Removals from School - Suspensions and Expulsions

Note: This information is from our manual, Discipline in Public Schools.

Unless it is an emergency, before a student can be suspended or expelled from school, they have a right to hear why they are in trouble and to explain their side of the story. Anytime any child is suspended or expelled, they still have a right to access educational services. Depending on how long the suspension or expulsion is supposed to last, that might mean getting course work, homework and a chance to make up tests, or it could mean enrolling in an alternative program. When a student is suspended or expelled, there is also a right for the student and parent to appeal. The school should give you notice of the discipline and the appeal process. In addition to the right to appeal a suspension or expulsion, students also have the right to plan for re-engagement if the suspension or expulsion is more than 10 days. Also, students who are suspended or expelled can petition for re-admission at any time. The next sections of this guide explain more about what to expect for the different kinds of suspensions and expulsions, including:

  • A short-term suspension
  • A long-term suspension
  • Expulsion, and
  • Emergency expulsion.

Some schools also use “in school suspensions” as a response to misconduct. As with any discipline, you can ask about why your child is being disciplined, for how long, and ask for time to talk about what you can do to help avoid further suspensions, whether in school or out.

In-School Suspensions

Some schools use in-school suspensions as a consequence that removes a student from their regular classroom, but not from the school. Starting with the 2019-20 school year, there will be additional rules that schools will have to follow when using in-school suspensions.  That will include limitations on the length of in-school suspensions and requirements for the kind of supervision provided during in-school suspensions, and notice to families.