State law provides comprehensive assurances of due process for students facing disciplinary action.
Wyoming Statutes 21-4-305. Suspension or expulsion; authority; procedure.
(a) The board of trustees of any school district is authorized to suspend or expel a student subject to the requirements to provide notice and an opportunity to be heard as set forth in this section. The board of trustees may delegate the authority to suspend or expel a student to disciplinarians chosen from the administrative and supervisory staff.
(b) No student shall be suspended or expelled from school without notice as set forth in this subsection and an opportunity to be heard as set forth in subsection (c) of this section. To provide notice the disciplinarian shall:
- (i) Give the student to be suspended or expelled oral or written notice of the charges against him and an explanation of the evidence the authorities have;
- (ii) In good faith attempt to notify the student’s parents, guardians or custodians within twenty-four (24) hours of the student’s suspension or expulsion and the reasons for the suspension or expulsion, using contact information on record with the school or district. The disciplinarian shall keep record of the efforts to provide notice under this paragraph and whether the notice was provided successfully;
- (iii) Give the student to be suspended or expelled an opportunity to be heard and to present his version of the charges against him as set forth in subsection (c) of this section;
(c) To provide an opportunity to be heard the disciplinarian shall give every student to be suspended or expelled the opportunity to be heard as soon as practicable after the misconduct, and in accordance with the following, unless a student requests an extension of time and the board of trustees or the disciplinarian designee of the board approves the extension:
- (i) For a suspension of ten (10) school days or less, notice shall be provided in accordance with paragraph (b)(ii) of this section and a student shall be provided an opportunity to be heard before a student is removed unless the student’s presence endangers persons or property or threatens disruption of the academic process, in which case his immediate removal from school may be justified, but the opportunity to be heard shall follow as soon as practicable, and not later than seventy-two (72) hours after his removal, not counting Saturdays and Sundays;
- (ii) For a suspension or expulsion longer than ten (10) school days a hearing shall be held in accordance with the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act and, unless the student requests an extension and the board or the disciplinarian designee of the board approves an extension, the hearing shall be held within ten (10) business days, or as soon thereafter as is reasonably practicable, after the supervisory staff disciplinarian recommends suspension or expulsion to the appropriate administrator. The student’s suspension shall continue until the hearing is held.
(d) Repealed by Laws 2019, ch. 164, § 2.
(e) Suspension or expulsion shall not be imposed as an additional punishment for offenses punishable under the laws of the state, except for expulsion by a district superintendent under subsection (a) of this section, or where the offense was committed at a school function, against the property of the school, or is of such nature that continuation of the child in school would clearly be detrimental to the education, welfare, safety or morals of other pupils. No suspension or expulsion shall be for longer than one (1) year.
(f) Any decision of the board, or of a designated superintendent, shall be considered a final decision which may be appealed to the district court of the county in which the school district is located, pursuant to provisions of the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act. The court may, on application or on its own motion, stay the decision of the board or superintendent pending appeal, considering both the best interests of the child and the need to maintain an orderly environment conducive to learning for other children.
(g) As used in this chapter, an “opportunity to be heard” means at a minimum a meeting in which the disciplinarian or his designee provides the substantive information regarding the suspension or expulsion to the student to be suspended, and the student to be suspended may dispute the substantive information provided. An opportunity to be heard does not require a formal hearing in accordance with the provisions of the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act except as provided in paragraph (c)(ii) of this section.