Student Suspensions, Expulsions and Due Process
In March 2014, the New Jersey State Board of Education re-adopted regulations (N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.2, 7.3, 7.4 and 7.5) to that reestablished 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.
- 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:16-7.4, Expulsion
- N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.5, Conduct away from school grounds
- N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.6, Attendance
- N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.7, Harassment, intimidation, and bullying
- N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.8, 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.