Posts tagged with "weapon"

Can a Student Be Expelled from School for Carrying a Weapon off School Property in Connecticut?

State law requires a local or regional board of education to expel a student for carrying certain weapons without a permit or using a weapon to commit a crime.  Under this law, firearms are considered any weapon that can expel a projectile by explosive, which includes explosives and poison gases.  Deadly weapons are also covered by the mandatory expulsion law.

Deadly weapons include a weapon from which a shot can be discharged, a switchblade or knife, or metal knuckles.  A student might even be expelled for carrying a dangerous instrument which might include anything, under the circumstances in which it is used, that can cause death or serious injury, including an attack dog or a vehicle.

If you have any questions related to education law in Connecticut, please contact Joseph C. Maya, Esq. at (203) 221-3100 or e-mail him directly at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.

What Authority Does a Local School Board Have to Expel a Student for Out-of-School Conduct in Connecticut?

Connecticut’s school expulsion law provides for both mandatory and discretionary expulsions for out-of-school conduct.  If a student is caught carrying a weapon, or selling or distributing illegal drugs, whether the activity occurs on or off school grounds, school boards must expel the student.  For any other type of conduct, such as sexual assault, a school board has the discretion to expel a student from school.

To impose a discretionary expulsion for out-of-school conduct, the law requires a school board to show that the student’s actions not only violate a school policy but are also disruptive of the educational process.  The Supreme Court of Connecticut has construed the phrase “disruptive of the educational process” to mean conduct that has a direct connection with the school and interrupts or seriously impeded the school’s daily operations.

If you have any questions related to education law in Connecticut, please contact Joseph C. Maya, Esq. at (203) 221-3100 or e-mail him directly at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.

On The Authority of Schools to Expel Students

It’s that time of year: Summer vacation is over. Labor Day has come and gone. Children now find themselves back into the daily routine of waking up early, getting ready for school, and attending classes. Each year, Boards of Education provide its students with booklets covering their code of conduct, and of notable interest is understanding how one’s conduct off school grounds can adversely impact in-school opportunities. That is, what authority does a school district have to expel students for out-of-school behavior?

Expulsion of Students in Connecticut Schools

Connecticut’s statutory scheme governing children (both generally and in the context of education) is particularly comprehensive, and an important section in the context of school discipline concerns expulsion. The General Statutes require expulsion for conduct not committed during school hours or on school grounds in two situations:

  1. The student carried (without a permit) a statutorily-enumerated weapon, or used one to commit a crime. Weapons covered include firearms, deadly weapons, dangerous instruments, and martial arts weapons.
  2. The student sold or distributed illegal drugs or attempted to do so.

Connecticut General Statutes § 10-223d(2).

State law permits expulsion of students if the out-of-school conduct violates school policy and is seriously disruptive of the educational process. This standard was discussed in the Connecticut Supreme Court’s decision in Packer v. Board of Education of the Town of Thompson, 256 Conn. 89 (1998), which involved a student in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia in his car while not at school. When a school board needs to determine whether this threshold has been met, it considers numerous factors:

  1. Whether the incident occurred within close proximity of a school
  2. Whether other students from the school were involved or whether there was any gang involvement
  3. Whether the conduct involved violence, threats of violence or the unlawful use of a weapon, … and whether any injuries occurred
  4. Whether the conduct involved the use of alcohol

Connecticut General Statutes § 10-223d(1).

Written by Lindsay E. Raber, Esq.

Depending on the nature of the conduct, the punishment imposed can be severe and particularly detrimental to a child’s educational and recreational opportunities. If your child is facing suspension or expulsion for conduct committed on or off of school grounds, it is imperative that you seek counsel from an experienced education law practitioner. If you have any questions regarding education legal matters, please do not hesitate to contact Attorney Joseph C. Maya at the Maya Murphy, P.C. Westport location in Fairfield County at (203) 221-3100 or at JMaya@mayalaw.com.