environment, the school district may take whatever action is appropriate under the circumstances, including, but not limited to, immediate suspension pending a hearing as soon as possible thereafter. In addition, in cases where a student brings a weapon (as defined in the federal Gun-Free School Act) to school, the school district must refer the student to a law enforcement agency and expel the student for a period of not less than one calendar year unless such expulsion is modified in accordance with the provisions of 16 V.S.A. § 1166(b)(2) in circumstances such as but not limited to:
(a) the student is unaware that he or she has brought a weapon to school,
(b) the student did not intend to use the weapon to threaten or endanger others,
(c) the student is disabled and the misconduct is related to the disability,
(d) the student does not present an ongoing threat to others and a lengthy expulsion would not serve the best interest of the student.
(2) In situations where a student with a disability brings a weapon to school, the provisions of regulation 4312(2) shall apply. In any such situation, an opportunity for a hearing prior to an expulsion must be provided prior to the expulsion, pursuant to 16 V.S.A. § 1166(b)(2).
Manual of Rules and Practices: Pupils
This document addresses procedural due process rights in student discipline
Vermont Statutes 16 V.S.A. § 1161a. Discipline
(a) Each public and each approved independent school shall adopt and implement a comprehensive plan for responding to student misbehavior. To the extent appropriate, the plan shall promote the positive development of youths. The plan shall include: (7) Standard due process procedures for suspension and expulsion of a student.
Vermont Statutes 16 V.S.A. § 1165. Alcohol and drug abuse
(a) The State Board, in consultation with local school boards, the alcohol and drug division, the law enforcement authorities, and the juvenile court system shall formulate a general policy for the education, discipline, and referral for rehabilitation of students who are involved with alcohol or drug abuse on school property or at school functions. (b) The State Board shall adopt rules for all school districts that include Standard consistent with due process of law for discipline, suspension, or dismissal of students and recommended procedures for education and for referral for treatment and rehabilitation. (c) Each school district shall adopt its own policy consistent with the State Board's rules setting forth: recommended procedures for education; referral for treatment, counseling, and rehabilitation; and Standard consistent with due process of law for discipline, suspension, or dismissal of students in accordance with section 1162 of this title. Nothing in this section is intended to mandate local school districts to employ counselors for treatment or rehabilitation. (d) [Repealed.] (e) No municipality, school district, or officer or employee of the school district shall be liable for civil damages in connection with the implementation of the purposes of this section so long as they have acted in good faith and not knowingly in violation of the constitutional or civil rights of any person.
Vermont Statutes 16 V.S.A. § 1166 Possession of a firearm at school
(a) In this section, the terms "to school" and "firearm" shall have the same meaning that the terms have in 18 U.S.C. § 921. The school board may expand the definitions, however, provided they remain consistent with federal law. (b) Each school board shall adopt and implement policies regarding a student who brings a firearm to or possesses a firearm at school, which at a minimum shall include: (1) A provision that any student who brings a firearm to or possesses a firearm at school shall be referred to a law enforcement agency. In addition to any other action the law enforcement agency may take, it may report the incident to the Department for Children and Families. (2) A provision that the superintendent or principal, with the approval of the school board following opportunity for a hearing, shall expel from the school for not less than one calendar year any student who brings a firearm to or possesses a firearm at school; provided, however, the school board may modify the expulsion on a case-by-case basis. Modifications may be granted in circumstances such as: (A) The student is unaware that he or she has brought a firearm to or possessed a firearm at school. (B) The student did not intend to use the firearm to threaten or endanger others. (C) The student has a disability and the misconduct is related to the student's disability. (D) The student does not present an ongoing threat to others and a lengthy expulsion would not serve the best interests of the student. (c) Annually at a time and on a form determined by the Secretary, each superintendent shall provide the Secretary with a description of the circumstances surrounding expulsions imposed under this section, the number of students expelled, and the type of firearm involved.
Vermont Supplemental Rules: Special Education
This document addresses procedural due process rights in student discipline