8420.1–Administrative Procedures for Implementation of 8420


  1. Initial Disciplinary Action. If a principal makes a decision to discipline a student by long-term suspension, expulsion, or mandatory reassignment, the following procedures shall be followed: [ref.§79-268]
    1. Written Charge and Summary of Evidence. [ref.§79-268(1)]
      1. File with Superintendent. On the date of the decision, a written charge and a summary of the evidence supporting such charge shall be filed with the superintendent.
      2. Send Written Notice. The school shall, within two (2) school days after the decision, send written notice by registered or certified mail to the student and his or her parent or guardian informing them of the rights established under the Student Discipline Act.
    2. Written Notice. Written notice must include:
      1. Violation and Summary of Evidence. The rule or standard of conduct allegedly violated and the acts of the student alleged to constitute a cause for long-term suspension, expulsion, or mandatory reassignment, including a summary of the evidence to be presented against the student; [ref.§79-268(2)(a)]
      2. Recommended Penalty. The penalty, if any, which the principal has recommended in the charge and any other penalty to which the student may be subject; ref.§79-268(2)(b)]
      3. Right to Hearing. A statement that, before long-term suspension, expulsion, or mandatory reassignment for disciplinary purposes can be invoked, the student shall have a right to a hearing, upon request, on the specified charges; [ref.§79-268(2)(c)]
      4. Hearing Procedures. A description of the hearing procedures provided by the act, along with procedures for appealing any decision rendered at the hearing; [ref.§79-268(2)(d)]
      5. Examine evidence and witnesses. A statement that the principal, legal counsel for the school, the student, the student's parent, or the student's representative or guardian shall have the right to:
        1. examine the student's academic and disciplinary records and any affidavits to be used at the hearing concerning the alleged misconduct; and
        2. know the identity of the witnesses to appear at the hearing and the substance of their testimony; [ref.§79-268(2)(e)]
      6. Request for Hearing Form. A form on which the student, the student's parent, or the student's guardian may request a hearing to be signed by such parties and delivered to the principal or superintendent in person or by registered or certified mail.[ref.§79-268(2)(f)]
    3. Suspension Until Hearing. When a notice of intent to discipline a student by long-term suspension, expulsion, or mandatory reassignment is filed with the superintendent, the student may be suspended by the principal until:
      1. the date the disciplinary action takes effect if no hearing is requested; or
      2. if a hearing is requested, the date the hearing examiner makes the report of his/her findings and a recommendation of the action to be taken to the superintendent, if the principal determines that the student must be suspended immediately to prevent or substantially reduce the risk of:
        1. interference with an educational function or school purpose
        2. a personal injury to the student himself or herself, other students, school employees, or school volunteers. [ref.§79-268(3)]
    4. Discussion Prior to Hearing. Nothing in the Student Discipline Act shall preclude the student, parent, guardian, or representative from discussing and settling the matter with appropriate school personnel prior to the hearing stage. [ref.§79-268(3)]
  2. Procedure if a Hearing is not requested. If a hearing is not requested by the student or the student's parent or guardian within five (5) school days following receipt of the written notice, the punishment recommended in the charge by the principal or his/her designee will automatically go into effect upon the fifth (5th) school day following receipt of the written notice by the student or his/her parent or guardian as required above under Section 79-268.
  3. Procedure if a Hearing is Requested.
    1. Request for a Hearing and Appointment/Qualifications of Hearing Examiner. If a hearing is requested within five (5) school days after reciept of the notice (1b above) , the superintendent shall appoint a hearing examiner.[ref. §79-269(1)}
      1. Qualification. The hearing examiner can be any person designated by the school district's superintendent, school board, or counsel, if such person:
        1. has not brought the charges against the student,
        2. is not a witness at the hearing, and
        3. has no involvement in the charge. (ref. §79-269(2)}
      2. General Duties. [ref.§79-270]
        1. Impartiality - In addition to other duties provided in the Student Discipline Act, it is the duty of the hearing examiner to remain impartial throughout all deliberations.
        2. Availability - The hearing examiner must be available, prior to any hearing held pursuant to the act to answer any questions the principal, the student, or the student's parent or guardian may have regarding the nature and conduct of the hearing.
    2. Notice of Time/Place For Hearing. Within two (2) school days after being appointed, the hearing examiner must give written notice to the principal, the student, and the student's parent or guardian of the time and place for the hearing. [ref.§79-269(1)]
      1. The hearing shall be scheduled within a period of five (5) school days after it is requested, but such time may be changed by the hearing examiner for good cause. [ref.§79-269(3)]
      2. No hearing shall be held upon less than two (2) school days' actual notice to the principal, the student, and the student's parent or guardian, except with the consent of all the parties. [ref.§79-269(3)]
    3. Right to Examine Records/Statement. The principal or legal counsel for the school, the student, and the student's parent or guardian, or representative shall have the right to examine the records and written statements referred to in the Student Discipline Act and the statement of any witness in the possession of the school board at a reasonable time prior to the hearing.[ef.§79-269(1)]
    4. Request for Hearing Beyond Five Days.If a hearing is requested more than five (5) school days but not more than thirty (30) calendar days following the actual receipt of written notice, the hearing shall be held but the imposed punishment shall continue in effect pending final determination. [ref. §79-272]
  4. Hearing Procedures
    1. Required Attendance at Hearing.[ref. §79-273]
      1. hearing examiner,
      2. student,
      3. student's parent or guardian,
      4. student's representative (who may be an attorney), if any, and
      5. legal counsel for the school board, if the hearing examiner or the superintendent deems it advisable.
    2. Legal Counsel for School Board.[ref.§79-274]
      1. Capacity. The school board, acting through the superintendent, may request legal counsel to be present either:
        1. for the purpose of acting as the designee of the principal or
        2. for the purpose of advising the hearing examiner in the conduct of the hearing.
      2. Designee of the Principal. Any legal counsel who acts as the designee of the principal in presenting the school's case against the student shall not:
        1. advise the hearing examiner on the conduct of the hearing -or
        2. later advise administrators or school board members on the conduct of any appeal.
      3. Advising Hearing Examiner. Legal counsel may give advice on technical and procedural aspects of the school's presentation and may advise the hearing examiner and the school board so long as the legal counsel does not act as the principal's designee in presenting the school's case.
    3. Witnesses.
      1. When Present. Witnesses shall be present only when they are giving information at the hearing. [ref.§79-273]
      2. Witness Testimony. The student, the student's parent, guardian, or representative, the principal, or the hearing examiner may ask witnesses to testify at the hearing.[ref.§79-278(1)]
      3. Oath. Such testimony shall be under oath, and the hearing examiner shall be authorized to administer the oath. [ref.§79-278(1)]
      4. Attendance of Witnesses.The hearing examiner shall make reasonable effort to assist the student or the student's parent, guardian, or representative in obtaining the attendance of witnesses. [ref.§79-278(1)]
      5. Cross-Examination. The student, the student's parent, guardian, or representative, the principal, or the hearing examiner shall have the right to question any witness giving information at the hearing. [ref.§79-278(2)]
      6. Immunity. Any person giving evidence by written statement or in person at a hearing shall be given the same immunity from liability as a person testifying in a court case. [ref.§79-279]
    4. Student Testimony. The student may speak in his/her own defense and may be questioned on his or her testimony but he or she may choose not to testify and, in which case, shall not be threatened with punishment nor be later punished for refusal to testify. [ref.§79-275]
    5. Individuals May be Excluded From Hearing. [ref.§79-273]
      1. Student. The student may be excluded in the discretion of the hearing examiner at times when the student's psychological evaluation or emotional problems are being discussed.
      2. Any Other Person. The hearing examiner may exclude anyone from the hearing when his or her actions substantially disrupt an orderly hearing.
    6. Evidence On Student's Conduct and Records. [ref.§79-276]
      1. Statements About Conduct and Records. The principal shall present to the hearing examiner statements, in affidavit form, of any person having information about the student's conduct and the student's records but not unless such statements and records have been made available to the student or the student's parent, guardian, or representative prior to the hearing.
      2. Explanation of Records. The information contained in such records shall be explained and interpreted, prior to or at the hearing, to the student, parent or guardian, or representative, upon request, by appropriate school personnel.
    7. Rules of Evidence. In conducting the hearing, the hearing examiner shall not be bound by the rules of evidence or any other courtroom procedure. [ref.§79-277]
    8. Recorded At District's Expense. The proceedings of the hearing shall be recorded at the expense of the school district. [ref.§79-280]
    9. Joint Hearings
      1. When Conducted. A joint hearing may be conducted when:
        1. more than one student is charged with violating the same rule and acted in concert, and
        2. the facts are substantially the same for all such students. [ref.§79-281(1)]
      2. Discretion of Hearing Examiner. A joint hearing may be conducted if the hearing examiner believes that;
        1. a joint hearing is not likely to result in confusion and
        2. no student shall have his or her interests substantially prejudiced by a single hearing. [ref.§79-281(1)]
      3. Order for Separate Hearing. If during the conduct of the hearing the hearing examiner finds that a student's interests will be substantially prejudiced by a joint hearing or that the hearing is resulting in confusion, the hearing examiner may order a separate hearing for any student. [ref.§79-281(2)]
    10. Post Hearing Report. After the hearing, a report shall be made by the hearing examiner.
      1. Contents of Report.
        1. The hearing examiner's findings;
        2. A recommendation of the action to be taken; and
        3. The reasons for the particular action recommended in terms of the needs of both the student and the school board. [ref.§79-282(1)]
      2. Range of Recommendations. The recommendation by the hearing examiner may range from no action, through the entire field of counseling, to long-term suspension, expulsion, mandatory reassignment, or an alternative educational placement as provided under the Student Discipline Act. [ref.§79-282(1)]
      3. Review by Superintendent. A review shall be made of the hearing examiner's report by the superintendent, who may change, revoke or impose the sanction recommended by the hearing examiner but shall not impose a sanction more severe than that recommended by the hearing examiner. [ref.§79-282(2)]
      4. All Decisions Based on Evidence. The findings and recommendations of the hearing examiner, the determination by the superintendent, and any determination on appeal to the governing body, shall be made solely on the basis of the evidence presented at the hearing or, in addition, on any evidence presented on appeal. [ref.§79-282(3]
    11. Final Disposition
      1. Written Notice. Written notice of the findings and recommendations of the hearing examiner and the determination of the superintendent shall be made by certified or registered mail or by personal delivery to the student or the student's parent or guardian. [ref.§79-283(1)]
      2. Immediate Effect Upon Receipt. Upon receipt of such written notice by the student, parent, or guardian, the determination of the superintendent shall take immediate effect. [ref.§79-283(1)]
    12. Expulsion: Automatic Review. Any penalty of expulsion that will remain in effect during the first semester of the following school year shall be automatically scheduled for review before the beginning of the school year.
      1. Duties of Hearing Examiner. The review shall be conducted by the hearing examiner after the hearing examiner has given notice of the review to the student and the student's parent or guardian. [ref.§79-283(3)]
      2. Limitations of Review. This review shall be limited to newly discovered evidence or evidence of changes in the student's circumstance occurring since the original hearing.
      3. Recommendation for Re admittance. The review may lead to a recommendation by the hearing examiner that the student be re admitted for the upcoming school year.
      4. Actual Re admittance. If the school board or board of education or a committee of such board took the final action to expel the student, the student may be re admitted only by action of the board. Otherwise the student may be re admitted by action of the superintendent. [ref.§79-283(5)]
  5. Appeal
    1. Case Record
      1. Contents of Record. The record in a case under the Student Discipline Act shall consist of:
        1. the charge,
        2. the notice,
        3. the evidence presented,
        4. the hearing examiner's finding and recommendations, and
        5. the action of the superintendent. [ref.§79-284]
      2. Record for Appeal. With respect to any appeal to a court or any subsequent appeal, the record shall consist, in addition to the above items, of any additional evidence taken and any additional action taken in the case. [ref.§79-284]
    2. Request For Appeal. The student or the student's parent or guardian may, within seven (7) school days following receipt of the superintendent's written notice of the determination appeal the determination to the school board by a written request which shall be filed with the secretary of the board or with the superintendent. [ref.§79-285(1)
    3. Appeal Hearing
      1. When. A hearing shall be held before the school board within a period of ten (10) school days after it is requested, and such time for a hearing may be changed by mutual agreement of the student and superintendent. [ref.§79-285(2)
      2. Deliberating Body. The hearing may be held before a committee of the school board of not less than three (3) members. [ref.§79-285(2)
      3. Admissible Evidence. Such appeal shall be made on the record, except that new evidence may be admitted to avoid a substantial threat of unfairness and such new evidence shall be recorded at the expense of the district. [ref.§79-285(2)
      4. Deliberation. After examining the record and taking new evidence, if any, the school board or designated committee may withdraw to deliberate privately upon such record and new evidence. [ref. §79-4,199(1)]
        1. Limitations - Any such deliberation shall be held in the presence only of board members in attendance at the appeal proceeding but may be held in the presence of legal counsel who has not previously acted as the designee of the principal in presenting the school's case before the hearing examiner. [ref.§79-286(1)
        2. Questions During Deliberation - If any questions arise during such deliberation which require additional evidence, the deliberating body may reopen the hearing to receive such evidence, subject to the right of all parties to be present. [ref.§79-286(2)
      5. Action on Appeal. The School Board may alter the superintendent's disposition of the case if it finds the decision to be too severe but may not impose a more severe sanction.[ref.§79-286(3)
      6. Dispatch of Final Action. The final action of the School Board shall be evidenced by personally delivering or mailing by certified mail a copy of the deliberating body's decision to the student and his or her parent or guardian. [ref.§79-287]
  6. Judicial Review. Any person aggrieved by a final decision in a contested case under the Student Discipline Act whether such decision is affirmative or negative in form shall be entitled to judicial review. Nothing in the Act shall be deemed to prevent resort to other means of review, redress, or relief provided by law. [ref.§79-288]
    1. Procedure
      1. Petition to District Court. Proceedings for judicial review shall be instituted by filing a petition in the district court of the county where the action is taken within thirty (30) days after the service of the final decision by the school board. [ref.§79-289(1)]
      2. Parties of Record. All parties of record shall be made parties to the proceedings for review. The court, in its discretion, may permit other interested persons to intervene. [ref.§79-289(2)]
      3. Service of Summons. Summons shall be served as in other actions except that a copy of the petition shall be served upon the board together with the summons. Service of summons upon a duly elected officer of the board or the appointed secretary of the board shall constitute service on the board. [ref.§79-289(3)]
      4. Stay of Enforcement.
        1. When - The filing of the petition or the service of summons upon the board shall not stay enforcement of a decision, but the board may stay enforcement, or the court may order a stay after notice to such board of application therefor and upon such terms as it deems proper. [ref.§79-289(4)]
        2. Bond - The court may require the party requesting such stay to give bond in such amount and condition as the court may direct but only in cases involving injury or damage to person or property.[ref.§79-289(5)]
    2. Transcript of Record. Within fifteen (15) days after service of the petition or within such further time as the court for good cause shown may allow, the school board shall prepare and transmit to the court a certified transcript of the record which shall include:
      1. Rules and Regulations. The rules and regulations of the school board relied upon by the school district in its determination to suspend, reassign, or expel the student, and
      2. Proceedings and Final Decision. The proceedings conducted prior to the determination, including the final decision sought to be reversed, vacated, or modified.
      3. No Responsive Pleading. The school board need not file any responsive pleading. [ref.§79-291]
    3. Judicial Review. The judicial review shall be conducted by the court without a jury on the record. [ref.§79-291(1)] The court may:
      1. affirm the decision of the school board,
      2. remand the case for further proceedings, or
      3. reverse or modify the decision if the substantial rights of the petitioner may have been prejudiced because the board's decision is: [ref.§79-291(2)]
        1. In violation of constitutional provisions; [ref.§79-291(2)(a)]
        2. In excess of the statutory authority or jurisdiction of the board; [ref.§79-291(2)(b)]
        3. Made upon unlawful procedure; [ref.§79-291(2)(c)]
        4. Affected by other error of law; [ref.§79-291(2)(d)]
        5. Unsupported by competent, material, and substantial evidence in view of the entire record as made on review; or [ref.§79-291(2)(e)]
        6. Arbitrary or capricious. [ref.§79-291(2)(f)]