Policies and Regulations NEPN Code: JK-R SFSD Logo

Students
Suspension discipline, Suspension and Expulsion

Rules of Student Conduct and Discipline
Students attending our schools are required to conduct themselves with respect for self and others through their actions, their language, and their dress. Student behavior will reflect favorably on the individual and on the school, will show consideration for others, and will create a harmonious learning atmosphere. Students must recognize their individual responsibilities and obligations and discharge them in accordance with school regulations. When a school employee acts to assist a student in proper conduct, the emphasis shall be toward student growth in self-discipline.

Definitions
”Suspension and Expulsion” shall mean denial of the right to participate in any instructional and/or school activity for a period of time as described below:

“Short-term suspension” shall mean temporary denial to a student by a principal or the Superintendent of participation in a class, classes or from school for not more than ten (10) days. The term of a short-term suspension may be served either in school (in-school suspension) or out-of-school (out-of-school suspension).

“Long-term suspension” shall mean temporary denial to a student by the Superintendent or Board of participation in a class, classes or from school for more than ten (10) school days but not for more than ninety (90) school days.

“Expulsion” shall mean denial by the Board of a student's participation in school for a period of time not more than twelve (12) consecutive months. Expulsion may extend beyond the end of the school year.

Applying The District-Wide Rules

  1. The consequences for misbehavior described in this Regulation are for conduct resulting in an office referral. Consequences are designed to be fair, firm, and consistent for all students in the District. Consequences listed are minimums. Administration has the latitude to enforce reasonable disciplinary action warranted by the situation.
  2. The rules apply to all students in any school or other District building, on District property, in District vehicles or school buses, and at school or District events. Students may also be disciplined for conduct occurring outside the school day if that conduct substantially disrupts the school environment or creates a health or safety factor for the school, its students or its programs.
  3. Because it is not possible to list every conduct that occurs, administration and staff reserve the right to respond to conduct not included in this regulation.
  4. Progressive discipline will be used in conjunction with existing District policy. Actions which may be used by District staff to discipline students and/or encourage them to modify their conduct include, but are not limited to: student conference, parent/guardian notification, parent/guardian conference, fine, restitution, detention, removal from class, in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, expulsion, referral to law enforcement authorities, conflict resolution training and recommendation to alternative community services.
  5. A copy of the District Rules of Student Conduct will be provided to the parent/guardian and student at the beginning of each school year or at the time of enrollment. Each building may include discipline rules and regulations specific to their unique needs and if so will provide copies to parent/guardian and student at the beginning of each school year or at the time of enrollment.

Grounds for Short-Term Suspension
The following are examples of conduct that could result in a short-term suspension:

  • Fighting
  • Destruction of property
  • Theft
  • Use of obscene language or actions;
  • Disrespectful behavior
  • Trespassing
  • Use, possession, selling or dispensing of tobacco products and related items such as, but not limited to, lighters, matches, vapor pens, e-cigarettes and eLiquids and oils.
  • Possessing or create obscene writing, drawings, photographs, videos, sound recordings or the like
  • Insubordinate conduct toward staff
  • Inappropriate dress
  • Situations in which the student's conduct is of such a nature that continuation of the child in school would be detrimental to the physical safety of the student or would be detrimental to the education, welfare or safety of other students
  • Low level gang activity
  • Unapproved absences from a class period(s) within a school day
  • Leaving school grounds without permission of administration
  • Failure to attend detention;
  • Sexual Misconduct
  • Academic dishonesty
  • Unauthorized visit to another school
  • Bullying, harassment or hazing
  • Four or more referrals in a semester for the same violation

A student may be excluded from class or classes by using the short-term suspension for any conduct listed under Long-term Suspension or Expulsion or while a long-term suspension or expulsion recommendation is pending. Time spent in short-term suspension shall count toward any time imposed under long-term suspension for the same conduct.

Procedure for Short-Term Suspension
Short-term suspension shall be made only after the principal has made an investigation of the alleged conduct or violation and has determined that such suspension is necessary to further school purposes or to prevent an interference with school purposes.

The principal shall inform a student either orally or in writing as soon as possible after discovery of the alleged conduct. The student shall be informed, orally and/or in writing, of the rule, regulation, or policy that has been allegedly violated. The student will be given an opportunity to answer the charges and present evidence in his/her behalf.

Upon suspending a student, the principal shall provide the parents/guardian or to the student if the student is 18 years of age or older or an emancipated minor with oral and/or written notice which shall include information regarding the student’s due process rights and informing them of the facts supporting the action and the describing the action taken.

A student who is an unemancipated minor may not be removed from the school premises before the end of the school day without contacting a parent/guardian unless the student’s presence poses a continuing threat or danger, in which case the student may be immediately removed from school and transferred into the custody of a parent/guardian or law enforcement.

The principal shall make a reasonable effort to hold a conference with the parents/guardian before or at the time the student returns to school from a short-term suspension.

Grounds for Long-Term Suspension or Expulsion
In addition to the examples of conduct listed for short-term suspensions, the following examples of conduct which constitutes grounds for long-term suspension:

  • Use of force, coercion, threat, intimidation, obscene actions, or similar conduct that endangers the life of another
  • Causing or attempting to cause physical injury to a District employee or student
  • Possessing, handling, or transmitting any object or material that is ordinarily or generally considered a weapon
  • Carrying, possessing, storing, keeping, leaving, placing or putting into the possession of another person any firearm, including an air gun
  • Using, possessing or being under the influence of any mood altering chemicals/substance or a controlled substance without a valid prescription, or a controlled substance such as steroids, marijuana, inhalants, alcohol, or other drugs. This includes transferring, delivering or receiving medications to or from another student and using medication for purposes other than its intended use
  • Possessing drug paraphernalia
  • Selling, dispensing or possessing an amount of mood altering chemical or substance that suggests distribution
  • Gang activity
  • Bomb threats
  • Causing or attempting to cause a fire on school grounds, pulling a fire alarm or using a fire extinguisher without valid cause
  • Sexual harassment of a school employee or student
  • Habitual disobedience
  • Sexual Violence
  • Engaging in any activity forbidden by federal law, the State of South Dakota, or the ordinances of the City of Sioux Falls, which activity constitutes a danger to other students or interferes with school purposes

All long-term suspensions or expulsions are to be served out-of-school. Under certain circumstances, out-of-school suspensions may be served at an out-of-school alternative program. See Policy JH/JH-R – Student Absences and Excuses for the classification of absences for each term of suspension or expulsion.

Procedure for Long-Term Suspension or Expulsion
Long-Term Suspension

The Superintendent may long-term suspend a student for up to ninety (90) school days. If a long-term suspension is recommended because of a student’s conduct, the principal must file a written report with the Superintendent by the end of the school day following conclusion of the building’s investigation of the alleged violation. A student may be excluded from class or classes by using short-term suspension while the long-term suspension is pending.

When a long-term suspension is imposed, the Superintendent must file a sealed written report with the Board by the end of the fifth school day following the first day of the longterm suspension. The report must include the facts of the situation, the action taken, the reasons for the action, and the Superintendent’s decision or recommendation. The report must remain sealed and unavailable for review by individual Board members until the time set for a hearing or the time to request a hearing has expired.

At the same time the report is sealed, the Superintendent must send a copy of the report and notice to the student’s parent/guardian or to the student if the student is 18 years of age or older or an emancipated minor. The notice shall contain the following minimum information:

  1. the rule of conduct or policy allegedly violated;
  2. the reason for the disciplinary proceedings;
  3. notice of the right and procedure to request a hearing or waive the right to a hearing;
  4. a description of the hearing procedure;
  5. a statement that the student’s records are available at the school for examination by the student’s parent/guardian or authorized representative; and
  6. a statement that the student may present witnesses.

Appeal: If a parent/guardian or student, if of the age of majority or an emancipated minor, chooses to appeal the long-term suspension, a written request for a hearing must be filed with the Superintendent within five (5) days of receipt of the report of the Superintendent.

Failure to submit a written request constitutes a waiver of the right to request a hearing and the action of the Superintendent shall be final.

Hearing: If a timely written request for a hearing is received, the Superintendent shall give notice to each Board member of the appeal and request for a hearing. The Superintendent shall set the date, time, and place for the hearing and send notice by first class mail to each Board member and by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the student’s parent/guardian or to a student who is 18 years of age or older or an emancipated minor.

If a hearing is requested, the long-term suspension shall be stayed until the Board renders its decision, unless in the judgment of the Superintendent, the student’s presence poses a continuing danger to persons or property or an ongoing threat of disrupting the academic process. In such case, the student may be immediately removed from school, and the notice and hearing shall follow as soon as practicable.

After a hearing has been scheduled, the student, if of the age of majority or emancipated, or the student’s parent/guardian may waive the right to a hearing by submitting a written statement waiving this right to the Superintendent at any time prior to the date and time set for the hearing.

If the hearing is not waived, the hearing shall be held on the date, time, and place set in the notice unless a different date, time, and place are agreed to by the parties. If no hearing is requested or the hearing is waived, the action of the Superintendent is final.

A decision adverse to the student may be appealed to the circuit court.

Expulsion
Expulsion is imposed only by the Board. In situations where a student’s presence poses a continuing danger to persons or property or threatens the ongoing academic processes of the school, the student may be immediately removed from school after being notified as described under short-term and long-term suspension pending the Board’s decision regarding expulsion.

The following procedures are required to impose expulsion:

  1. Written report of incident. If an expulsion is anticipated because of a student's conduct, the principal will file a written report with the Superintendent by the end of the school day in which the student is removed from one or more classes or from school. The report shall set forth the known details of the incident or incidents and the known parties involved.
  2. Notice of hearing. If the Superintendent deems that there are grounds for an expulsion, the Superintendent must file a written sealed, report with the Board not later than the end of the fifth school day following the first day of the student’s removal from one or more classes or from school and schedule a hearing before the Board. The report must include the facts of the situation, the action taken, the reasons for the action and the Superintendent’s recommendation. The report must remain sealed and unavailable for review by individual Board members until the time set for the hearing.

    At the same time that the report is sealed, the Superintendent must send a copy of the report and notice of hearing to the student’s parent/guardian or to the student if the student is 18 years of age or an emancipated minor. The notice shall contain the following information:

    1. the rule, regulation or policy allegedly violated
    2. the reason for the disciplinary proceedings
    3. a notice of the hearing and a tentative time, date and place for the hearing.
    4. a statement that the student or his/her parents/guardians may waive the right to a hearing by written notification to the Superintendent at any time prior to the time set for the hearing
    5. a description of the hearing procedure and a statement that the student may be represented by an attorney (at the student’s expense)
    6. a statement that the evidence and the student’s records are available at the school for examination by the student, the parents/guardians or the student’s representative
    7. statement that the student may present witnesses and shall submit to the Superintendent prior to the hearing a list of such witnesses and a detailed listing of the evidence to be presented in the student's behalf

The written notice to the student’s parent/guardian or to the student if the student is 18 years of age or an emancipated minor shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, and shall also include a copy of the Board policy and rules on suspension and expulsion. The written notice of hearing shall be sent to each Board member by first class mail.

If the hearing is not waived, the hearing shall be held on the date, time and place set forth in the notice unless a different date, time and place is agreed to by the parties.

If the hearing is waived in writing the Board may consider the matter at a regular or special meeting without further notice to the student or the student’s parents/guardian.

Hearing Procedure for Long-Term Suspension or Expulsion
If a hearing is not waived, the hearing shall be held on the date, time and place set in the notice unless a different date, time and place are agreed to by the parties.

Long-term suspension: If the student, his/her parent/guardian, or representative fail to appear at the time and place set for the hearing, the action of the Superintendent is final.

Expulsion: If the student, student’s parent/guardian, or representative do not waive their right to a hearing or request postponement for good and sufficient cause, and are not present at the time and place scheduled in the hearing notice, the hearing shall proceed without them.

  1. The Board shall constitute the hearing board.
  2. The hearing shall be closed to the public.
    Long-Term Suspension: A verbatim record of the hearing will be kept and will be sealed pending court order.
    Expulsion: A verbatim record by means of an electronic or mechanical device or by court reporter. The record and any exhibits must be sealed and must remain with the hearing officer until the appeal process has been completed.
  3. The Board shall appoint a Board member or person who is not an employee of the District shall be appointed as hearing officer.
  4. Each party may be represented by an attorney. The student, the student's parent/guardian or representative is responsible for the expense the student’s attorney.
  5. Each party shall have the opportunity to present witnesses or evidence and to cross-examine witnesses.
  6. Each party may make an opening statement.
  7. The administration shall present its case first.
  8. Witnesses may be present only when testifying.
  9. All witnesses shall take an oath or affirmation.
    Long-Term Suspension: The oath or affirmation will be administered by the Board President or Business Manager.
    Expulsion: The oath or affirmation is to be administered by the Board President or hearing officer or other person authorized by law to take oaths and affirmations.
  10. Each party may raise any legal objection to evidence.
    Long Term Suspension: Objections are limited to relevancy and scope of question.
  11. All relevant evidence shall be admitted; however, unproductive or repetitious evidence may be limited by the hearing officer.
  12. The hearing officer may ask questions of witnesses and may allow other Board members to interrogate witnesses.
  13. The student shall have the right to speak in his/her own defense and may be questioned on his/her testimony, or he/she may choose not to testify, in which case he/she shall not be threatened with punishment or later punished for refusal to testify, nor shall refusal in any way be construed as an indication of guilt.
  14. Each party may make a closing statement.
  15. After the hearing, the Board shall continue to meet in executive session for deliberation. No one other than the hearing officer may meet with the Board during deliberation. The Board may seek advice during deliberation from an attorney who has not represented any of the parties to the hearing. Consultation with any other person during deliberation shall occur only if a representative of the student is present.
  16. The Board shall reach its decision by a majority vote of its members.
  17. The decision of the Board shall be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing and shall be formalized by a motion made in open meeting. The motion shall omit the name of the student and shall state the reason for the Board's action.
  18. The Board shall notify the student or student's parent/guardian in writing of the decision. The notice shall state the length of the suspension or expulsion.
  19. A decision adverse to the student may be appealed to the circuit court.

The period of expulsion may extend beyond the semester in which the conduct occurred. Any expulsion for consumption of beer or alcoholic beverages may not extend beyond ninety school days. If the student is expelled for a firearm violation, the expulsion may not be for less than twelve months; however, the Superintendent may increase or decrease a firearm-related expulsion on a case-by-case basis.

The Board may grant a student early reinstatement from an expulsion based upon one or more specific conditions the student must meet. The conditions shall be related to the reason for the expulsion. Notice of any early reinstatement conditions must be given to the student’s parent/guardian or to the student if the student is 18 years of age or an emancipated minor. If the Superintendent determines that the student has met the early reinstatement conditions, the Superintendent may grant the early reinstatement. If the student violates an early reinstatement condition after being reinstated but before the end of the expulsion period, the Superintendent may revoke the early reinstatement and provide written notice of the revocation to the student’s parent/guardian or to the student if the student is 18 years of age or an emancipated minor. If revoked, the expulsion shall continue until the end of the original period of expulsion unless the expulsion is firearm related and the expulsion for the firearm was modified by the Superintendent.

Students with Disabilities or Substantially Limiting Health Conditions

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA)
In addition to the rights and procedures described above, students with disabilities receiving services under the IDEIA, have additional rights and are entitled to additional procedures whenever the student receives a suspensions which exceed ten consecutive school days in any one year or there has been a series of removals that constitute a pattern of behavior that exceed 10 cumulative days in the school year. Those rights and procedures are outlined in the Administrative Rules of South Dakota and the IDEIA and are can be found in the District Comprehensive Plan for Special Education which can be accessed on the Sioux Falls School District website PROVIDE LINK OR CITE.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504)
In addition to the rights and procedures described above, students with substantially limiting health condition under Section 504 have additional rights and are entitled to additional procedures whenever the student receives a suspensions which exceed ten consecutive school days in any one year or there has been a series of removals that constitute a pattern of behavior that exceed 10 cumulative days in the school year. No student who is eligible for services under Section 504 shall be suspended beyond ten (10) cumulative days per school year, except through the following procedures.

  1. Written notice of a 504 Team meeting (Form 504-I) is sent and the 504 Team conducts a review of the 504 EEAP to determine if the plan is appropriate.
  2. If the 504 Team determines that the existing 504 EEAP is appropriate, the team must conduct a manifestation determination.
  3. A manifestation determination is conducted by the 504 Team to determine whether the conduct is caused by the student’s substantially limiting health condition and documented on Form 504-MD, 504 Manifestation Determination. The 504 Team must review relevant and reliable information from competent professionals to determine if the conduct is caused by the child’s substantially limiting health condition. The relevant information must be recent enough to afford an understanding of the child's current behavior.
  4. If the 504 Team determines that the student’s conduct is caused by the student’s impairment, the 504 Team must determine whether the current placement is appropriate and if not, offer an appropriate option.
  5. If the 504 Team determines that the conduct is not caused by the student’s disabling impairment, the student may be disciplined (suspended/expelled) in the same manner as similarly situated students.

Legal References:

SDCL Ch. 13-32 Supervision and Conduct of Schools
SDCL Ch. 13-37 Special Assistance and Related Services
ARSD 24:07 Student Due Process
ARSD 24:05:06 Special Education Discipline
Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act

Related Policies/Regulations

AC/AC-R - Equal Opportunity/Nondiscrimination
EE/EE-R - Transportation Services
IJNDC/IJNDC-R - Acceptable and Ethical Use of Technology Resources
JFCE - Student Bullying
JH - Student Absences and Excuses
JIAA/JIAA-R - Harassment
JICFA/JICFA-R - Hazing
JJAA/JJAA-R - School Activity Rules
JICG - Tobacco
JLCD/JLCD-R - Medication Administration
KED/KED-R - Public Concerns/Complaints about Educational Programs for Students with Disabilities or Students with Substantially Limited Health Conditions

 

Regulation   Board Action (formerly 5131.1 and 5131.2)
Approved: 05-28-68    
Amended: 08-13-90    
Amended: 09-11-95 28253  
Revised: 07-08-96 28542  
Revised: 06-23-97 28815  
Revised: 06-22-98 29095  
Revised: 06-28-99 29372  
Revised: 06-26-00 29621  
Revised: 07-08-02 33290  
Revised: 06-14-04 33847  
Revised: 05-14-07 34723  
Revised: 01-28-08 34944  
Revised: 05-27-08 35063 (effective 8-18-08)
Revised: 02-08-10 35616  
Revised: 05-09-11 36051  
Revised: 03-12-12 36312  
Revised: 03-10-14 36857  
Amended: 05-11-15 37211  
Revised: 06-13-16 37488  

 

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