K. Out of School Suspension Procedures
Suspension from school is a penalty, which may be imposed only upon students who are insubordinate, disorderly, violent or disruptive, or whose conduct otherwise endangers the safety, morals, health or welfare of others.
The board retains its authority to suspend students, but places primary responsibility for the suspension of students with the superintendent and the building principals.
Any staff member may recommend to the superintendent or the principal that a student be suspended. All staff members must immediately report and refer a violent student to the principal or the superintendent for a violation of the Code of Conduct. All recommendations and referrals shall be made in writing unless the conditions underlying the recommendation or referral warrant immediate attention. In such cases a written report is to be prepared as soon as practical by the staff member recommending the suspension.
The superintendent or principal, upon receiving a recommendation or referral for suspension or when processing a case for suspension, shall gather the facts relevant to the matter and record them for subsequent presentation, if necessary.
In the event of a student’s suspension prior to or concurrent with snow days or other emergency days, the student’s suspension will resume on the first school day immediately following the snow day or other emergency day.
1. Short-term (five days or less) Suspension from School
When the superintendent or principal (referred to as the “suspending authority”) propose to suspend a student charged with misconduct for five days or less pursuant to Education Law §3214(3), the suspending authority must immediately notify the student orally. If the student denies the misconduct, the suspending authority must provide an explanation of the basis for the proposed suspension. The suspending authority must also notify the student’s parents/persons in parental relation in writing that the student may be suspended from school. The written notice must be provided by personal delivery, express mail delivery, or some other means that is reasonably calculated to assure receipt of the notice within 24 hours of the decision to propose suspension at the last known address for the parents/ guardians. Where possible, notice should also be provided by telephone if Fayetteville-Manlius Central School District has been provided with a telephone number(s) for the purpose of contacting the parents/ guardians.
The notice shall provide a description of the charges against the student and the incident for which suspension is proposed and shall inform the parent/persons of parental relation of the right to request an immediate informal conference with the principal. Both the notice and the informal conference shall be in the dominant language or mode of communication used by the parents/persons in parental relation. At the conference, the parents/persons of parental relation shall be permitted to ask questions of the complaining witnesses under such procedures as the principal may establish.
The notice and opportunity for an informal conference shall take place before the student is suspended unless the student’s presence in school poses a continuing danger to persons or property or an ongoing threat of disruption to the academic process. If the student’s presence does pose such a danger or threat of disruption, the notice and opportunity for an informal conference shall take place as soon after the suspension as is reasonably practical.
After the conference, the principal shall promptly advise the parents/persons in parental relation in writing of his or her decision. The principal shall advise the parents/persons of parental relation that if they are not satisfied with the decision and wish to pursue the matter, they must file a written appeal to the superintendent of schools within 10 business days of the date of the decision unless they can show extraordinary circumstances precluding them from doing so. The superintendent shall advise the parents/persons of parental relation that if they are not satisfied with his/her decisions as a result of their appeal and wish to pursue the matter; they must file a written appeal to the board of education with the district clerk within 10 business days of the decision unless they can show extraordinary circumstances preventing them from doing so. Only final decisions of the board may be appealed to the Commissioner of Education. These appeals must be filed within 30 days of the decision.
2. Long-term (more than five days) Suspension from School
When the superintendent or building principal determines that a suspension for more than five days may be warranted, that administrator shall give reasonable notice to the student and the student’s parents/persons of parental relation of their right to a fair hearing. At the hearing, the student shall have the right to be represented by counsel, the right to question witnesses against him or her, and the right to present witnesses and other evidence on his or her behalf.
The superintendent shall personally hear and determine the proceeding or may, at his or her discretion, designate a hearing officer to conduct the hearing. The hearing officer shall be authorized to administer oaths, and to issue subpoenas in conjunction with the proceeding before him or her. A record of the hearing shall be maintained, but no stenographic transcript shall be required. A tape recording shall be deemed a satisfactory record. The haring officer shall make findings of fact and recommendations, as to the appropriate measure of discipline to the superintendent. The report of the hearing officer shall be advisory only, and the superintendent may accept all or any part thereof.
An appeal of the decision of the superintendent may be made to the board that will make its decision based solely upon the record before it. All appeals to the board must be in writing and submitted to the district clerk within 20 business days of the date of the superintendent’s decision, unless the parents/persons of parental relation can show that extraordinary circumstances precluded them from doing so. The board may adopt in whole or in part the decision of the superintendent. Final decisions of the board may be appealed to the Commissioner of Education within 30 days of the decision.
3. Permanent Suspension
Permanent suspension is reserved for extraordinary circumstances such as where a student’s conduct poses extreme danger to the safety and well-being of other students, Fayetteville-Manlius Central School District personnel, or any other person lawfully on Fayetteville-Manlius Central School District property or attending a Fayetteville-Manlius Central School District function; or severely disrupts/undermines the educational programs of the district.