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If you have any questions regarding education law, contact one of our Education Lawyers at (203) 221-3100.

“When a suspension is for less than five days, the school must provide the student and his or her parents with notice of the alleged misconduct, which must be in writing and must be provided before the period of suspension begins. However, if the principal determines that the student is a danger or a disruption to the academic process, a short-term suspension may begin before notice is provided, as long as notice is given within 24 hours. The notice must contain:

  • a description of the event and the date it took place;
  • an explanation of your right to request a conference with the principal;
  • an explanation of your right to question “complaining witnesses,” (i.e. the people who reported the student’s
    alleged conduct), at the conference.”

If Your Child is Being Suspended and He or She Denies the Misconduct

“…the suspending authority must provide an explanation of the basis for the suspension. Your child and you, upon request, must then be given an opportunity for an informal conference with the principal, at which you and your child may present your child’s version of the events and may ask questions of the witnesses. The conference must take place prior to your child’s suspension unless your child’s presence is a danger or a disruption to the academic process, in which case the notice and opportunity for an informal conference must take place as soon after the suspension as is reasonably practicable.”

If Your Child is 16 Years Old or Younger

“…he or she has the right to continue with school work while under suspension, as long as the work is equivalent to the work that
was being done in school. Depending on your school district, this may mean that your child can go to school for a few hours a day, have work brought home by you or another student, or receive instruction at an alternative educational setting. If your child is older than 16, the school district is not required to provide alternative instruction, but has the discretion to do so.”

If a Suspension is For a Period in Excess of 5 School Days

“…school districts must conduct a student suspension hearing, also referred to as a student disciplinary hearing or
a §3214 hearing, and both you and your child must be provided written notice of the latter. The notice must be provided before the suspension begins, either by hand-delivery or express mail, and it must inform you and your child why the school wants to suspend your child. It must contain:

  • a description of the event and the date it took place; and
  • an explanation of your child’s right to a formal suspension hearing and the proposed date of the hearing

Your child may be assigned a short-term suspension while he or she is waiting for a hearing, up to 5 days. If your child is suspended for 6 days or more without a hearing, he or she may be eligible to return to school pending a hearing. If your child does not wish to contest the charges, he or she can waive the right to a hearing by entering a no contest plea or signing a waiver.”

Your Child’s Rights at the Suspension Hearing

“At the hearing, your child has the right to representation by counsel, the right to question witnesses, the right to remain silent, and the right to present witnesses and evidence. The suspending authority may personally hear and determine the proceeding or may, in its discretion, designate a hearing officer to conduct the hearing.”

“After the parties have presented their witnesses and evidence, the hearing officer will make findings of fact and recommendations as to the appropriate measure of discipline to the superintendent. The report of the hearing officer is advisory only, however, and the superintendent can accept or reject all or part of the hearing officer’s findings. The board may then adopt in whole or in part the decision of the superintendent.”

“If your child has been suspended and is of compulsory attendance age, ‘immediate steps shall be taken for his or her attendance upon instruction elsewhere or for supervision or detention’ of the student. If your child has been suspended for cause, the suspension may be revoked by the board of education whenever it appears to be for the best interest of the school and your child to do so. The board of education may also condition your child’s early return to school…”

What are my child’s rights after the hearing in New York?

“Your child may appeal a suspension decision based on insufficient notice or a violation of certain rights. The only evidence that may be presented at an appeal is the record from the suspension hearing. Usually, the student must first appeal to the Board of Education in his or her school district, by submitting a letter explaining how his or her rights were violated and why they should reconsider the decision. If your child loses an appeal to the Board of Education, he or she may appeal to the State Commissioner of Education.”

Read more about the law in New York on school suspensions 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.