Suspension is a form of student discipline in which a student loses some of his rights and privileges for a specified period of time. Most commonly, the student is denied the right to attend classes and school activities for a maximum of about a week. The specific rules governing suspension vary according to school district.
What Can I Be Suspended For?
In most school districts, you can be suspended any time there is "good cause" for your suspension. Good cause usually relates to any behavior that endangers the health, safety, or emotional wellbeing of others. Some of the common grounds for suspension include:
- Assault and battery of a student or staff member
- Possession of a weapon or fake weapon
- Possession, use, or sale of alcohol or other controlled substances
- Damage or theft of school or private property
- Disruption of school activity or willful defiance of school authority
- Harassment or threatening of other students or staff
What Are My Rights if I Am Suspended?
If you are suspended, you have certain rights. The most important of these rights is the right to an informal conference held by the school principal. At this conference, you will be informed why you are being suspended, and will be given the opportunity to offer evidence in your own defense.
If I Am Suspended, Does it Go on My Permanent Record?
Yes, suspensions go on your permanent record. However, some school districts allow you to petition to have the suspension removed from your record. You may also be able to make an appeal to the school board to get the suspension cleared.
Do I Have to Do Schoolwork if I Am Suspended?
Many teachers will require a suspended student to keep up with his schoolwork during his suspension. Even if you are not required to do schoolwork, it is probably a good idea to keep up with the rest of the class. A parent or guardian of a suspended student can request class assignments and tests during the student?s suspension.
If I Need Something from My School during My Suspension, Can I Go on the Campus to Get It?
Suspended students are not allowed on school grounds during the duration of their suspension. If you are caught on campus during your suspension, school authorities may call your parents, or even the police, to have you removed. If you need something from school, it is probably a better idea to have a friend or parent pick it up for you.
I Think I Have Been Wrongly Suspended, What Can I Do?
Even if you think you have been wrongly suspended, you still have to serve your suspension. However, you can file a suspension appeal that, if successful, will clear the suspension from your record.
Should I Contact a Lawyer?
If you have questions regarding suspension, or if you believe you have been wrongly suspended, you may want to consult a lawyer experienced in schools and education. A lawyer will be able to inform you about your individual school district?s policies, and can represent you in any administrative hearings that may be necessary.