A suspension is when a school removes a student from class for 10 days in a row or less. If a school decides to expel a student, it will usually suspend that student before holding an expulsion hearing.
A school may suspend students for up to 3 days for each serious act of disobedience or misconduct if the student's presence in school would:
- Be a threat to school safety
- Disrupt the other students' learning experience
A school may suspend a student for more than 3 days only if the school has tried other interventions and they haven't worked and the:
- Student's presence in school would be a threat to school safety
- Student's presence in school would disrupt the other student's learning experience
If a school suspends a student for longer than 4 days, they must provide appropriate and available support services while the student is suspended. Schools can suspend a student's for many actions including:
- Disobeying school staff
- Leaving the school without permission
- Being caught with cigarettes or lighters
- Damaging school property
- Using pagers or cell phones without permission
- Cheating or copying the work of another student or other source
- Bullying, or using threats, intimidation, or violence
- Turning on the fire alarm when there is no fire
- Stealing or bringing stolen goods to school
- Using or bringing fireworks to school
- Inappropriate sexual conduct
School personnel decide how long to suspend a student, but they must follow the school’s disciplinary handbook, which you and your child should have received and reviewed carefully at the beginning of the school year. If you do not have a copy of your district’s disciplinary handbook, you should request one as soon as possible. Many school districts also post their disciplinary handbook online.
In some situations, the school may also call the police. However, the school is not allowed to have their own booking station on school grounds where police detain students for criminal behavior.
When a student is suspended, the school must notify the parent or guardian of the reason for the suspension and the right to a review. The school must give a student suspended for more than 3 days the opportunity to make up work for equivalent school credit.
A school bus suspension may be for more than 10 days for safety reasons, and may affect the student’s ability to get to school. If a student is suspended from riding the bus and has no alternative transportation, the school must allow the student to make up missing work. The parent or guardian of the suspended student must tell the school that the student has no other way to get to school.
Note: Suspensions of students with disabilities have different rules.
Updated: February 2017