State law requires districts to limit use of out-of-school suspension and expulsion based on factors such as student age or offense type.
Texas Statutes Education Code 37.001 Student Code of Conduct
(a) The board of trustees of an independent school district shall, with the advice of its district-level committee established under Subchapter F, Chapter 11, adopt a student code of conduct for the district. The student code of conduct must be posted and prominently displayed at each school campus or made available for review at the office of the campus principal. In addition to establishing Standard for student conduct, the student code of conduct must: (1) specify the circumstances, in accordance with this subchapter, under which a student may be removed from a classroom, campus, disciplinary alternative education program, or vehicle owned or operated by the district; (2) specify conditions that authorize or require a principal or other appropriate administrator to transfer a student to a disciplinary alternative education program; (3) outline conditions under which a student may be suspended as provided by Section 37.005 or expelled as provided by Section 37.007; (4) specify that consideration will be given, as a factor in each decision concerning suspension, removal to a disciplinary alternative education program, expulsion, or placement in a juvenile justice alternative education program, regardless of whether the decision concerns a mandatory or discretionary action, to: (A) self-defense; (B) intent or lack of intent at the time the student engaged in the conduct; (C) a student’s disciplinary history; (D) a disability that substantially impairs the student’s capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of the student’s conduct; (E) a student’s status in the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services; or (F) a student’s status as a student who is homeless; (5) provide guidelines for setting the length of a term of: (A) a removal under Section 37.006; and (B) an expulsion under Section 37.007; (6) address the notification of a student’s parent or guardian of a violation of the student code of conduct committed by the student that results in suspension, removal to a disciplinary alternative education program, or expulsion; (7) prohibit bullying, harassment, and making hit lists and ensure that district employees enforce those prohibitions; (8) provide, as appropriate for students at each grade level, methods, including options, for: (A) managing students in the classroom, on school grounds, and on a vehicle owned or operated by the district; (B) disciplining students; and (C) preventing and intervening in student discipline problems, including bullying, harassment, and making hit lists; and (9) include an explanation of the provisions regarding refusal of entry to or ejection from district property under Section 37.105, including the appeal process established under Section 37.105(h).
Texas Statutes Education Code 37.005 Suspension
(a) The principal or other appropriate administrator may suspend a student who engages in conduct identified in the student code of conduct adopted under Section 37.001 as conduct for which a student may be suspended.
(b) A suspension under this section may not exceed three school days.
(c) A student who is enrolled in a grade level below grade three may not be placed in out-of-school suspension unless while on school property or while attending a school-sponsored or school-related activity on or off of school property, the student engages in:
(1) conduct that contains the elements of an offense related to weapons under Section 46.02 or 46.05, Penal Code;
(2) conduct that contains the elements of a violent offense under Section 22.01, 22.011, 22.02, or 22.021, Penal Code; or
(3) selling, giving, or delivering to another person or possessing, using, or being under the influence of any amount of:
(A) marihuana or a controlled substance, as defined by Chapter 481, Health and Safety Code, or by 21 U.S.C. Section 801 et seq.;
(B) a dangerous drug, as defined by Chapter 483, Health and Safety Code; or
(C) an alcoholic beverage, as defined by Section 1.04, Alcoholic Beverage Code.
Texas Statutes Education Code 37.007. Expulsion for Serious Offenses.
(e) In accordance with 20 U.S.C. Section 7151, a local educational agency, including a school district, home-rule school district, or open-enrollment charter school, shall expel a student who brings a firearm, as defined by 18 U.S.C. Section 921, to school. The student must be expelled from the student’s regular campus for a period of at least one year, except that: (1) the superintendent or other chief administrative officer of the school district or of the other local educational agency, as defined by 20 U. S.C. Section 7801, may modify the length of the expulsion in the case of an individual student; (2) the district or other local educational agency shall provide educational services to an expelled student in a disciplinary alternative education program as provided by Section 37.008 if the student is younger than 10 years of age on the date of expulsion; and (3) the district or other local educational agency may provide educational services to an expelled student who is 10 years of age or older in a disciplinary alternative education program as provided in Section 37.008. (h) Subject to Subsection (e), notwithstanding any other provision of this section, a student who is younger than 10 years of age may not be expelled for engaging in conduct described by this section.