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“In Goss v. Lopez, the United States Supreme Court set forth a student’s procedural legal rights before he or she could be suspended…The Court noted that students facing suspension were entitled to notice of the reasons for the suspension and an informal hearing to tell their side of the story.”

What are the school’s notice requirements? What can I do to prepare for the hearing?

“The Connecticut General Assembly, consistent with the decision in Goss, requires school officials to notify parents within twenty-four hours regarding the proposed suspension. Before the suspension, absent an emergency, the student is entitled to notice of the reasons for the suspension and an informal hearing in front of the administrator to explain his or her side of the story. Under the Connecticut statutes, an emergency exists if the student poses an unwarranted danger to a person or property, or a disruption to the educational process. If this is the case, then the hearing must be held as soon after the suspension as possible.

The hearing is the best opportunity for the student to persuade the school administration to dismiss or shorten the length of the suspension. To that end, parents may want to rely upon the information mentioned above in helping their child craft a strategy during the give-and-take with the school administrator.”

What are my child’s rights after the hearing?

“In Connecticut, if the administration authorizes a suspension after a hearing, parents cannot appeal the decision. However, the school must give the student the opportunity to complete homework, including examinations, which he or she missed during the suspension period. Under the law, schools also cannot use out-of-school suspensions to discipline students more than ten (10) times or fifty (50) days during the school year, whichever comes first, without convening a more formal hearing. The limit for in-school suspensions is fifteen (15) times or fifty (50) days during the school year.

If the administration imposes an in-school suspension, parents should note that the Department of Education has issued guidelines on what they consider effective in-school suspension programs.”

  1. the program should have a strong academic focus
  2. the program should include a strong counseling component so students can get the necessary support to correct their inappropriate behavior

Read more about student rights when facing a suspension and other aspects of education law in our education publication here: https://mayalaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/Education-Publication.pdf

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 about education law in Connecticut 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 JMaya@Mayalaw.com to schedule a free initial consultation today.