State law requires districts to limit use of out-of-school suspension and expulsion based on factors such as student age or offense type.
Georgia Compiled Rules & Regulations 160-4-8-.15 Student Discipline
(f) It is the preferred policy of the board that disruptive students are placed in alternative education settings in lieu of being suspended or expelled.
Official Code of Georgia Annotated 20-2-742. Multi-tiered system of supports prior to suspension or expulsion for certain students.
(a) As used in this Code section, the term:
- (1) "Multi-tiered system of supports" or "MTSS" means a systemic, continuous-improvement framework in which data based problem solving and decision making is practiced across all levels of the educational system for supporting students at multiple levels of intervention.
- (2) "Public preschool through third grade" means a public preschool, a Pre-K program in a public school administered pursuant to Code Section 20-1A-4, and kindergarten through third grade in a public school.
- (3) "Response to intervention" or "RTI" means a framework of identifying and addressing the academic and behavioral needs of students through a tiered system.
- (4) "Weapon" shall include dangerous weapons, firearms, and hazardous objects as defined in Code Section 20-2-751.
(b) No student in public preschool through third grade shall be expelled or suspended from school for more than five consecutive or cumulative days during a school year without first receiving a multi-tiered system of supports, such as response to intervention, unless such student possessed a weapon, illegal drugs, or other dangerous instrument or such student's behavior endangers the physical safety of other students or school personnel. If such student is receiving or has received a multi-tiered system of supports, the school shall be deemed to have met the requirements of this Code section. The school or program shall comply with all federal laws and requirements regarding obtaining parental consent during any advanced tier within the system of supports prior to certain screenings or evaluations.
(c) In addition to the requirements in subsection (b) of this Code section, prior to assigning any student in preschool through third grade to out-of-school suspension for more than five consecutive or cumulative days during a school year, if such student has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) pursuant to the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or a plan under Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the school or program shall also convene an IEP or Section 504 meeting to review appropriate supports being provided as part of such Individualized Education Program or Section 504 plan.