Back to Main Page
ASEC

15.0 Discipline Standards


Quick Link:
Serious Bodily InjuryDangerous Weapon

Removal of Children with Disabilities
Services When Removed
Manifestation DeterminationAppealExpedited HearingSuspension ProceduresExclusion & Expulsion
Enrollment OptionsReferral to Law EnforcementTransmission of Disciplinary InformationChildren Not Yet Eligible
Possession of FirearmChange of PlacementPositive Behavioral SupportsRestrictive Procedures

Discipline of students with disabilities may take form in a variety of actions by district personnel, such as dismissal, removal, exclusion, suspension, or expulsion. Each action requires that specific procedures and processes be followed to ensure free appropriate public education (FAPE) remains available to all children with disabilities, including children with disabilities who have been suspended or expelled from school. These procedures include, but are not limited to: informal administrative conference, written notice, IEP meeting, change of educational placement, manifestation determination review, functional behavioral assessment, conciliation conference, mediation, and due process hearing.

The Minnesota Pupil Fair Dismissal Act contains additional provisions that do not involve removal, exclusion, suspension, or expulsion and that apply to all students. Please refer to the Act, at Minn. Stat. 121A.40 to 121A.56 , for more information.

Required Policies

Specific policies, procedures and other documentation to demonstrate compliance will be found on each of the fourteen district's policy web page.

 

 

Minnesota Department of Education

October, 2008

Q & A: Pupil Fair Dismissal Act (PFDA)

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) Division of Compliance and Assistance has developed this

document to provide technical assistance to districts that have raised questions regarding the PFDA. This

document addresses what documents must be given to students and parents when a student is suspended or

expelled, timing of administrative conferences and out-of-school suspension notices, and the duration of out of

school suspensions.

 

 

 

15.0 Discipline of Students with a Disability

A free appropriate public education must be available to all children with disabilities residing in the State between the ages of 3 and 21, inclusive including children with disabilities who have been suspended or expelled from school.

34 C.F.R. 300.101(a)

15.01 Definitions

 For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:

  1. Controlled substances means a drug or other substance identified under schedules I, II, III, IV, or V in section 202(c) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812(c).

    NOTE: Alcohol and tobacco are not included on any of the Controlled Substances Act schedules.

  2. Illegal drug means a controlled substance; but does not include a controlled substance that is legally possessed or used under the supervision of a licensed health-case professional or that is legally possessed or used under any other authority under that Act or under any other provision of Federal law.

  3. Serious bodily injury has the meaning given the term "serious bodily injury" under paragraph (3) of subsection (h) of section 1365 of title 18, United States Code.

The term "serious bodily injury" means bodily injury which involves:

  1. a substantial risk of death;

  2. extreme physical pain;

  3. protracted and obvious disfigurement; or

  4. protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty.

  1. Weapon has the meaning given in the term "dangerous weapon" under paragraph (2) of the first subsection (g) of section 930 of title 18, United States Code.

34 C.F.R. 300.530(i)

 

The term "serious bodily Injury" means bodily injury which involves:

  1. a substantial risk of death;

  2. extreme physical pain;

  3. protracted and obvious disfigurement; or

  4. protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty.

18 U.S.C. 1365(h)(3)

 

The term "dangerous weapon" means a weapon, device, instrument, material, or substance, animate or inanimate, that is used for, or is readily capable of, causing death or serious bodily injury, except that such term does not include a pocket knife with a blade of less than 2 1/2 inches in length.

18 U.S.C. 930 (g)(2)

 

Removal from class.

"Removal from class" and "removal" mean any actions taken by a teacher, principal, or other school district employee to prohibit a pupil from attending a class or activity period for a period of time not to exceed five days, pursuant to procedures established in the school district discipline policy adopted by the school board pursuant to section 121A.61.

Class period.

"Class period" or "activity period" means a period of time as defined in the district's written discipline policy.

 

School site mediation board.

"School site mediation board" means a board representative of parents of students in the building, staff, and students that shall have the responsibilities as defined in section 121A.62. The principal or other person having general control and supervision of the school, shall serve as an ex officio member of the board.

 

School-based ombudsperson.

"School-based ombudsperson" means an administrator, a teacher, a parent, or a student representative who shall have the responsibilities under section 121A.63.

MN Stat. 121A.60

15.02 Removal of Children with Disabilities

Citation

 School personnel may consider any unique circumstances on a case-by- case basis when determining whether a change in placement, consistent with the requirements of this section, is appropriate for a child with a disability who violates of code of student conduct.

School personnel may remove a child with a disability who violates a code of student conduct from his or her current placement to an appropriate interim alternative educational setting, another setting, or suspension, for not more than 10 consecutive school days (to the extent those alternatives are applied to children without disabilities, and for additional removals of not more than 10 consecutive school days in that same school year for separate incidents of misconduct (as long as those removals do not constitute a change of placement)

After a child with a disability has been removed from his or her current placement for 10 school days in the the same school year, during any subsequent days of removal the school must provide services as outlined in 15.02.01 below.

For disciplinary changes in placement that would exceed 10 consecutive school days, if the behavior that gave rise to the violation of the school code is determined not to be a manifestation of the child's disability, school personnel may apply the relevant disciplinary procedures to children with disabilities in the same manner and for the same duration as the procedures would be applied to children without disabilities except as addressed 15.02.01 below.

(34 C.F.R. 300.530(a))

Required policy

 

Each school board must adopt a written districtwide school discipline policy which includes written rules of conduct for students, minimum consequences for violations of the rules, and grounds and procedures for removal of a student from class. The policy must be developed in consultation with administrators, teachers, employees, pupils, parents, community members, law enforcement agencies, county attorney offices, social service agencies, and such other individuals or organizations as the board determines appropriate. A school site council may adopt additional provisions to the policy subject to the approval of the school board.


Grounds for removal from class

The policy must establish the various grounds for which a student may be removed from a class in the district for a period of time under the procedures specified in the policy. The policy must include a procedure for notifying and meeting with a student's parent or guardian to discuss the problem that is causing the student to be removed from class after the student has been removed from class more than ten times in one school year. The grounds in the policy must include at least the following provisions as well as other grounds determined appropriate by the board:

(a) willful conduct that significantly disrupts the rights of others to an education, including conduct that interferes with a teacher's ability to teach or communicate effectively with students in a class or with the ability of other students to learn;

(b) willful conduct that endangers surrounding persons, including school district employees, the student or other students, or the property of the school; and

(c) willful violation of any rule of conduct specified in the discipline policy adopted by the board.

Policy components.

The policy must include at least the following components:

(a) rules governing student conduct and procedures for informing students of the rules;

(b) the grounds for removal of a student from a class;

(c) the authority of the classroom teacher to remove students from the classroom pursuant to procedures and rules established in the district's policy;

(d) the procedures for removal of a student from a class by a teacher, school administrator, or other school district employee;

(e) the period of time for which a student may be removed from a class, which may not exceed five class periods for a violation of a rule of conduct;

(f) provisions relating to the responsibility for and custody of a student removed from a class;

(g) the procedures for return of a student to the specified class from which the student has been removed;

(h) the procedures for notifying a student and the student's parents or guardian of violations of the rules of conduct and of resulting disciplinary actions;

(i) any procedures determined appropriate for encouraging early involvement of parents or guardians in attempts to improve a student's behavior;

(j) any procedures determined appropriate for encouraging early detection of behavioral problems;

(k) any procedures determined appropriate for referring a student in need of special education services to those services;

(1) the procedures for consideration of whether there is a need for a further assessment or of whether there is a need for a review of the adequacy of a current individual education plan of a student with a disability who is removed from class;

(m) procedures for detecting and addressing chemical abuse problems of a student while on the school premises;

(n) the minimum consequences for violations of the code of conduct;

(o) procedures for immediate and appropriate interventions tied to violations of the code;

(p) a provision that states that a teacher, school employee, school bus driver, or other agent of a district may use reasonable force in compliance with section 121A.582 and other laws; and

(q) an agreement regarding procedures to coordinate crisis services to the extent funds are available with the county board responsible for implementing sections 245.487 to 245.4889 for students with a serious emotional disturbance or other students who have an individualized education plan whose behavior may be addressed by crisis intervention.

MN Statue 121A.61

Further information regarding restrictive procedures may be found in the MDE Q & A Related to Restrictive Procedures document

The following table summarizes district obligations under current state law and federal regulation.

 IEP Team Meeting RequiredManifestation Determination RequiredFBA Plan Required
Student removed for 1 school day
 or less (but not suspended)
No*No*No*
Student suspended for less than
5 consecutive school days
No*No*No*
Student suspended for
5 to 10 consecutive school days
YesYesNo*
Student removed for 10 cumulative
school days in a school year or less
NoNoNo
Student removed for 11 cumulative
school days in a school year or less
YesYesYes
Student placed on in-school suspensionNo**No**No**
Parent requests a manifestation determination
following any removal for disciplinary reasons
YesYesYes
Student suspended from the busDepends***Depends***Depends***

*Unless the removal brings the total number of cumulative days this school that the student has been removed to more than 10, or unless the parent requests a meeting under MN Stat. 121A.41, Subd. 10.
** An in-school suspension would not be considered a part of the days of removal as long as the student is afforded the opportunity to continue to appropriately progress in the general curriculum, continue to receive the services specified on his or her IEP, and continue to participate with non-disabled children to the extent they would have in their current placement.
***If bus transportation is a part of the student's IEP, a bus suspension would be treated as a removal unless the school provides transportation in some other way, because that transportation is necessary for the student to obtain access to the location where all other services will be delivered. If bus transportation is not a part of the student's IEP, a bus suspension typically would not be a removal

Removal By Crisis Team

The appropriate interventions to be employed in addressing the misconduct of a student on an IEP will be determined on a case-by-case basis. The appropriate interventions utilized by school personnel should be guided by the student's IEP and behavior intervention plan (if applicable), the school discipline guidelines, and the discretion of the teaching staff and school administrators. If the behavior of a student with an IEP escalates to the point where the student's behavior endangers or may endanger the health, safety, or property of the student, other students, school personnel, or other individuals on school grounds, or school property, the school building's crisis team as identified in the district restrictive procedures policy and plan may be summoned. The crisis team may attempt to de-escalate the student's behavior by means including, but not limited to those described in the student's IEP and/or behavior intervention plan or if the crisis team determine that the student's behavior is endangering or may endanger the health, safety, or property of the student, or others, the crisis team may remove the student to a safe area or from school grounds. In removing a student with an IEP from school grounds, the school principal, other crisis team members or other school personnel may use reasonable force only to the extent permitted by Minnesota law. If the student's behavior cannot be safely managed, school personnel may immediately request assistance from a peace officer.

If a pupil who has an individual education plan is restrained or removed from a classroom, school building, or school grounds by a peace officer at the request of a school administrator or a school staff person during the school day twice in a 30 day period, the pupil's individual education program team must meet to determine if the pupil's individual education plan is adequate or if additional evaluation is needed.
MS 121A.67, Subd. 2

The building administrator or designee must make reasonable efforts to notify the student's parent or guardian of the student's removal from school grounds as soon as possible following the removal.

Use of Restrictive Procedures by Crisis Team or Police Officer

If a pupil who has an individual education plan is restrained or removed from a classroom, school building, or school grounds by a peace officer at the request of a school administrator or a school staff person during the school day twice in a 30 day period, the pupil's individual education program team must meet to determine if the pupil's individual education plan is adequate or if additional evaluation is needed.
MS 121A.67, Subd. 2

If the crisis team employs an "emergency intervention" such as defined by Minnesota Rule twice in 30 days or a student's pattern of behavior is emerging that interferes with the achievement of the student's educational goals and objectives, a team meeting must be called to determine if the student's IEP is adequate, if additional evaluation is needed, and if necessary, to amend the IEP. Districts may use restrictive procedures in emergencies until the IEP team meets, provided the emergency measures are deemed necessary by the district to protect the individual student or others from harm. The IEP team will meet as soon as possible, but no later than five school days after emergency procedures have been used. District administration, Director of Special Education and parents must be notified immediately when physical restraint has been used in an emergency situation.

When a district anticipates that restrictive procedures may be used, the district will comply with the MDE Restrictive Procedures Checklist and document each of the mandated requirements.

Reporting Crimes

Whether or not a student with an IEP engages in conduct which endangers or may endanger the health, safety, or property of the student or others, the district personnel may report a crime committed by a student with an IEP to appropriate authorities. The fact that a student with an IEP is covered by special education law does not prevent state law enforcement and judicial authorities from exercising their responsibilities with regard to the application of federal and state law to crimes committed by a student with an IEP.

15.02.01 Services for Child with Disability Removed from Current Placement

  1. A child with a disability who is removed from the child's current placement must:

    (i) Continue to receive educational services, so as to enable the child to continue to participate in the general education curriculum, although in another setting, and to progress toward meeting the goals set out in the child's IEP; and

    (ii) receive, as appropriate, a functional behavioral assessment, and behavioral intervention services and modifications, that are designed to address the behavior violation so that it does not recur.

  2. The services required may be provided in an interim alternative educational setting.

  3. A school is only required to provide services during periods of removal to a child with a disability who has been removed from his or her current placement for 10 school days or less in that school year, if it provides services to a child without disabilities who is similarly removed.

  4. After a child with a disability has been removed from his or her current placement for 10 school days in the same school year, if the current removal is for not more than 10 consecutive school days and is not a change of placement, school personnel, in consultation with at least one of the child's teachers, determine the extent to which services are needed, so as to enable the child to continue to participate in the general education curriculum, although in another setting, and to progress toward meeting the goals set out in the child's IEP.

  5. If the removal is a change of placement, the child's IEP Team determines appropriate services.

34.C.F.R. 300.530(d)

The building administrator and/or case manger is strongly encouraged to contact the Special Education Director for their district for any student who is being removed from the current placement for 10 days or who has been removed previously been removed for 10 days or more.

15.02.02 Change of Placement for Disciplinary Removals

The district must determine on a case-by-case basis whether a pattern of removals constitutes a change of placement. A change of placement occurs if:

  1. The removal is for more than 10 consecutive school days; or

  2. The child is subjected to a series of removals that constitute a pattern:

  1. Because the series of removals totals more than 10 school days in a school year;

  2. Because the child's behavior is substantially similar to the child's behavior in previous incidents that resulted in the series of removals; and

  3. Because of such additional factors as the length of each removal, the total amount of time the child has been removed, and the proximity of the removals to one another.

34 C.F.R. 300.536(a)

15.02.03 Special Circumstances for Disciplinary Removals

School personnel may remove a student to an interim alternative educational setting for not more than 45 days without regard to whether the behavior is determined to be a manifestation of the child's disability, if the child:

  1. Carries a weapon to or possesses a weapon at school, on school premises, or to or at a school function under the jurisdiction of the district;

  2. Knowingly possesses or uses illegal drugs, or sells or solicits the sale of a controlled substance, while at school, on school premises, or at a school function under the jurisdiction of the district;

  3. Has inflicted a serious bodily injury upon another person while at school, on school premises, or at a school function under the jurisdiction of the district.

34 C.F.R. 300.530(g)

The term "serious bodily injury" means bodily injury which involves:

  1. a substantial risk of death;

  2. extreme physical pain;

  3. protracted and obvious disfigurement; or

  4. protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty.

15.02.04 Determination of Setting

The child's IEP team determines the interim alternative education setting for services.

The building administrator and/or case manger is strongly encouraged to contact the Special Education Director for their district for any student who is being considered for an alternative education setting.

 15.02.05 Parental Notification

On the date on which the decision is made to make a removal that constitutes a change of placement of a child with a disability because of a violation of a code of student conduct, the district must notify the parents of that decision and provide the parents with the procedural safeguards notice.

34 C.F.R. 300.530(h)

15.03 Manifestation Determination

15.03.01 Making the Determination

Citation

Within 10 school days of any decision to change the placement of a child with a disability because of a violation of a code of student conduct, the district, the parent and relevant members of the child's IEP Team must review all relevant information in the child's IEP, any teacher observations, and any relevant information provided by the parents to determine:

  1. If the conduct in question was caused by, or head a direct and substantial relationship to, the child's disability; or

  2. If the conduct in question was the direct result of the district's failure to implement the IEP.

The conduct must be determined to be a manifestation of the child's disability if the district, the parent, and the relevant members of the child's IEP team determined that a condition listed above was met. If the conduct in question was the direct result of the district's failure to implement the IEP, the district must take immediate steps to remedy those deficiencies.

34.C.F.R. 300.530(e)

15.03.02 Functional Behavioral Assessment and Behavioral Intervention Plan

If the district, the parent and the relevant members of the IEP Team made the determination that the conduct was a manifestation of the child's disability, the IEP Team must either:

  1. Conduct a functional behavioral assessment unless the district had conducted a functional behavioral assessment before the behavior that resulted in the change of placement occurred, and implement a behavioral intervention plan for the child; or

  2. If a behavioral intervention plan already has been developed, review the behavioral intervention plan, and modify it, as necessary, to address the behavior; and

  3. Except as provided in 15.02.03 Special Circumstances, return the child to the placement from which the child was removed, unless the parent and the district agree to a change of placement as part of the modification of the behavioral intervention plan.

34 C.F.R. 300.530(f)

The Area Special Education Cooperative has developed guidelines and forms for conducting a functional behavioral assessment (FBA) that are available under the Forms Section at asec.net .

15.03.03 Services When Behavior is Not a Manifestation of Disability

Consistent with federal law governing days of removal and section 121A.46, school personnel may suspend a child with a disability. When a child with a disability has been suspended for more than five consecutive school days or ten cumulative school days in the same school year, and that suspension does not involve a recommendation for expulsion or exclusion or other change of placement under federal law, relevant members of the child's individualized education program team, including at least one of the child's teachers, shall meet and determine the extent to which the child needs services in order to continue to participate in the general education curriculum, although in another setting, and to progress toward meeting the goals in the child's individualized education program. That meeting must occur as soon as possible, but no more than ten days after the sixth consecutive day of suspension or the tenth cumulative day of suspension has elapsed.

 

A dismissal for one school day or less is a day or a partial day of suspension if the child with a disability does not receive regular or special education instruction during that dismissal period. The notice requirements under section 121A.46 do not apply to a dismissal of one day or less.

 

A child with a disability shall be provided alternative educational services to the extent a suspension exceeds five consecutive school days.

 

Before initiating an expulsion or exclusion under sections 121A.40 to 121A.56, the district, relevant members of the child's individualized education program team, and the child's parent shall, consistent with federal law, determine whether the child's behavior was caused by or had a direct and substantial relationship to the child's disability and whether the child's conduct was a direct result of a failure to implement the child's individualized education program. When a child with a disability who has an individualized education program is excluded or expelled under sections 121A.40 to 121A.56 for misbehavior that is not a manifestation of the child's disability, the district shall continue to provide special education and related services during the exclusion or expulsion.

Minn. Stat. 121A.43

15.04 Placement and Determination Appeals

Citation

 The parent of a child with a disability who disagrees with any decision regarding placement or the manifestation determination or the district believes that maintaining the current placement of the child is substantially likely to result in injury to the child or others, many appeal the decision by requesting a hearing.

34C.F.R.300.532(a)

Best practice would suggest that the Special Education Director for the district has been involved prior to any disagreement however the Director must be notified immediately when a parent of a child with a disability disagrees with the placement or manifestation determination proposed by the district so that due process procedures may be followed.

15.04.01 Placement Pending Appeal

When an appeal has been requested by either the parent or the district, the child must remain in the interim educational setting pending the decision of the hearing officer or until the expiration of the time period provided for in 300.530(c) or (g), whichever occurs first, unless the parent and the district agree otherwise.

34 C.F.R. 300.533

15.04.02 Authority of Hearing Officer

A hearing officer hears, and makes a determination regarding an appeal. In making the determination the hearing officer may:

  1. Return the child with a disability to the placement from which the child was removed if the hearing officer determines that the removal was a violation of 300.530 or that the child's behavior was a manifestation of the child's disability; or

  2. Order a change of placement of the child with a disability to an appropriate interim alternative educational setting for not more than 45 school days if the hearing officer determines that maintaining the current placement of the child is substantially likely to result in injury to the child or to others.

34 C.F.R. 300.532(c)

15.04.03 Expedited Hearing

Whenever a hearing is requested, the parents or the district involved in the dispute must have an opportunity for an impartial due process hearing consistent with the requirements of 300.507 and 300.508(a) through (c) and 300.510 through 300.514, except as provided in paragraph (c)(2) through (4) of this section.

The district is responsible for arranging the expedited due process hearing, which must occur within 20 school days of the date the complaint requesting the hearing is filed. The hearing officer must make a determination within 10 school days after the hearing.

Unless the parents and the district agree in writing to waive the resolution meeting or agree to use the mediation process described in 300.506:

  1. A resolution meeting must occur within seven days of receiving notice of the due process complaint, and

  2. The due process hearing may proceed unless the matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of both parties within 15 days of receipt of the due process complaint.

34 C.F.R. 300.532(c)

15.05 Suspension Procedures

Informal Administrative Conference Before Suspension

The school administration shall not suspend a pupil from school without an informal administrative conference with the pupil. The informal administrative conference shall take place before the suspension, except where it appears that the pupil will create an immediate and substantial danger to self or to surrounding persons or property, in which case the conference shall take place as soon as practicable following the suspension.

 

Administrator Notifies Pupil of Grounds for Suspension

 At the informal administrative conference, a school administrator shall notify the pupil of the grounds for the suspension, provide an explanation of the evidence the authorities have, and the pupil may present the pupil's version of the facts.

Written Notice of Grounds for Suspension
A written notice containing the grounds for suspension, a brief statement of the facts, a description of the testimony, a readmission plan, and a copy of sections 121A.40 to 121A.56, shall be personally served upon the pupil at or before the time the suspension is to take effect, and upon the pupil's parent or guardian by mail within 48 hours of the conference. The district shall make reasonable efforts to notify the parents of the suspension by telephone as soon as possible following suspension. In the event a pupil is suspended without an informal administrative conference on the grounds that the pupil will create an immediate and substantial danger to surrounding persons or property, the written notice shall be served upon the pupil and the pupil's parent or guardian within 48 hours of the suspension. Service by mail is complete upon mailing.

 

Suspension Pending Expulsion or Exclusion Hearing

 

Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivisions 1 and 3, the pupil may be suspended pending the school board's decision in the expulsion or exclusion hearing; provided that alternative educational services are implemented to the extent that suspension exceeds five days.

Minn. Stat. 121A.46

Whenever a student fails to return to school within ten school days of the termination of dismissal, a school administrator shall inform the student and the student's parents by mail of the student's right to attend and to be reinstated in the public school.

Minn. Stat. 121A.54

15.06.01 Exclusion and Expulsion of Student's with a Disability

Informal Administrative Conference Before Suspension

The school administration shall not suspend a pupil from school without an informal administrative conference with the pupil. The informal administrative conference shall take place before the suspension, except where it appears that the pupil will create an immediate and substantial danger to self or to surrounding persons or property, in which case the conference shall take place as soon as practicable following the suspension.

 

Administrator Notifies Pupil of Grounds for Suspension

 At the informal administrative conference, a school administrator shall notify the pupil of the grounds for the suspension, provide an explanation of the evidence the authorities have, and the pupil may present the pupil's version of the facts.

 

Written Notice of Grounds for Suspension

A written notice containing the grounds for suspension, a brief statement of the facts, a description of the testimony, a readmission plan, and a copy of sections 121A.40 to 121A.56, shall be personally served upon the pupil at or before the time the suspension is to take effect, and upon the pupil's parent or guardian by mail within 48 hours of the conference. The district shall make reasonable efforts to notify the parents of the suspension by telephone as soon as possible following suspension. In the event a pupil is suspended without an informal administrative conference on the grounds that the pupil will create an immediate and substantial danger to surrounding persons or property, the written notice shall be served upon the pupil and the pupil's parent or guardian within 48 hours of the suspension. Service by mail is complete upon mailing.

 

Suspension Pending Expulsion or Exclusion Hearing

Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivisions 1 and 3, the pupil may be suspended pending the school board's decision in the expulsion or exclusion hearing; provided that alternative educational services are implemented to the extent that suspension exceeds five days.

Minn. Stat. 121A.43

15.06.02 Expulsion for Possession of Firearm

A school board must expel for a period of at least one year a student who is determined to have brought a firearm to school except the board may modify this expulsion requirement for a student on a case-by-case basis. For the purposes of this section, firearm is as defined in United State Code, title 18, section 921.

A student's expulsion or withdrawal or transfer from a school after an expulsion action is initiated against the student for a weapons violation may be disclosed by the school district initiating the expulsion proceeding. Unless the information is otherwise public, the disclosure may be made only to another school district in connection with the possible admission of the student to the other district.

Minn. Stat. 121A.44

15.06.03 Grounds for Dismissal

No school shall dismiss any pupil without attempting to provide alternative educational services before dismissal proceedings, except where it appears that the pupil will create an immediate and substantial danger to self or to surrounding persons or property.

A pupil may be dismissed on any of the following grounds:

  1. willful violation of any reasonable school board regulation. Such regulation must be clear and definite to provide notice to pupils that they must conform their conduct to its requirements;

  2. willful conduct that significantly disrupts the rights of others to an education, or the ability of school personnel to perform their duties, or school sponsored extracurricular activities; or

  3. willful conduct that endangers the pupil or other pupils, or surrounding persons, including school district employees, or property of the school.

If a pupil's total days of removal from school exceeds ten cumulative days in a school years, the school district shall make reasonable attempts to convene a meeting with the pupil and the pupil's parent or guardian before subsequently removing the pupil from school and, with the permission of the parent or guardian, arrange for a mental health screening for the pupil. The district is not required to pay for the mental health screening. Contact your special education director or school social worker for options for obtaining a mental health screening. The purpose of this meeting is to attempt to determine the pupil's need for assessment or other services or whether the parent or guardian should have the pupil assessed or diagnosed to determine whether the pupil needs treatment for a mental health disorder.

Minn. Stat. 121A.45

15.06.04 Exclusion and Expulsion Procedures

No exclusion or expulsion shall be imposed without a hearing, unless the right to a hearing is waived in writing by the pupil and parent or guardian. The action shall be initiated by the school board or its agent.

Written notice of intent to take action shall:

  1. have a representative of the pupil's own choosing, including legal counsel, at the hearing. The district shall advise the pupil's parent or guardian that free or low-cost legal assistance may be available and that a legal assistance resource list is available from the Department of Education;

  2. examine the pupil's records before the hearing;

  3. present evidence; and

  4. confront and cross-examine witnesses.

The hearing shall be scheduled within ten days of the service of the written notice unless an extension, not to exceed five days, is requested for good cause by the school board, pupil, parent or guardian. The time and place of the hearing shall be reasonably convenient to the pupil, parent or guardian. The hearing shall be closed unless the pupil, parent or guardian requests an open hearing. The hearing shall be conducted in a fair and impartial manner.

The school board shall determine that the hearing shall take place before:

  1. an independent hearing officer;

  2. a member of the school board;

  3. a committee of the school board; or

  4. the full school board

The school board shall record the hearing proceedings at district expense, and a party may obtain a transcript at its own expense. Testimony shall be given under oath. The hearing officer or a member of the school board shall have the power to issue subpoenas and administer oaths.

At a reasonable time prior to the hearing, the pupil, parent or guardian, or representative, shall be given access to all public school system records pertaining to the pupil, including any tests or reports upon which the proposed action may be based.

The pupil, parent or guardian, or representative, shall have the right to compel the attendance of any official employee or agent of the public school system or any public employee or any other person who may have evidence upon which the proposed action may be based, and to confront and to cross-examine any witness testifying for the public school system. The pupil, parent or guardian, or representative, shall have the right to present evidence and testimony, including expert psychological or educational testimony. The pupil cannot be required to testify in the dismissal proceedings.

The recommendation of the hearing officer or school board member or committee shall be based solely upon substantial evidence presented at the hearing and must be made to the school board and served upon the parities within two days of the end of the hearing. The school board shall base its decision upon the recommendation of the hearing officer or school board member or committee and shall render its decision at a meeting held within five days after receiving the recommendation. The school board may provide the parties with the opportunity to present exceptions and comments to the hearing officer's recommendations provided that neither party presents any evidence not admitted at the hearing. The decision by the school board must be based on the record, must be in writing, and must state the controlling facts on which the decision is made in sufficient detail to apprise the parties and the commissioner of education of the basis and reason for the decision.

A school administrator shall prepare and enforce an admission or readmission plan for any pupil who is excluded or expelled from school. The plan may include measures to improve the pupil's behavior, including completing a character education program, consistent with section 120B.232, subdivision 1, and require parental involvement in the admission or readmission process, and may indicate the consequences to the pupil of not improving the pupil's behavior.

 

The definition of suspension under section 121A.41, subdivision 10, does not apply to a student's dismissal from school for one school day or less, except as provided under federal law for a student with a disability. Each suspension action may include a readmission plan. A readmission plan must provide, where appropriate, alternative education services, which must not be used to extend the student's current suspension period. Consistent with section 125A.091, subdivision 5, a readmission plan must not obligate a parent or guardian to provide psychotropic drugs to their student as a condition of readmission. School officials must not use the refusal of a parent or guardian to consent to the administration of psychotropic drugs to their student or to consent to a psychiatric evaluation, screening or examination of the student as a ground, by itself, to prohibit the student from attending class or participating in a school-related activity, or as a basis of a charge of child abuse, child neglect or medical or educational neglect.

MN. Stat. 121A.47

A violation of the technical provisions of the Pupil Fair Dismissal Act, made in good faith, is not a defense to a disciplinary procedure under the act unless the pupil can demonstrate actual prejudice as a result of the violation.

MN Stat. 121A.48

Whenever a pupil fails to return to school within ten school days of the termination of dismissal, a school administrator shall inform the pupil and the pupil's parents by mail of the pupil's right to attend and to be reinstated in the public school.

MN Stat. 121A.54

15.06.05 Appeal to an Exclusion and Expulsion Decision

A party to an exclusion or expulsion decision may appeal the decision to the commissioner of education within 21 calendar days of the school board action. Upon being served with a notice of appeal, the district shall provide the commissioner and the parent or guardian with a complete copy of the hearing record within five days of its receipt of the notice of appeal. All written submissions by the appellant must be submitted and served on the respondent within ten days of its actual receipt of the transcript. All written submissions by the respondent must be submitted and served on the appellant within ten days of its actual  receipt of the written submissions of the appellant. The decision of the school board must be implemented during the appeal to the commissioner.

In an appeal under this section, the commissioner may affirm the decision of the agency, may remand the decision for additional findings, or may reverse or modify the decision if the substantial rights of the petitioners have been prejudiced because the administrative findings, inferences, conclusions, or decisions are:

  1. in violation of constitutional provisions;

  2. in excess of the statutory authority or jurisdiction of the school district';

  3. made upon unlawful procedure, except as provided in section 121A.48;

  4. affected by other error of law;

  5. unsupported by substantial evidence in view of the entire record submitted; or

  6. arbitrary or capricious.

The commissioner or the commissioner's representative shall make a final decision based upon the record. The commissioner shall issue a decision within 30 calendar days of receiving the entire record and the parties' written submission on appeal.

MN Stat. 121A.49

The district should consult with their attorney regarding the required school district responsibilities.

15.06.05 Enrollment Options Program

An enrollment options program is established to enable any pupil to attend a school or program in a district in which the pupil does not reside, subject to the limitations below:

An enrollment options program is established to enable any pupil to attend a school or program in a district in which the pupil does not reside, subject to the limitations in this section.

A district may refuse to allow a pupil who is expelled under section
121A.45 to enroll during the term of the expulsion if the student was expelled for:

(1) possessing a dangerous weapon, as defined by United States Code, title 18, section 930,
paragraph (g)(2), at school or a school function;
(2) possessing or using an illegal drug at school or a school function;
(3) selling or soliciting the sale of a controlled substance while at school or a school
function; or
(4) committing a third-degree assault as described in section
609.223, subdivision 1.

Minn. Stat. 124D.03, subd.1

15.07 Referral to an Action by Law Enforcement and Judicial Authorities

Citation

 Nothing in this part prohibits an agency from reporting a crime committed by a child with a disability to appropriate authorities or prevents State law enforcement and judicial authorities from exercising their responsibilities with regard to the application of Federal and State law to crimes committed by a child with a disability.

34 C.F.R.300.535(a)

 

 

Minnesota Department of Education

May 2009

Q & A: Truancy

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) Division of Compliance and Assistance has

developed this document to provide technical assistance to districts that have raised questions

about truancy.

 

 

 

15.08 Transmission of Disciplinary Information

15.08.01 Transmission of Disciplinary Action with the Student Record

 The State may require that a public agency include in the records of a child with a disability a statement of any current or previous disciplinary action that has been taken against the child and transmit the statement to the same extent that the disciplinary information is included in, and transmitted with, the student records of nondisabled children.

The statement may include a description of any behavior engaged in by the child that required disciplinary action, a description of the disciplinary action taken, and any other information that is relevant to the safety of the child and other individuals involved with the child.

If the State adopts such a policy, and the child transfers from one school to another, the transmission of any of the child's records must include both the child's current IEP and any statement of current or previous disciplinary action that has been taken against the child.

34 C.F.R. 300.229

 

 

Minnesota Department of Education

August 2010

Q & A: Transmittal of Disciplinary Records

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) Division of Compliance and Assistance has

developed this document to provide technical assistance to districts that have raised questions

about truancy.

 

 

 

15.08.02 Transmission to Law Enforcement Authorities

An agency reporting a crime committed by a child with a disability must ensure that copies of the special education and disciplinary records of the child are transmitted for consideration by the appropriate authorities to whom the agency reports the crime. Copies of the child's special education and disciplinary records may be transmitted only to the extent permitted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

34 C.F.R. 300.535(b)(1 & 2)

15.09 Basis of Knowledge-Protections for Children Not Yet Eligible

Legal Citation

A child who has not been determined to be eligible for special education and related services under this part and who has engaged in behavior that violated a code of student conduct, may assert any of the protections provided for in this part if the district had knowledge (as determined in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section) that the child was a child with a disability before that behavior that precipitated the disciplinary action occurred.

 34 C.F.R. 300.534(a)

15.09.01 When there is Basis of Knowledge

A district must be deemed to have knowledge that a child is a child with a disability if before the behavior that precipitated the disciplinary action occurred:

  1. The parent of the child expressed concern in writing to supervisory or administrative personnel of the district, or a teacher of the child, that the child is in need of special education and related services;

  2. The parent of the child requested an evaluation of the child: or

  3. The teacher of the child, or other personnel of the district, expressed specific concerns about a pattern of behavior demonstrated by the child directly to the director of special education of the district or to other supervisory personnel of the district.

34 C.F.R.300.534(b)

Exceptions

A district would not be deemed to have knowledge under paragraph (b) of this section if:

  1. The parent of the child has not allowed an evaluation of the child or has refused services under this part; or

  2. The child has been evaluated and determined to not be a child with a disability under this part.

34 C.F.R. 300.534(c)

15.09.02 When there is No Basis of Knowledge

If the district does not have knowledge that a child is a child with a disability (in accordance with paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section) prior to taking disciplinary measures against the child, the child may be subjected to the disciplinary measurers applied to children without disabilities who engaged in comparable behaviors consistent with paragraph (d)(2) of this section.

If a request is made for an evaluation of a child during the time period in which the child is subjected to disciplinary measurers under 300.530, the evaluation must be conducted in an expedited manner.

Until the evaluation is completed, the child remains in the educational placement determined by school authorities, which can include suspension or expulsion without educational services.

If the child is determined to be a child with a disability, taking into consideration information from the evaluation conducted by the district and information provided by the parents, the district must provide special education and related services.

34 C.F.R. 300.534 (d)(1) & (2)

15.10 Suspension and Expulsion Rates

The school board shall report each exclusion or expulsion within 30 days of the effective date of the action to the commissioner of education. This report shall include a statement of alternative educational services given the pupil and the reason for, the effective date, and the duration of the exclusion or expulsion.

The school board must include the state student identification numbers (MARSS) of affected pupils on all dismissal reports required by the department. The department must report annually to the commissioner summary data on the number of dismissals by age, grade, gender, race, and special education status of the affected pupils.

Minn. Stat. 121A.53

 

Last modified 01/17/2011