Due Process (Suspension or Expulsion)

Any student facing a suspension or expulsion will be provided basic due process as a legal safeguard to protect the constitutional rights of the student and his or  her parents/guardians

As soon as possible, following an alleged violation, initiate basic due process

  • The principal or designee investigates an allegation, provides notice to the student if the allegation is found to be valid, explains the evidence and gives the student a chance to present their side.
  • Principals may immediately remove a student whose presence poses a continuing clear and present danger to persons or property or disruption of the academic process.

Conclude basic due process within 1-2 school days

  • After reviewing the facts, principals may impose non-exclusionary discipline or a short-term suspension (1-10 school days) or, if warranted, may begin the process for a long-term suspension (11-180 school days) or expulsion.
  • A principal must impose a "short-term pending long-term suspension" when they begin the process for a long-term suspension or expulsion.
Short-Term Suspension Decision and Appeal Process
District policy provides the following protections for students facing a short-term suspension (including a short-term pending long-term suspension or expulsion)

Notice of suspension to parent on the first day; meet with parent/guardian, if possible, the first or second day.
  • The principal or designee calls the parent/guardian, gives the notice of suspension to the student, and sends a copy to the parent on the 1st day of suspension.
  • Parents/guardians may meet with the principal within the 1st or 2nd day of the suspension.  The principal may offer an abeyance contract or parent/guardian may appeal the decision to the Assistant Superintendent with 3 school days.
  • If appealed, the Assistant Superintendent or designee must review the decision within 3 school days, affirm or reduce the discipline, and notify the parent/guardian/principal as soon as possible.
Due Process (Long-Term Suspension or Expulsion)
Principals/assistant principals must impose a “short-term pending long-term suspension” if they are considering long-term suspension or expulsion, and must first comply with the basic due process described on Due Process (Suspension or Expulsion) (the short-term pending long-term suspension period will count towards the long-term suspension) . Once a principal decides to impose a long term suspension or expulsion, the District shall provide more formal due process as a legal safeguard to protect the constitutional rights of students and parents/guardians.

Students Rights including the right to representation by a parent/guardian and/or legal counsel (parents or guardians can be present at all proceedings)

  • Reasonable access to evidence and the student’s records at least two days prior to the hearing.
  • To be free from having to present evidence against themselves.
  • To present favorable evidence and witnesses; and to question evidence and witnesses at the hearing.
  • To have the testimony presented and saved.
  • To have an interpreter present, if one is necessary.
  • To waive any or all rights once they are made known.
Long-Term Suspension Decision and Appeal Process

District policy provides protections for students facing a long-term suspension or expulsion. If a principal recommends expulsion, the District must follow procedures outlined in Regulation JK-R3.

Notice of suspension and hearing to parent/guardian by the third school day of the short-term suspension.

  • At the beginning of the process for a long term suspension, the principal/assistant principal must send the notice of suspension and hearing to the parent/guardian by the third school day of the short-term pending long-term suspension.
  • On or before the day the notice is sent, the principal/assistant principal must make a reasonable attempt to communicate verbally to the parent/guardian and student about the content of the notice.

Hearing and appeal procedures and timelines

  • Formal Hearing by the 10th school day of the short-term pending long-term suspension.
  • Principal or designee must send the decision within 3 school days.
  • Parent/guardian may appeal within 3 school days of receipt; the Assistant Superintendent or designee must review within 5 school days and notify the parent/guardian/principal as soon as possible.
  • The parent/guardian may further appeal to Governing Board within 5 school days from receiving notice.
  • Board must decide within 10 days after reviewing the record.
Excellence in education, engagement, service, and opportunity every day for every student.
Tucson Unified School District