5144.1 BP - Suspension and Expulsion/Due Process

Board Policy No. 5144.1
Policy Adopted:  February 5, 2015


The Governing Board desires to provide district students access to educational opportunities in an orderly school environment that protects their safety and security, ensures their welfare and well-being, and promotes their learning and development.  The Board shall develop rules and regulations setting the standards of behavior expected of district students and disciplinary processes and procedures addressing violations of those standards, including suspension and/or expulsion.

(cf. 5144 - Discipline)

The grounds for suspension and expulsion and the procedures for considering, recommending and/or implementing suspension and expulsion shall be only those specified in the law and the accompanying administrative regulation.

Zero Tolerance

Except when otherwise permitted by law, a student may be suspended or expelled only when his/her behavior is related to a school activity or school attendance occurring within any district school or other school district, regardless of when it occurs, including, but not limited to, the following:  (Education Code 48900(s))

1.      While on school grounds

2.      While going to or coming from school

3.      During the lunch period, whether on or off the school campus

4.      During, going to, or coming from a school-sponsored activity

 District staff shall enforce the rules concerning suspension and expulsion of students fairly, consistently, equally, and in accordance with the district's nondiscrimination policies.

 (cf. 0410 - Nondiscrimination in District Programs and Activities)

Appropriate Use of Suspension and Expulsion

Except when a student commits an act that violates Education Code 48900(a)-(e) or his/her presence causes a danger to others, suspension shall be used only when other means of correction have failed to bring about proper conduct.

Except when a student commits an act listed in Education Code 48915(c), the Superintendent or designee shall have the discretion to determine whether to recommend to the Board that the student be expelled.

(cf. 5131.7 - Weapons and Dangerous Instruments)

 To correct the behavior of any student who is subject to discipline, the Superintendent or designee shall, to the extent allowed by law, first use alternative disciplinary strategies specified in AR 5144 - Discipline.  (Education Code 48900.5, 48900.6)

 (cf. 5144 - Discipline)

Students shall not be suspended or expelled for truancy, tardiness, or absenteeism from assigned school activities.

(cf. 5113 - Absences and Excuses)

(cf. 5113.1 - Chronic Absence and Truancy)

District staff shall not suspend any student for disruption or willful defiance, unless the suspension is warranted by documented repetitive behavior of the student or the disruption or willful defiance occurred in conjunction with another violation for which the student may be suspended.

A student’s parents/guardians shall be notified as soon as possible when there is an escalating pattern of misbehavior that could lead to classroom or school removal.

Due Process

The Board shall provide for the fair and equitable treatment of students facing suspension and expulsion by affording them their due process rights under the law.  The Superintendent or designee shall comply with procedures for notices, hearings, and appeals as specified in law and administrative regulation.  (Education Code 48911, 48915, 48918, 48915.5)

(cf. 5144.2 - Suspension and Expulsion/Due Process (Students with Disabilities))

Removal from Class by a Teacher and Parental Attendance

When suspending a student from class for committing an obscene act, habitual profanity or vulgarity, disrupting school activities or otherwise willfully defying valid staff authority, the teacher of the class may require that any student’s parent/guardian who lives with the student to attend a portion of a school the class from which the student is being suspended, to assist in resolving the classroom behavior problems.  (Education Code 48900.1)

Teachers should reserve the option of required parental attendance for cases in which they have determined that it is the best strategy to promote positive interaction between the teacher and the student and his/her parents/guardians and to improve the student’s behavior.

 Any teacher requiring parental attendance pursuant to shall apply the policy uniformly to all students within the classroom.  This policy shall apply only to a parent/guardian who lives with the student.  (Education Code 48900.1)

When a teacher requires parental attendance, the principal shall send a written notice to the parent/guardian stating that his/her attendance is required pursuant to law and that, if there are reasonable factors that may prevent the parent/guardian from complying with the requirement, he/she should contact the schools.  (Education Code 48900.1)

A parent/guardian who has received a written notice shall attend class as specific in the notice.  After completing the classroom visit and before leaving the school premises, the parent/guardian also shall meet with the principal or designee.  At the meeting with the student’s parent/guardian, the principal or designee shall explain the district’s and school’s discipline policies, including the disciplinary strategies that my be used to achieve proper student conduct. 

When a parent/guardian does not respond to the request to attend school, the principal or designee shall contact him/her by any method that maintains the confidentiality of the student’s records.

District regulations and school-site rules for student discipline shall include procedures for implementing parental attendance requirements.  Parents/guardians shall be notified of this policy prior to its implantation.  (Education Code 48900.1)

 Supervised Suspension Classroom

To ensure the proper supervision and ongoing learning of students who are suspended for any of the reasons enumerated in Education Code 48900 and 48900.2, but who pose no imminent danger or threat to anyone at school and for whom expulsion proceedings have not been initiated, the Superintendent or designee shall establish a supervised suspension classroom program which meets the requirements of law.

Except where a supervised suspension is permitted by law for a student's first offense, supervised suspension shall be imposed only when other means of correction have failed to bring about proper conduct.  (Education Code 48900.5)

Decision Not to Enforce Expulsion Order

Upon voting to expel a student, the Board may suspend the enforcement of the expulsion order pursuant to the requirements of law.

Maintenance and Monitoring of Outcome Data

The Superintendent or designee shall annually present to the Board a report of the outcome data which the district is required to collect pursuant to Education Code 48900.8 and 48916.1, including the number of students recommended for expulsion, the grounds for each recommended expulsion, the actions taken by the Board, the types of referral made after each expulsion, and the disposition of the students after the expulsion period.

The report shall be disaggregated by school and by numerically significant student subgroups, including, but not limited to, ethnic subgroups, socioeconomically disadvantaged students, English learners, foster youth, and students with disabilities.  The report also shall include information about whether and how the district is meeting its goals for improving school climate as specified in its local control and accountability plan.

 Legal Reference:


212.5  Sexual harassment

233  Hate violence

1981  Enrollment of students in community school

17292.5  Program for expelled students

32261  Interagency School Safety Demonstration Act of 1985

35145  Open board meetings

35146  Closed sessions (regarding suspensions)

35291  Rules (for government and discipline of schools)

35291.5  Rules and procedures on school discipline

48645.5  Readmission; contact with juvenile justice system

48660-48666  Community day schools

48853.5  Foster youth

48900-48927  Suspension and expulsion

48950  Speech and other communication

48980  Parental notifications

49073-49079  Privacy of student records

52060-52077  Local control and accountability plan


47  Privileged communication

48.8 Defamation liability


1985-1997  Subpoenas; means of production


11455.20  Contempt

54950-54963  Ralph M. Brown Act


11014.5  Drug paraphernalia

11053-11058  Standards and schedules


230.7  Discharge or discrimination against employee for taking time off to appear in school on behalf of a child


31  Principal of a crime, defined

240  Assault defined

241.2  Assault fines

242  Battery defined

243.2  Battery on school property

243.4  Sexual battery

245  Assault with deadly weapon

245.6  Hazing

261  Rape defined

266c  Unlawful sexual intercourse

286  Sodomy defined

288  Lewd or lascivious acts with child under age 14

288a  Oral copulation

289  Penetration of genital or anal openings

417.27  Laser pointers

422.55  Hate crime defined

422.6  Interference with exercise of civil rights

422.7  Aggravating factors for punishment

422.75  Enhanced penalties for hate crimes

626.2  Entry upon campus after written notice of suspension or dismissal without permission

626.9  Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1995

626.10  Dirks, daggers, knives, razors, or stun guns

868.5  Supporting person; attendance during testimony of witness


729.6  Counseling


921  Definitions, firearm


1415(K)  Placement in alternative educational setting

7151  Gun-free schools


T.H. v. San Diego Unified School District (2004) 122 Cal. App. 4th 1267

Woodbury v. Dempsey (2003) 108 Cal. App. 4th 421

Board of Education of Sacramento City Unified School District v. Sacramento County Board of Education and Kenneth H. (2001) 85 Cal.App.4th 1321

Garcia v. Los Angeles Board of Education (1991) 123 Cal. App. 3d 807

Fremont Union High School District v. Santa Clara County Board (1991) 235 Cal. App. 3d 1182

John A. v. San Bernardino School District (1982) 33 Cal. 3d 301


84 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 146 (2001)

80 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 348 (1997)

80 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 91 (1997)

80 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 85 (1997)


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