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“The General Assembly has mandated that, unless there is an emergency, a student facing expulsion should be entitled to a formal hearing in front of a hearing board within ten (10) days after the proposed expulsion. As with suspension, an emergency exists if the student facing expulsion poses an unwarranted danger to a person or property, or such a serious disruption to the educational process that the school has to delay the hearing until after the suspension. Since school expulsion is a more serious form of discipline, only local or regional school boards can make the decision to expel a student.”

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

“When the administration recommends a student for expulsion, the local or regional school board must provide parents with written notice within twenty-four hours detailing the date and time of the expulsion hearing, a plain statement of the matters at hand, and a list of free or reduced-fee legal services in the area. In addition, the board must provide all documentary evidence that the administration plans to use during the hearing.

To prepare for the hearing, parents can carefully examine the school record stating the facts of the matter, talk to school witnesses to see what they are going to say, and arrange for additional witnesses, especially ones that can testify favorably on your child’s character and tell your child’s side of the story at the hearing.”

What are my child’s legal rights at the hearing?

“At the hearing, two issues will be decided:

  1. whether the child should be expelled; and
  2. if so, the length of the expulsion

Under Section 10-233d, at least three members of the local board of education have to preside over the expulsion proceedings. Alternatively, the school board can delegate the duty to an impartial hearing officer provided the officer is not a member of the appointing board.”

“Generally, the administration will begin the proceedings by laying out the underlying facts leading to expulsion. Then, both the administration and the student will have an opportunity to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses. Following the presentation of evidence, the members of the board can ask both parties questions concerning the expulsion. Before the board makes a final decision on whether the student should be expelled, both sides can present additional arguments opposing or supporting the expulsion.

The hearing officer can recommend one of the following three results.”

  1. they can decide not to expel the student, thereby allowing the child to return to school immediately after the hearing
  2. the board can recommend your child’s expulsion
  3. the board can recommend ‘suspended expulsion’: the student is legally expelled, but is permitted to stay in school on a probationary status

What are my child’s legal rights after the hearing?

“Under the Connecticut statutes, parents are to receive a decision within twenty-four hours of the hearing. Should the board proceed with the expulsion, parents cannot appeal the decision, but have some options for their child.”

  1. if your child is under sixteen 68 years old, then the local board must provide him or her with an alternative educational program during the course of the expulsion
  2. parents can apply for their child to be enrolled in another school
  3. the parent can apply on behalf of their child for early readmission to the school

“As a closing note, notice of the expulsion and the nature of the misconduct must be on the student’s cumulative educational record. Pursuant to statute, if the student graduates from high school, then the administrator must expunge the expulsion from the student’s record unless the student was in possession of a firearm or a deadly weapon. 142 Alternatively, if the board shortened or waived the expulsion, then it can choose to expunge the expulsion from the student’s record if he or she completes an administration-specified program.”

Read more about the law on school expulsion in CT 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.