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Superintendent Suspension Hearings2022-05-17T12:10:35+00:00

Superintendent Suspension Hearings | Lawyers & Attorneys

When a student is accused of misbehaving, either by being insubordinate or disorderly, endangering other students’ health, safety, and welfare, or violating the school code of conduct, the student’s parent(s) will likely receive a letter from the school notifying them that the student has been suspended. This letter would also inform the parent that a hearing is scheduled to determine if the student should receive a suspension or other punishment. The school district must present sufficient evidence to sustain an allegation against the student at the hearing. If an allegation is established, the hearing officer will determine the appropriate level of discipline against the student.

At the suspension hearing, the student has the right to be represented by an attorney. During this hearing, a student’s school suspension lawyer has the right to question any witnesses against the student, the opportunity to call witnesses on behalf of the student and examine the content of the student’s school file for any inconsistencies, or proof to help the student’s case.

Given the complexities and severe consequences of having a suspension or adverse notation on a student’s record, it is important to speak to a lawyer experienced in handling school suspension hearings to represent the student and advise his or her parents in any school suspension hearing.

Frequently Asked Questions about Superintendent Suspension Hearings

Our team of attorneys and lawyers provide answers to some important questions below.

Is it lawful to suspend my child from school?2022-05-17T12:14:21+00:00

Yes. Schools are given power by the New York State’s Education Law to suspend a student who is determined to be insubordinate, disorderly, violent, disruptive, or whose conduct otherwise endangers the safety, morals, health, or welfare of others.

Such suspension can range from one (1) day to more than a year. Every student is provided a detailed code of conduct that identifies the range of penalties and offenses punishable by suspension.

What is a Principal’s Suspension?2022-05-17T12:16:03+00:00

Generally, a principal’s suspension is a one (1) to a five (5) day suspension issued by the principal to a student.

Once a principal has decided to suspend a student, they must provide a written notice to the student’s parent within twenty-four (24) hours of the suspension. This notice must contain the date and specific details of the conduct and notify the parent of the right to request a conference with the principal.

It is important to note that a phone call can not substitute the required written notice to the student’s parent.

What is a Superintendent’s Suspension?2022-05-17T12:18:35+00:00

Once the superintendent has rendered a suspension against the student, a written notice of the suspension must be sent to the student’s parent. Such notice should include:

  • The charges against the student.
  • A statement of rights for the student and the student’s parents, including the right to a legal representation.
  • Schedule of the hearing to determine the conduct and punishment.
What happens during a Superintendent’s Suspension Hearing?2022-05-24T17:21:36+00:00

Generally, there are two phases to a superintendent’s suspension hearing: the fact-finding stage and the decision stage.

n the fact-finding stage, the violation and the specifics of the punishment are established. During this stage, the school and the student, or their parent, advocate, or lawyer present their case.

In the decision stage, the Hearing Officer will then decide whether the student’s suspension is supported by competent and substantial evidence showing that the student has participated in the objectionable conduct. During this stage, the Hearing Officer will determine the appropriate punishment, such as if the student will be suspended and, if so, for how long. The Hearing Officer will consider numerous factors in determining the punishment. Some of these factors include the student’s behavioral history, academic performance, and materials submitted reflecting the student’s character in a positive light from teachers, coaches, or other community members who know the student.

When the Hearing Officer is contemplating the appropriate punishment, it is crucial to make a formal request to the Hearing Officer that the student is immediately reinstated and that the suspension is expunged from the student’s record at the end of the school year or suspension period. Ultimately, it is within the Hearing Officer’s discretion to determine the appropriate punishment.

 

Is a suspension appealable?2020-07-29T14:32:56+00:00

Yes, a parent or student can file a written appeal to the Board of Education within 30 days of the date of the Hearing Officer’s decision. If the Board of Education upholds the Hearing Officer’s decision, the decision may be appealed to the New York State Commissioner of Education within 30 days of the Board’s decision.

Can a student be disciplined for conduct that occurred off school grounds?2020-07-29T14:30:46+00:00

Yes. A student may be disciplined for off-campus conduct that endangers the health or safety of students or staff, creates a risk of substantial disruption to school operations or will otherwise adversely affect the educational process. Actions that have occurred off school grounds which resulted in school discipline include a criminal arrest, off campus fight, and online activity that is disruptive to school operations.

Can a student be suspended from extracurricular activities and/or athletic events?2022-05-18T14:16:32+00:00

Yes.

A student can be suspended from participating in extracurricular activities or athletic privileges as long as it is fair and the school has provided an opportunity to discuss the conduct that led to the suspension with the student and the student’s parents.

Can a student with a disability be suspended?2022-05-18T14:18:04+00:00

Yes. However, there are numerous protections that a student with a disability is afforded during the disciplinary process.

According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a suspension of a student identified as having a disability or that the school district has reason to believe may have a disability for more than ten (10) days is considered a change in placement. This occurrence triggers all of the parental due process rights contained in the IDEA. The ten (10) day disability criteria does not need to be consecutive days but are counted yearly.

What is a manifestation determination?2022-05-18T14:23:13+00:00

A manifestation determination is an extra step in the disciplinary process relating to students with disabilities. This determination addresses whether the conduct in question was caused by or had a direct and substantial relationship to the child’s disability.

A manifestation determination is made based on a thorough review of all relevant information in the student’s file, which includes but is not limited to, the student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP), teacher observations, progress data, and relevant information provided by the student’s parents. In addition, a school’s failure to implement the IEP is a factor considered in determining the cause of the conduct.

Can the school’s claim against my child be resolved without a hearing?2020-07-29T14:31:31+00:00

Yes. In some instances, an agreement can be reached with the school regarding the appropriate discipline that should be imposed against your child. In those instances, a written agreement is often signed by the school, parents and child that agree to certain terms such as a specific suspension period, an agreement to attend counseling, and/or to complete community service.

What kind of punishment can my child face because of behavioral issues at school?2022-05-18T14:27:59+00:00

Students who have violated their school’s code of conduct may face suspension from the school, extracurricular activities, after-school programs, or athletic events that they otherwise are eligible to participate in. The student must remain off school grounds and is prohibited from attending school events during the suspension period.

In order to address such behavioral issues, counseling may be appropriate to deal with such topics as anger, drugs, or alcohol.

Is it legal to suspend my student before the hearing is conducted?2022-05-18T14:29:53+00:00

Yes, it is legal under New York State Education Law §3214.

Under New York State Education Law §3214, a student may be suspended for up to 5 days if misconduct is alleged. During that time, a hearing must be scheduled, and the student must be provided notice of the misconduct they are charged with. On consent of the parents and the school, this 5 day timeframe may be extended.

Should I attend the informal conference with the principal?2022-05-18T14:31:56+00:00

Generally, yes.

However, it is best to consult with an attorney that handles student suspension hearings before deciding whether to attend the informal conference, as specific issues may arise.

There is a benefit to attending an informal conference with the principal. Such an advantage would be that this event would allow the student an opportunity to present their version of the events and ask questions to the complaining witnesses.

What if my child brings a gun/weapon to school?2020-07-29T14:30:01+00:00

Any public-school student who, after a hearing, is determined to have brought a weapon to school shall be suspended for a period of not less than one calendar year. Additionally, the child may be charged with a criminal offense and referred for a juvenile delinquency or juvenile offender proceeding. It is a class E felony to possess a weapon on school grounds. A weapon includes a rifle, shotgun, or firearm. School grounds include any buildings or grounds used for educational purposes, or on a school bus.

What is DASA?2022-05-18T14:35:21+00:00

DASA stands for Dignity For All Students’ Act. This anti-bullying legislation passed in New York requires schools to provide all students with a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying on school property, school buses, or other school functions.

This law also requires schools to take preventive actions against bullying and respond proactively to any bullying claims.

What if a student brings a gun or weapon to school grounds?2022-05-18T14:39:55+00:00

A public-school student determined by a hearing to have brought a gun or a dangerous weapon on school grounds is subject to suspension for at least one (1) calendar year. In addition, the student may be charged with a criminal offense and referred for a juvenile delinquency or offender proceeding as possessing a weapon or gun on school grounds is a class E felony under New York State Penal Code.

School ground includes but is not limited to any school property, buildings, grounds used for educational purposes, or on a school bus. Moreover, a weapon may be defined as a rifle, shotgun, or any firearm.

Can the school’s claim against a student be resolved without a hearing?2022-05-18T14:41:59+00:00

Yes.

In some instances, an agreement can be reached with the school regarding the appropriate discipline that should be imposed against your child. In those instances, a written agreement to certain terms such as a specific suspension period, agreement to attend counseling, and/or complete community service is signed by the school, the student’s parents, and the student.

Can a student be disciplined for conduct that occurred off school grounds?2022-05-18T14:42:35+00:00

Yes.

A student may be subject to discipline or suspension for off-campus conduct that endangers the health or safety of students or staff, creates a risk of substantial disruption to school operations, or will otherwise adversely affect the educational process.

Some of the actions that occur off school property that can lead to a school-mandated punishment include alcohol or drug consumption or smoking, criminal arrest, off-campus fight, and online activity that is disruptive to school operations.

Can a student or the student’s parent appeal a suspension?2022-05-18T14:42:57+00:00

Yes.

A student or a student’s parent can file a written appeal to the Board of Education within thirty (30) days of the Hearing Officer’s decision.

If the Board of Education upholds the Hearing Officer’s decision, the student or the student’s parent may file an appeal to the New York State Commissioner of Education within thirty (30) days of the Board’s decision.

LaMarche Safranko Law Testimonials

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Vicki Testimonial Transcript
Well, I met George in 2014. My son was arrested for a criminal offense, and George—he has this ability, it’s just who he is. He’s genuinely empathetic and he’s very compassionate and he has the ability to just make you feel safe. You know? I just always felt I was in great hands and my son was in good hands and that we would have a good outcome of our situation and we always have. And he’s brilliant. He’s a brilliant lawyer. He’s very skilled and very creative. He has excellent rapport with all the judges and DAs and officials, and he’s always found a rehabilitative outcome for my son which I genuinely appreciate.

Laurie Testimonial Transcript
George was referred to me by my estate attorney. They go way back and it was a great referral, I don’t think I could have done any better, it was a very good match for me. Something that was really really instrumental in the whole thing was George keeping us up-to-date on what was going on and very much included. I was invited to be at all the depositions if I wanted to be and he gave me all the written depositions to read through, so I was always up-to-date on what was going on and I felt like a part of the process. I would definitely recommend George to other people. In fact, about 2 weeks ago I did. A friend of mine was in a pedestrian car accident, she was the pedestrian and is in pretty rough shape, and he was the first person I thought of so I actually asked him if it would be in his purview and he said yes. And I know that she’s very happy with him so far.

Jules Testimonial Transcript
What brought me to the firm was a personal incident where Andrew was recommended to me very highly by a family friend who’s also an attorney, and Andrew represented me to great satisfaction in that case. What impressed me the most about Andrew was his direct straightforward approach, and he has this incredible way of setting you at ease and yet telling you the good and the bad of a situation. I felt that he was very much a straight shooter and lived up to the reputation that preceded him. I would recommend them and Andrew Safranko to anybody in the world. They’re just that class of a group of people.

Chuck Testimonial Transcript
Well, I came to LaMarche Safranko Law because I knew Andy was here and he’s helped me in the past and I just feel so comfortable coming to him because you know you’re going to get the best outcome that you can get in a criminal law field. He’s done such a fabulous job for me and I’ve seen what he does for me, so I’m sure he’ll do the same—put out the same effort and energy and zeal it takes to win their case like he has mine. I would feel very comfortable recommending him.

“Dear Andy,

Thank you so much for everything you have done for our son over the last three years.  This has been a very challenging time for our family and the knowledge that our son has an attorney as capable and amazing as you are has given us peace of mind!

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Parents of a client from Cropseyville, NY

“No one likes to be in a bad situation, but if you need a lawyer George is your man. Not only does he point you in the right direction he offers good advice for your future. As much as we bring him business he does not encourage that next time anticipation….

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A client from Albany, NY

“I am an attorney who found himself in the middle of a serious, personal legal matter that compromised not only my personal life but my professional life as well. I immediately contacted Andrew (Andy) Safranko, Esq. Andy worked tirelessly and extremely hard to bring my legal situation to a very favorable resolution. In so doing, Andy not only saved certain aspects of my personal and professional life

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Anonymous Attorney from Albany, NY

“The staff at LaMarche Safranko Law took care of  whatever I needed, it was just fabulous. It was top shelf, if I called, I got George. If he was in a meeting, they left him a message. He called me right back after the meeting. Everybody was very courteous and very nice there. If I left a voicemail, everybody got back to me quickly. The level of service  was very, very good and I would Highly recommend them.”

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A personal injury client from Cohoes, NY

“My family and I cannot thank George and his staff enough for all of the support and guidance they have given us over the past six months. Anyone who has ever suffered a personal injury knows how difficult they are to overcome, but I’m glad we had such an intelligent and hardworking attorney on our side so I could focus on my recovery rather than on the details of the case….

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A personal injury client from Waterford, NY

“I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your excellent representation on my recent matter. I have worked with lawyers, and in law firms much of my professional life, but I have never encountered the rare mix of skill, integrity and humanity in one individual—you….

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A client from Rensselaer, NY

“I wanted to express my deepest appreciation to Mr. Andrew Safranko for the exceptional job he did in regards to my legal representation. Mr. Safranko displayed the utmost in professionalism and discretion during the entire court process, and took the time to explain each and every step….

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A client from Schenectady, NY

“I cannot thank George E. LaMarche lll and his team for the excellent legal work they provided for my son, and in extension, our entire family. His experience, knowledge of the law, networking ability and communication is second to none. In our case, our son was wrongly accused by a small town police officer and charged with 5 tickets…

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A client from Altamont, NY

“Dear George, Andy and Staff,

Thank you all for your kindness and all your help in getting back to my wellbeing and life.  I could not have done it without you all.  Everything is going so well again.  I recommend you highly. Thanks Again!”

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A client from Troy, NY

“The arrest of my husband in 2008 was an extremely difficult and emotional time for our family. The arrest turned our lives upside down. It was sudden and unexpected and had tragic emotional as well as financial consequences. I had no idea what to do under the circumstances….

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A client from Upstate New York

“I can honestly say that the best decision I’ve ever made was retaining George LaMarche as my attorney. I was in a situation where everything wasat risk; my career, livelihood, and the ability to provide for my family. In desperation, I contacted over a dozen attorneys. The majority of the lawyers I spoke with promised results without seeing paperwork or knowing valuable facts….

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A client from Albany, NY

“Dear Andrew and George,

I cannot thank you enough for your hard work, diligence, and selfless manner that you put towards my legal difficulties in Colonie. From the first moment I met you, you helped reassure me that things were going to turn out in a more favorable manner than I originally thought. Clearly, the final result of my court case displays the quality of time and work that you put into this….

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A client from Colonie, NY

“Throughout the attorney client relationship regarding my personal injury lawsuit, George and his staff continually exhibited tremendous amounts of legal knowledge, skill, and a vast amount of expert resources that ultimately resulted in a final judgment in my favor.  George was there every step of the way to explain where we stood and what to expect next and there was never a need to question his professional judgment…

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A client from Troy, NY

“Dear Mr. Safranko,

Thank You so much for answering my question, and so expediently!

The dedication, respect, and consideration with which you treat your clients, current and past, is remarkable. It is why I reached out to you when searching in my time of need, and why I would highly recommend…

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A client from Albany, NY
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