Ohio Public School Discipline: Suspensions & Expulsions
Ohio law prescribes certain procedures for all public schools. Ohio R.C. 3313.66 addresses Suspensions, expulsions and permanent exclusion as well as the removal from curricular or extracurricular activities.
At KBN, we are mainly interested in cases with the recommendation of expulsion. As a general rule, we do not get involved in cases involving straight suspensions.
- Is this a public school district?
- What grade is their child in?
- How old is their child?
- Is their child in an IEP or in a 504 plan?
- Have the parents received a written notice and the reasons for the discipline?
- When is the
- A pupil cannot be suspended from an Ohio school for more than ten days.
- The expulsion hearing must be heard before the end of the 10 day suspension.
- When is the hearing? KBN will normally request a very brief extension of the hearing to prepare the case.
- The superintendent of schools may expel a pupil up to 80 school days (which can carry over to the next school year)
- If the offense involved a firearm, knife, causing serious physical harm to another person at school, making a bomb threat, expulsions are mandatory with very limited exceptions. If the pupil is 16 or older and depending upon the nature of the violation, the pupil can be permanently excluded from the school (and all Ohio public schools) pursuant to R.C. 3313.662.
- Superintendents can expel pupils for other violations for a time not to exceed 80 school days.
Expulsion hearings in Ohio public schools allow parents and their lawyer to challenge the reasons for the intended expulsion or otherwise explain the pupil’s actions. Parents have a right to at least 3 school days before the hearing but the hearing must be finished before the suspension expires.
We will want families to obtain their child’s education records (school file) from the central office. Also, we will consider having a psychological assessment to determine if the child should have been afforded an IEP or a 504 plan. There are additional state law protections for pupils with an IEP or a 504 plan.
Superintendents do have the legal authority to remove a pupil from the school premises if the pupil “poses a continuing danger to persons or property or an ongoing threat of disrupting the academic process”.
Pupils in pre-K through Grade 3 have additional legal protections under Ohio law.
Parents have a right to appeal expulsions to the board of education.
Even though a pupil is expelled, the superintendent may agree to provide educational services to the student in an alternative setting.
Most public school districts will honor the suspensions and expulsions of other public school districts.
IEP’S AND 504 PLANS
When a pupil with a disability violates a student code of conduct, a school may suspend the pupil up to 10 days.
Once suspensions last 10 days, the IEP team and parents must meet to determine whether the student’s conduct had a direct and substantial relationship to his or her disability, or whether the student’s conduct was a direct result of the team’s failure to implement the IEP.
If the IEP team agrees, then the school must do a Functional Behavior Assessment and behavioral intervention plan, or revisit a plan to address the problems.
There are exceptions for weapons, drugs and serious bodily injury.