STUDENT SUSPENSIONS, EXPULSIONS AND DUE PROCESS
In August 2005, the New Jersey State Board of Education adopted regulations (N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.2, 7.3, 7.5 and 7.6) that established new standards and parameters for addressing student conduct issues and concerns that result in suspensions or expulsions. Rather than create an entirely new body of mandates, the regulations primarily organize and apply the requirements regarding student conduct from a diverse array of case law, statutes and other regulations. The requirements for addressing student conduct problems, tools for assessing and developing local student conduct policies, procedures and resources for implementing effective practices are provided below.
- Government Agencies
- Data Collection
- Case Law
- Professional Associations
- County Superintendents of Schools, New Jersey Department of Education
- Division on Civil Rights, New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety
- Local School District Administrations and Boards of Education
- New Jersey Courts
- New Jersey Department of Education
- No Child Left Behind Act
(Complaints under the federal No Child Left Behind Act)
- Office for Civil Rights, United States Department of Education
(Regional Office for New Jersey)
- Office of Controversies and Disputes, New Jersey Department of Education
- Office of Fiscal Accountability and Compliance, New Jersey Department of Education
- Office of Special Education, New Jersey Department of Education
(Disputes arising under the laws governing special education.)
- School Ethics Commission, New Jersey Department of Education
(Complaints against school officials under the School Ethics Act.)
- United States Courts
- United State Department of Education
- All References below can be found at the New Jersey Legislature's website:
- N.J.S.A. 18A:6-1, Corporal punishment of pupils
- N.J.S.A. 18A:12-21 et seq., School Ethics Act
- N.J.S.A. 18A:37. Discipline of Pupils
- N.J.S.A. 18A:38. Article 3. Compulsory Education
- Frequently Asked Questions
- State School Laws
- Commissioner’s Annual Report to the Education Committees of the Senate and General Assembly on Violence, Vandalism and Substance Abuse
- Discipline Problems Reported by Public Schools, Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2007, National Center for Education Statistics
- National Center for Education Statistics
- Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning
- County Offices of Education (County Superintendents) of the New Jersey Department of Education
- Office of Fiscal Accountability and Compliance, New Jersey Department of Education
- Parent Rights in Special Education (PRISE)
- Student Discipline Policies (ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management)
- Special Education Student Data Handbook
- State Submission Student Data Handbook
- Violence Vandalism and Substance Abuse in New Jersey Schools
- N.J.A.C. 6A:14-2.8, Discipline/suspension/expulsion (special education)
- N.J.A.C. 6A:3-1.1. et seq
(Filing a Petition of Appeal with the Bureau of Controversies and Disputes.)
- N.J.A.C. 6A :3, Controversies and Disputes
- N.J.A.C. 6A :4, Appeals
- N.J.A.C. 6A:16-4, Procedures for Alcohol or Other Drug Abuse Intervention
- N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7, Student Conduct
- N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.1, Code of student conduct
- N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.2, Short-term suspensions
- N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.3, Long-term suspensions
- N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.5, Expulsion
- N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.6, Conduct away from school grounds
- N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.8, Attendance
- N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.9, Intimidation, harassment and bullying
- N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.10, Student records and confidentiality
- N.J.A.C. 6A:32, School District Operations
- Commissioner Decisions: Controversies and Disputes
- New Jersey Department of Education School Law Decisions
(Commissioner of Education decisional law affecting education; School Ethics Commission decisions; State Board of Examiners decisions)
- Rutgers Law Library
- Goss v. Lopez, 419 U.S. 565 at 580-582
Procedural due process rights for short-term student suspensions
- R. R. v. Bd. of Ed. of Shore Regional High Sch. District, 109 N.J. Super. 346, (Ch. Div. 1970)
Procedural due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment, including the right to a formal hearing with respect to discipline of students, involving possible imposition of serious sanctions such as suspension or expulsion; School officials right to expel or suspend a student for conduct away from school grounds.
- Scher v. Board of Education, West Orange (N.J. School Law Decisions, January 1 to December 31, 1968, at 92).
Student’s right to a formal hearing with respect to discipline. Termination of a student's right to attend school is a drastic and desperate remedy which should be employed only when no other course is possible.
- Palmyra v. Hansen, 56 N.J. Super. 567 (Law Div.1959)
Procedural due process rights.
- Tibbs v. Bd. of Ed. of Twp. of Franklin, 114 N.J. Super. 287, (App. Div.), aff’d 59 N.J. 206 (1971)
Student’s right to have witnesses identified and to be supplied with statements or affidavits by the witnesses in advance of a hearing and to cross-examine witnesses.
- State v. Conk, 180 N.J. Super. 140, 145 (App. Div. 1981)
Student’s fundamental right to an education is not absolute; it is subject to student’s adherence to lawful conditions; school officials right to punish, suspend or expel student from school.
- Board of Education of the Borough of Bergenfield, Bergen County, David C. Hespe, Commissioner, and New Jersey State Board of Education v. P.H. and P.H., on behalf of minor child, M.C
The removal of students from school is not grounds to deny students their right to a thorough and efficient public education under the New Jersey Constitution, but neither P.H. I, P.H. II nor P.H. III established that a student could never waive his or her state constitutional right to a thorough and efficient system of free public education by engaging in proscribed conduct.
- Brady v. United States, 397 U.S. 742, 748 (1970).
State v. Cook, 179 N.J. 533 (2004).
South Dakota v. Dole, 483 U.S. 203 (1987).
Edwards v. Arizona, 451 U.S. 477, 482 (1981).
State in the Interest of Q.N., 179 N.J. 165, 172-73 (2004).
Student may waive his or her substantive right to a thorough and efficient system of public education if the waiver is a knowing, intelligent and voluntary action.
- G.F. v. Board of Educ. of Washington Tp., 1 N.J.A.R. (EDU) 55, 64 (1980).
K.W. v. Board of Educ., Lower Camden Reg’l High Sch. Dist. No. 1, OAL Dkt. No. EDU 6129-99 (February 4, 2004) adopted as modified by Cmr., (March 20, 2000).
Students refusing to obey the established rules are subject to disciplinary measures, including expulsion from further school attendance which effectively negates the student’s constitutional right to attend public school free of charge.
- Saxe v State College Area School Dist., 240 F. 3d 200 (3d Cir. 2001).
Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education, 526 U.S. 629 (1999).
L.W. v. Toms River Reg’l Schs. Bd. of Educ., SUPREME COURT OF NEW JERSEY, 189 N.J. 381; 915 A.2d 535; 2007 N.J. LEXIS 184, November 13, 2006, Argued, February 21, 2007, Decided.
Bias-based harassment and free speech.
C.S. on Behalf of Minor, K.S., Petitioner, v. Board of Education of The Township of Piscataway, Middlesex County, Respondent. EDU 8778-96 467-10/96 Education 97 N.J.A.R.2d(EDU) 573; 1997 N.J. AGEN LEXIS 371, April 2, 1997, Initial Decision, May 19, 1997 , Final Agency Decision.
- Thomas v. Bd. of Ed. of Morris Twp., 89 N.J. Super. 327, 332.
A local board of education acting within its discretionary powers is entitled to a presumption of correctness and may not be disturbed unless "there is an affirmative showing that such decision was arbitrary, capricious or unreasonable.
- State In The Interest of J.P.B., 143 N.J. Super 96 (App. Div. 1976)
The requirements of Miranda v Arizona should be fully observed during the custodial interrogation of juveniles by law enforcement officers.
- Association of Student Assistance Professionals of New Jersey
- National Staff Development Council
- New Jersey Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
- New Jersey Association of Pupil Services Administrators
- New Jersey Association of School Administrators
- New Jersey Association of School Psychologists
- New Jersey Association of School Social Workers
- New Jersey Association of Schools and Agencies for the Handicapped
- New Jersey Coalition for Bullying Awareness and Prevention
- New Jersey Education Association
- New Jersey Parents and Teachers Association
- New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association
- New Jersey School Boards Association
- New Jersey School Counselors Association
- New Jersey State Federation of Teachers
- New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association
- New Jersey State School Nurses Association
- Statewide Parent Advocacy Network