School Discipline: The Legal Challenges and Practical Concerns
Created on August 13, 2018
How should schools legally respond when students violate their Code of Conduct? What are the procedures? What are the consequences? School districts face these issues every day. As practitioners representing school districts, we strive to ensure that our clients act to protect the interests of not only the school community, but the offender as well. As counsel for the offender, we endeavor to compel school districts to abide by the law without ignoring the individual student.
The difficulties associated with legally imposing school discipline pose a challenge for every school, whether small or large, and whether rural, suburban or urban. No longer are schools limited to discipline for actions occurring on school grounds or at school activities. Discipline can be implemented for actions in the community, whether in person or through electronic communication. Discipline concerns are not exclusive to the secondary level, as we have seen increased need for disciplinary response to the actions of younger students. Can schools impose the same type of discipline upon younger students as that imposed upon their older siblings? Can disabled students be disciplined? What type of discipline is appropriate: detention; Saturday detention; in-school suspension; out-of-school suspension; or expulsion? How, and when, should schools turn to restorative practices rather than strict discipline?
Speaker Joanne L. Butler, Esq., who has represented schools and school districts for over thirty years, will address these and other School Discipline issues.
- Explore the legal and practical concerns regarding the imposition of student discipline
- Discuss procedural requirements for discipline, whether short or long term
- Examine actions for which discipline may be imposed
- Consider additional protections for younger and disabled students
- Review types of discipline which may be imposed, including restorative practices
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