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. Expulsion is the permanent withdrawal of the privilege of attending any school in the District unless the Governing Board reinstates the privilege.

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 within 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 page 5 (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.

Student 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.
Tucson Unified School District