California School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Formal Incident Reporting of Conduct Violations

Discipline Compendium

California School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Formal Incident Reporting of Conduct Violations

Category: Monitoring and Accountability
Subcategory: Formal Incident Reporting of Conduct Violations
State: California

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LAWS

EDC 44049.

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (c), any principal or person designated by the principal who, in his or her professional capacity or within the scope of his or her employment, has knowledge of or observes a pupil whom he or she knows, or reasonably suspects as evidenced by the pupil's apparent intoxication, has consumed an alcoholic beverage or abused a controlled substance, as listed in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11053) of the Health and Safety Code, may report the known or suspected instance of alcohol or controlled substance abuse to the parent or parents, or other person having legal custody, of the student.

(b) No principal or his or her designee who reports a known or suspected instance of alcohol or controlled substance abuse by a pupil to the parent or parents, or other person having legal custody, of the pupil shall be civilly or criminally liable, for any report or as a result of any report, unless it can be proven that a false report was made and the principal or his or her designee knew that the report was false or was made with reckless disregard for the truth or falsity of the report. Any principal or his or her designee who makes a report known to be false or with reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the report is liable for any damages caused.

(c) No principal or person designated by the principal shall report a known or suspected instance of alcohol or controlled substance abuse by a pupil to the parent or parents, or other person having legal custody, of the pupil if the report would require the disclosure of confidential information in violation of Section 49602 or 72621.

EDC 48202.

The county board of education of each county may establish, by resolution, the following regulation requiring the reporting of various types of severance of attendance of or by any pupil subject to the compulsory education laws of California or of any one or more of the types of severance enumerated in subdivision (a) below and may require such reporting of any or all of the private and public schools of the county:

(a) The administration of each private school and public school district of the county shall, upon the severance of attendance by any pupil subject to the compulsory education laws of California, whether by expulsion, exclusion, exemption, transfer, suspension beyond 10 schooldays, or other reasons, report such severance to the county superintendent of schools in the jurisdiction. The report shall include names, ages, last known address and the reason for each such severance.

(b) It shall be the duty of the county superintendent of such county to examine such reports and draw to the attention of the county board of education and local district board of education any cases in which the interests of the child or the welfare of the state may need further examination.

(c) After preliminary study of available information in cases so referred to it, the county board of education may, on its own action, hold hearings on such cases in the manner provided in Sections 48915 through 48920 and with the same powers of final decision as therein provided.

EDC 48261.

Any pupil who has once been reported as a truant and who is again absent from school without valid excuse one or more days, or tardy on one or more days, shall again be reported as a truant to the attendance supervisor or the superintendent of the district.

EDC 48900.8.

For purposes of notification to parents, and for the reporting of expulsion or suspension offenses to the department, each school district shall specifically identify, by offense committed, in all appropriate official records of a pupil each suspension or expulsion of that pupil for the commission of any of the offenses set forth in Section 48900, 48900.2, 48900.3, 48900.4, 48900.7, or 48915.

EDC 48911.

(e) A school employee shall report the suspension of the pupil, including the cause for the suspension, to the governing board of the school district or to the district superintendent of schools in accordance with the regulations of the governing board of the school district.

EDC 48916.1.

(e)(1) Each school district shall maintain the following data:

(A) The number of pupils recommended for expulsion.

(B) The grounds for each recommended expulsion.

(C) Whether the pupil was subsequently expelled.

(D) Whether the expulsion order was suspended.

(E) The type of referral made after the expulsion.

(F) The disposition of the pupil after the end of the period of expulsion.

(2) The Superintendent may require a school district to report this data as part of the coordinated compliance review. If a school district does not report outcome data as required by this subdivision, the Superintendent may not apportion any further money to the school district pursuant to Section 48664 until the school district is in compliance with this subdivision. Before withholding the apportionment of funds to a school district pursuant to this subdivision, the Superintendent shall give written notice to the governing board of the school district that the school district has failed to report the data required by paragraph (1) and that the school district has 30 calendar days from the date of the written notice of noncompliance to report the requested data and thereby avoid the withholding of the apportionment of funds.

(f) If the county superintendent of schools is unable for any reason to serve the expelled pupils of a school district within the county, the governing board of that school district may enter into an agreement with a county superintendent of schools in another county to provide education services for the district's expelled pupils.

EDC 49393

(a) A school official who is alerted to or observes any threat or perceived threat, as described in subdivision (e) of Section 49390, shall immediately report the threat or perceived threat to law enforcement. The report shall include copies of any documentary or other evidence associated with the threat or perceived threat.

(b) When two or more school officials jointly have an obligation to report pursuant to subdivision (a), and when there is agreement among them, the report required by this section may be made by any of them in a single report. A school official who has knowledge that the designated reporting school official has failed to make the single report shall thereafter make the report.

(c) Law enforcement shall keep a record of any report received pursuant to this section.

EDC 56521.1.

(e) To prevent emergency interventions from being used in lieu of planned, systematic behavioral interventions, the parent, guardian, and residential care provider, if appropriate, shall be notified within one schoolday if an emergency intervention is used or serious property damage occurs. A behavioral emergency report shall immediately be completed and maintained in the file of the individual with exceptional needs. The behavioral emergency report shall include all of the following:

(1) The name and age of the individual with exceptional needs.

(2) The setting and location of the incident.

(3) The name of the staff or other persons involved.

(4) A description of the incident and the emergency intervention used, and whether the individual with exceptional needs is currently engaged in any systematic behavioral intervention plan.

(5) Details of any injuries sustained by the individual with exceptional needs, or others, including staff, as a result of the incident.

(f) All behavioral emergency reports shall immediately be forwarded to, and reviewed by, a designated responsible administrator.

(g) If a behavioral emergency report is written regarding an individual with exceptional needs who does not have a behavioral intervention plan, the designated responsible administrator shall, within two days, schedule an individualized education program (IEP) team meeting to review the emergency report, to determine the necessity for a functional behavioral assessment, and to determine the necessity for an interim plan. The IEP team shall document the reasons for not conducting the functional behavioral assessment, not developing an interim plan, or both.

(h) If a behavioral emergency report is written regarding an individual with exceptional needs who has a positive behavioral intervention plan, an incident involving a previously unseen serious behavior problem, or where a previously designed intervention is ineffective, shall be referred to the IEP team to review and determine if the incident constitutes a need to modify the positive behavioral intervention plan.

REGULATIONS

§ 4610. Purpose and scope.

(e) Nothing in these regulations shall prevent an LEA from using its local uniform complaint procedure to address complaints not described in subsection (b). LEA Investigation Reports on complaints not described in subsection (b) may not be appealed to the CDE.

(f) These procedures do not apply to complaints regarding instructional materials, emergency or urgent facilities conditions that pose a threat to the health or safety of pupils or staff, and teacher vacancies and misassignments, except as otherwise indicated. Such complaints are addressed in and governed by sections 4680 through 4687. LEA Investigation Reports on facilities complaints may be appealed to the CDE pursuant to section 4687.

(g) These procedures do not apply to complaints regarding state preschool health and safety issues in LEAs exempt from licensing, except as otherwise indicated. Such complaints are addressed in and governed by sections 4690 through 4694. LEA Investigation Reports on state preschool health and safety issues in LEAs exempt from licensing may be appealed to the CDE pursuant to section 4694

(h) The CDE will develop a pamphlet for parents that will explain the Uniform Complaint Procedures in a user-friendly manner and post this pamphlet on the CDE's website.

§ 4622. Notice.

(a) Each LEA shall annually notify in writing, as applicable, its students, employees, parents or guardians of its students, the district advisory committees, school advisory committees, appropriate private school officials or representatives, and other interested parties of their LEA complaint procedures and the provisions of this chapter. The notice may be made available on the LEA's website.

(b) The notice shall:

(1) Include the title of the position whose occupant is responsible for processing complaints, and the identity(ies) of the person(s) currently occupying that position, if known;

(2) Advise of the opportunity to appeal the LEA Investigation Report to the CDE, except when the LEA has used its local uniform complaint procedures to address a complaint not described in section 4610(b);

(3) Advise the recipient of any civil law remedies that may also be available under state or federal discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying laws, if applicable, and of the appeal pursuant to Education Code section 262.3;

(4) Include the information required by Education Code section 33315(a)(7); and

(5) Include information regarding the requirements of Education Code sections 49010 through 49013 relating to pupil fees.

(c) The notice shall be in English, and when necessary, in the primary language, pursuant to Education Code section 48985, or mode of communication of the recipient of the notice.

(d) Copies of LEA complaint procedures shall be available free of charge.

§ 4631. Responsibilities of the LEA.

(a) Upon receipt of a complaint, the LEA person responsible for the investigation of the complaints or that person's designee shall conduct and complete an investigation of the complaint in accordance with the local procedures adopted pursuant to section 4621 and prepare a written LEA Investigation Report. This 60-day time period may be extended with the written agreement of the complainant.

(b) The investigation shall include an opportunity for the complainant, or the complainant's representative, or both, to present evidence or information leading to evidence to support the allegations of non-compliance with state and federal laws and/or regulations.

(c) Refusal by the complainant to provide the investigator with documents or other evidence related to the allegations in the complaint, or to otherwise fail or refuse to cooperate in the investigation or engage in any other obstruction of the investigation, may result in the dismissal of the complaint because of a lack of evidence to support the allegations.

(d) Refusal by the LEA to provide the investigator with access to records and/or other information related to the allegation in the complaint, or to otherwise fail or refuse to cooperate in the investigation or engage in any other obstruction of the investigation, may result in a finding based on evidence collected that a violation has occurred and may result in the imposition of a remedy in favor of the complainant.

(e) The LEA shall issue an LEA Investigation Report based on the evidence. The LEA Investigation Report shall be in writing and sent to the complainant within 60 days from receipt of the complaint by the LEA, subject to any extension under subsection (a) above. The LEA Investigation Report shall include:

(1) the findings of fact based on the evidence gathered;

(2) conclusion providing a clear determination as to each allegation as to whether the LEA is in compliance with the relevant law; and

(3) if the LEA finds merit in the complaint, corrective actions including in the case of complaints related to subsections (a)(1)(I), (J), (K) and (L) of Education Code section 33315, or as otherwise required by law, a remedy to all affected pupils, parents, and guardians. With respect to a pupil fees complaint, corrective actions shall include, a remedy that comports with Education Code section 49013(d) and section 4600(t).

(4) notice of the complainant's right to appeal the LEA Investigation Report to the CDE, except when the LEA has used its local uniform complaint procedures to address a complaint not described in section 4610(b); and

(5) procedures to be followed for initiating an appeal to the CDE.

(f) Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit the parties from utilizing alternative methods to resolve the allegations in the complaint, including, but not limited to, local mediation.

(g) Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit an LEA from resolving complaints prior to the formal filing of a written complaint.

§ 4632. Appeal of LEA investigation report–grounds.

(a) The complainant may appeal an LEA Investigation Report for a complaint described in section 4610(b) to the CDE by filing a written appeal within 30 days of the date of the LEA Investigation Report.

(b) In order to request an appeal, the complainant must specify and explain the basis for the appeal, including at least one of the following:

(1) The LEA failed to follow its complaint procedures, and/or

(2) Relative to the allegations of the complaint, the LEA Investigation Report lacks material findings of fact necessary to reach a conclusion of law, and/or

(3) The material findings of fact in the LEA Investigation Report are not supported by substantial evidence, and/or

(4) The legal conclusion in the LEA Investigation Report is inconsistent with the law, and/or

(5) In a case in which the LEA found noncompliance, the corrective actions fail to provide a proper remedy.

(c) The appeal shall be accompanied by:

(1) a copy of the locally filed complaint; and

(2) a copy of the LEA Investigation Report.

(d) Appeals that do not comply with subsections (a) through (c), or do not pertain to subject matter described in section 4610(b), will not be processed. The CDE will notify the appellant of the deficiencies.

(e) If the CDE determines the appeal raises issues not contained in the local complaint, the CDE will refer those new issues back to the LEA for resolution as a new complaint under section 4630 or 4631.

(f) If the CDE determines that the LEA Investigation Report failed to address an allegation raised by the complaint and subject to the UCP process, the CDE shall notify the LEA of such failure and direct the LEA to investigate and address such allegation(s) in accordance with this chapter. The LEA must provide both the CDE and the appellant with an amended investigation report that addresses the complaint allegation(s) that was not addressed in the original Investigation Report within 20 days of such notification. The amended report must also inform the appellant of the right to separately appeal, in accordance with this section, the amended investigation report with respect to the complaint allegation(s) that was not addressed in the original report. The CDE will proceed with its resolution of the appeal of the LEA Investigation Report as to allegations that have been addressed even while, at the same time, the LEA is preparing an amended investigation report as to any allegation(s) that the CDE identified as not having been addressed.

§ 4633. Appeal of LEA investigation report.

(a) If the LEA Investigation Report is appealed and meets the requirements of section 4632, subdivisions (a) through (c), the CDE shall notify the LEA of the appeal. Upon notification by the CDE that the LEA Investigation Report has been appealed, the LEA shall forward the following to the CDE within 10 days of the date of notification:

(1) A copy of the original complaint;

(2) A copy of the LEA Investigation Report;

(3) A copy of the investigation file, including but not limited to, all notes, interviews and documents submitted by the parties or gathered by the investigator;

(4) A report of any action taken to resolve the complaint;

(5) A copy of the LEA complaint procedures; and

(6) Such other relevant information as the CDE may request.

An LEA's failure to provide a timely and complete response may result in the CDE ruling on the appeal without considering information from the LEA.

(b) In deciding an appeal, the CDE shall not consider any information not previously presented to the LEA investigator during the investigation, unless requested by the CDE. Any confidential information or pupil information in the investigative file shall remain confidential and shall not be disclosed by the CDE, to the extent permitted by law.

(c) The CDE may contact the parties for further information, if necessary.

(d) The CDE shall review the investigation file, the complaint procedures, documents and any other evidence received from the LEA and determine whether:

(1) The LEA followed its complaint procedures;

(2) The LEA Investigation Report includes material findings of fact necessary to reach a conclusion of law on the subject of the appeal;

(3) The material findings of fact in the LEA Investigation Report are supported by substantial evidence;

(4) The LEA Investigation Report includes a legal conclusion(s) that is consistent with the law; and

(5) In a case in which the LEA found noncompliance, the corrective actions provide a proper remedy.

(e) If the CDE determines that the LEA Investigation Report meets the criteria in subsection (d) above, the appeal shall be denied.

(f) If the CDE determines that the LEA Investigation Report is deficient because it does not meet the criteria in subsection (d) above, the CDE may:

(1) Notify the LEA of such deficiencies and return the LEA Investigation Report to the LEA for further processing and instruct the LEA to provide both the CDE and the complainant with an amended Investigation Report within 20 days of such notification, which amended report must inform the complainant of the right to appeal in accordance with section 4632.; or

(2) Issue a Decision based on the evidence in the investigation file received from the LEA; or

(3) Conduct a further investigation of the allegations which are the basis for the appeal and issue a Decision.

(g) An appeal decision issued by the CDE shall include the following:

(1) A finding that the LEA complied or did not comply with its complaint procedures;

(2) The CDE's determination as to the LEA's findings of fact and conclusions of law regarding the issue on appeal; and

(3) Corrective actions as appropriate and including a remedy to the affected pupil, or in the case of complaints related to subsections (a)(1)(I), (a)(1)(J), (a)(1)(K), and (a)(1)(L) of Education Code section 33315 , or as otherwise required by law, a remedy to all affected pupils, parents, and guardians. With respect to a pupil fee complaint, corrective actions shall include a remedy that comports with Education Code section 49013(d) and section 4600(t).

(h) The CDE must issue a written Decision regarding an appeal-to the appellant within 60 days of the CDE's receipt of the appeal, unless extended by written agreement with the appellant, or the CDE documents exceptional circumstances and informs the appellant, or the CDE receives notice that the matter has been resolved at the local level, or the CDE receives notice that the matter has been judicially decided.

§ 4640. Filing a state complaint that has not first been filed at the Local Educational Agency (LEA); time lines, notice, appeal rights.

(a) If a complaint is erroneously filed with the CDE without first being filed with and investigated by the LEA, the CDE shall immediately forward the complaint to the LEA for processing in accordance with article 4 of this chapter, unless extraordinary circumstances exist necessitating direct state intervention as described at section 4650.

(b) The CDE will notify the complainant in writing that:

(1) The CDE does not have jurisdiction, at this time, over the complaint and that the complaint should have been filed with the LEA in the first instance;

(2) That the complaint has been transferred to the LEA requesting the LEA to process and investigate the allegation in the complaint; and

(3) That the complainant may file an appeal to the CDE following the issuance of the LEA Investigation Report, pursuant to section 4632.

§ 4650. Basis of direct state intervention.

(a) The CDE may at its discretion directly intervene without waiting for an LEA investigation if one or more of the following situations exist:

(1) The complaint includes an allegation that an LEA failed to comply with the complaint procedures required by this chapter and its local rules and regulations, including, but not limited to, the failure or refusal of the LEA to cooperate with the investigation;

(2) The complainant requests anonymity because the complainant would be in danger of retaliation and would suffer immediate and irreparable harm if the complainant filed a complaint with the LEA (except for complaints identified in section 4630(e), which may be filed anonymously at the local level);

(3) The complainant alleges that the LEA failed or refused to implement the final LEA Investigation Report resulting from its local investigation or local mediation agreement or a CDE appeal Decision;

(4) The complainant alleges that through no fault of the complainant, no action has been taken by the LEA within 60 calendar days of the date the complaint was filed. Prior to direct intervention, the CDE shall attempt to work with the LEA to allow it to complete the investigation and issue an LEA Investigation Report; or

(5) The complainant alleges that the complainant would suffer immediate and irreparable harm as a result of an application of a district-wide policy that is in conflict with state or federal law covered by this chapter, and that filing a complaint with the LEA would be futile.

(b) The CDE shall directly intervene without waiting for LEA investigation if the complaint alleges that an agency that is not an LEA violated laws relating to a Child Care and Development program;

(c) The complaint shall identify the basis, as described in subdivision (a) or subdivision (b) above, for filing the complaint directly to the CDE. The complainant must present the CDE with evidence that supports the basis for the direct filing.

§ 4651. Notification.

(a) When the Department accepts, a complaint requesting direct state intervention pursuant to section 4650, it will immediately notify the complainant in writing of the determination. If the complaint is not accepted, it shall be referred to the LEA for local investigation, or referred to another agency pursuant to section 4611.

(b) When the CDE declines direct intervention for a complainant who requests anonymity pursuant to section 4650(a)(2), the CDE will not forward the complaint to the LEA pursuant to section 4640 without the complainant's permission.

§ 4664. Department investigation report.

(a) In cases of direct state intervention, the CDE shall issue a Department Investigation Report. The Department Investigation Report shall include the following:

(1) A summary of the allegations in the complaint;

(2) A description of the general procedures of the investigation;

(3) Citations of applicable law and regulations;

(4) Department findings of facts;

(5) Department conclusions;

(6) Corrective actions for the LEA or other public agency as defined in section 3200, if applicable;

(7) Time line for corrective actions, if applicable;

(8) Notice that any party may request reconsideration of the Department Investigation Report from the Superintendent within 30 days of the date of the report;

(9) For those federal programs for which there is a right to appeal to the United States Secretary of Education, the parties shall be notified of that right.

(b) The CDE must issue a written Department Investigation Report to the complainant within 60 days of receipt of the complaint, unless the parties have agreed to extend the time line or the CDE documents exceptional circumstances and informs the complainant, or the matter has been resolved at the local level or judicially decided.

§ 4665. Reconsideration of department investigation report.

(a) Within 30 days of the date of the Department Investigation Report, either party may request reconsideration by the Superintendent or the Superintendent's designee. The request for reconsideration shall specify and explain why:

(1) Relative to the allegation(s), the Department Investigation Report lacks material findings of fact necessary to reach a conclusion of law on the subject of the complaint, and/or

(2) The mate

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