School Suspension

If you have any questions regarding school suspensions in Connecticut, contact one of our attorneys at (203) 221-3100.

School Suspension Guidelines in Connecticut

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-233a defines “suspension” as an exclusion from school privileges or transportation services for up to ten consecutive school days, with the exclusion not continuing beyond the current school year. This means that if a suspension is imposed near the end of a school year, it cannot extend into the following school year. This rule may lead to situations where the same misconduct results in a ten-day suspension if it occurs early in the school year, but a shorter suspension if it happens closer to the end of the year. School officials can only extend an exclusion beyond the current school year by following the expulsion procedures required by law.

Changes to Disciplinary Statutes

School officials currently have the authority to enforce in-school suspensions for up to ten days as per existing legislation. However, starting July 1, 2024, Public Act 24-45 will amend this provision, limiting in-school suspensions to a maximum of five consecutive school days per occurrence during the school year in which they are imposed. The annual cap remains unchanged, allowing for no more than fifteen in-school suspensions or fifty days of such suspensions.

Public Act 24-45 also addresses the exceptional scenario where students in grades pre-K through 2 might face out-of-school suspensions. Effective July 1, 2024, such suspensions are only permissible if a student’s actions result in physical harm, with the suspension period capped at five days. Additionally, in such instances, school officials are required to ensure that upon the student’s return, they receive services that are trauma-informed, developmentally appropriate, and aligned with any behavioral intervention plan, individualized education program, or Section 504 plan. Furthermore, officials must consider convening a planning and placement team meeting to evaluate whether the student requires special education or related services.

School Suspension

Addressing Student Misconduct

Public Act 24-93, effective July 1, 2024, introduces changes addressing student misconduct. Section 11 modifies Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-236c to impose a new requirement on school administrators in cases where students engage in specific misconduct:

(a) School principals or other administrators must notify a parent or guardian within twenty-four hours if a student’s behavior significantly disrupts instruction, causes self-harm, or results in physical harm to a teacher, another student, or school staff. This notification includes informing the parent or guardian that the teacher in the affected classroom may request a behavior intervention meeting as outlined in subsection (b) of this section.

Administrators may, in appropriate situations, combine this new notification requirement with the existing obligation under Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-233e, which mandates:

Each board must also establish an effective method to notify parents, guardians, or appointed surrogate parents promptly when disciplinary action, as authorized by sections 10-233a to 10-233d, has been taken against any minor student. Such notification must occur within twenty-four hours of the student’s exclusion.

Behavior Interventions

Conn. Gen. Stat. 10-236c, established in 2022, already mandates that school officials must convene a behavior intervention meeting of the school’s crisis intervention team upon request from the “classroom teacher of record” when a student exhibits the behaviors described earlier. The updated law now adds requirements for notifying parents when such a meeting is scheduled, and stipulates that officials must provide the following information to parents:

Within seven days after the behavior intervention meeting, the crisis intervention team must send a written summary of the meeting to the student’s parent or guardian, in their primary language. This summary will include details such as the identified resources and supports.

Furthermore, Section 12 of Public Act 24-93 clarifies the process for expulsion hearings by specifying that the required five business days’ notice before the hearing does not include the day of the hearing itself.

Maya Murphy P.C. has proudly been included in the 2024 Edition of Best Law Firms®, ranked among the top firms in the nation. In addition, Managing Partner Joseph C. Maya has been selected to The Best Lawyers in America® 2024 for his work in Employment Law and Education Law in Connecticut. Recognition in Best Lawyers® is awarded to firms and attorneys who demonstrate excellence in the industry and is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor.

Our firm in Westport, Connecticut serves clients with legal assistance all over the state, including the towns of Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Bethel, Branford, Bridgeport, Brookfield, Cheshire, Danbury, Darien, Derby, East Haven, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Guilford, Hamden, Madison, Meriden, Middlebury, Milford, Monroe, Naugatuck, New Canaan, New Fairfield, New Haven, Newton, North Branford, North Haven, Norwalk, Orange, Oxford, Prospect, Redding, Ridgefield, Seymour, Shelton, Sherman, Southbury, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, Wallingford, Waterbury, West Haven, Weston, Westport, Wilton, and Woodbridge. In addition to assisting clients in Connecticut, our firm handles education law matters in New York as well.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to an attorney about a legal matter, please contact Joseph C. Maya and the other experienced attorneys at Maya Murphy, P.C. at (203) 221-3100 or to schedule a free initial consultation today.