Colorado School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Due Process

Discipline Compendium

Colorado School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Due Process

Category: Exclusionary Discipline: Suspension, Expulsion, and Alternative Placement
Subcategory: Due Process
State: Colorado

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LAWS

22-32-109.1. Board of education–specific powers and duties–safe school plan–conduct and discipline code–safe school reporting requirements–school response framework–school resource officers–definitions.

(2) Safe school plan.

(a) Conduct and discipline code.

(I)(B) General policies and procedures for dealing with students who cause a disruption on school grounds, in a school vehicle, or at a school activity or sanctioned event, including a specific policy allowing a teacher to remove a disruptive student from his or her classroom. The policy shall state that, upon the third such removal from a teacher's class, the teacher may remove the disruptive student from the teacher's class for the remainder of the term of the class; except that a disruptive student shall not be removed from a teacher's class for the remainder of the term of the class unless the principal of the student's school or his or her designee has developed and implemented a behavior plan for the student. A behavior plan may be developed after the first such removal from class and shall be developed after the second removal from class. The general policies and procedures shall include a due process procedure, which at a minimum shall require that, as soon as possible after a removal, the teacher or the school principal shall contact the parent or legal guardian of the student to request his or her attendance at a student-teacher conference regarding the removal. Any policy or procedure adopted shall comply with applicable federal and state laws, including but not limited to laws regarding students with disabilities.

22-33-105. Suspension, expulsion, and denial of admission.

(2) In addition to the powers provided in section 22-32-110, the board of education of each district may:

(c) Deny admission to, or expel for any period not extending beyond one year, any child whom the board of education, in accordance with the limitations imposed by this article, shall determine does not qualify for admission to, or continued attendance at, the public schools of the district. A board of education may delegate such powers to its executive officer or to a designee who shall serve as a hearing officer. If the hearing is conducted by a designee acting as a hearing officer, the hearing officer shall forward findings of fact and recommendations to the executive officer at the conclusion of the hearing. The executive officer shall render a written opinion within five days after a hearing conducted by the executive officer or by a hearing officer. The executive officer shall report on each case acted upon at the next meeting of the board of education, briefly describing the circumstances and the reasons for the executive officer's action. A child who is denied admission or expelled as an outcome of the hearing shall have ten days after the denial of admission or expulsion to appeal the decision of the executive officer to the board of education, after which time the decision to grant or deny the appeal shall be at the discretion of the board of education. The appeal shall consist of a review of the facts that were presented and that were determined at the hearing conducted by the executive officer or by a designee acting as a hearing officer, arguments relating to the decision, and questions of clarification from the board of education. No board of education shall deny admission to, or expel, any child without a hearing, if one is requested by the parent, guardian, or legal custodian of the child, at which evidence may be presented in the child's behalf. If the child is denied admission or expelled, the child shall be entitled to a review of the decision of the board of education in accordance with section 22-33-108

(3)(c) A pupil suspended for a period of ten days or less shall receive an informal hearing by the school principal or the principal's designee prior to the pupil's removal from school, unless an emergency requires immediate removal from school, in which case an informal hearing shall follow as soon after the pupil's removal as practicable. Any pupil suspended for more than ten days shall be given the opportunity to request a review of the suspension before an appropriate official of the school district.

22-33-106. Grounds for suspension, expulsion, and denial of admission.

(4)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection (4), a school district shall prohibit any student who is expelled from a public school of the school district pursuant to paragraph (c) or (d) of subsection (1) of this section or pursuant to subsection (1.5) of this section from enrolling or reenrolling in the same school in which the victim of the offense or member of a victim's immediate family is enrolled or employed. If the school district has no actual knowledge of the name of the victim of the offense for which the student was expelled, the provisions of this subsection (4) shall be implemented only upon request of the victim or a member of the victim's immediate family. [...]

(e)(I) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, any county or district court shall have original concurrent jurisdiction to issue a temporary or permanent civil restraining order that enjoins the expelled student from enrolling or reenrolling in the same school in which the victim of the offense or member of a victim's immediate family is enrolled or employed.

(II) A motion for a temporary civil restraining order pursuant to this paragraph (e) shall be set for hearing, which hearing shall be ex parte, at the earliest possible time and shall take precedence over all matters except those matters of the same character that have been on the court docket for a longer period of time. The court shall hear all such motions as expeditiously as possible.

22-33-106.3. Disciplinary investigations–parental presence–student statements.

(1) A public school employee shall not use a student's statement concerning an act alleged to have been committed by the student that results in mandatory expulsion pursuant to section 22-33-106 (1)(d), in the expulsion hearing, unless the statement is signed by the student and a parent, guardian, or legal or physical custodian is present when the student signs the statement or admission or a reasonable attempt was made to contact the parent, guardian, or legal or physical custodian to have the parent, guardian, or legal or physical custodian present when the student signed the statement. The school shall be deemed to have made a reasonable attempt to contact the parent, guardian, or legal or physical custodian if the school calls each of the phone numbers the parent, guardian, or legal or physical custodian provides to the school and all phone numbers the student provides to the school for the parent, guardian, or legal or physical custodian.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, the student and his or her parent, guardian, or legal or physical custodian may expressly waive the requirement that the parent, guardian, or legal or physical custodian be present when a student signs a statement or admission. This express waiver shall be in writing and shall be obtained only after full advisement of the student and his or her parent, guardian, or legal or physical custodian of the student's rights prior to the signing of the statement or admission by the student.

(3) The requirements of subsection (1) of this section shall not apply if the student makes any deliberate misrepresentations affecting the applicability or requirements of this section and a school official, acting in good faith and in reasonable reliance on such deliberate misrepresentation, obtains a signed statement or admission of the student that does not comply with the requirements of subsection (1) of this section.

(4) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent or interfere with a fact-finding or information-gathering investigation by a school or school employee.

22-33-108. Judicial proceedings.

(2) If a child or his parent desires court review of an order of the board of education issued pursuant to this article, he shall notify the board in writing within five days after receiving official notification of the board's action. The board of education shall thereupon issue, or cause to be issued, to the child or his parent a statement of the reasons for the board's action. Within ten days thereafter the child or his parents may file with the court a petition requesting that the order of the board of education be set aside, to which shall be appended the statement of the board of education. No docket or other fees shall be collected by the court in connection with this proceeding.

(3) After the petition is filed, the court shall notify the board and shall hold a hearing on the matter. The court shall conduct judicial review of a hearing decision pursuant to rule 106 (a)(4) of the Colorado rules of civil procedure and rule 3.8 of the Colorado rules of juvenile procedure.

(4) It is the duty of the attorney for the school district, an employee authorized by the local board of education pursuant to section 13-1-127 (7), C.R.S., to represent the school district in truancy proceedings, the attendance officer designated by the local board of education, or the local board of education to initiate, when appropriate, proceedings for the enforcement of the compulsory attendance provisions of this article upon request by the attendance officer of the district or of the state.

(5)(a) It is the intent of the general assembly that, in enforcing the compulsory school attendance requirements of this article, a school district shall employ best practices and research-based strategies to minimize the need for court action and the risk that a court will issue detention orders against a child or parent.

(b) A school district shall initiate court proceedings to compel a child and the child's parent to comply with the attendance requirements specified in this article but only as a last-resort approach to address the child's truancy and only if a child continues to be habitually truant after school or school district personnel have created and implemented a plan pursuant to section 22-33-107 (3) to improve the child's school attendance.

(c) Before initiating court proceedings to compel compliance with the attendance requirements specified in this article, the school district shall give the child and the child's parent written notice that the school district will initiate proceedings if the child does not comply with the attendance requirements of this article. The school district may combine the notice and summons. If combined, the petition must state the date on which the school district will initiate proceedings, which date must not be less than five days after the date of the notice and summons. The notice must state the provisions of this article with which compliance is required and must state that the school district will not initiate proceedings if the child complies with the identified provisions before the proceedings are filed.

(d) If a school district initiates court proceedings pursuant to this subsection (5), the school district, at a minimum, must submit to the court evidence of:

(I) The child's attendance record prior to and after the point at which the child was identified as habitually truant;

(II) Whether the child was identified as chronically absent and, if so, the strategies the school district used to improve the child's attendance;

(III) The interventions and strategies used to improve the child's attendance before school or school district personnel created the child's plan described in section 22-33-107 (3); and

(IV) The child's plan and the efforts of the child, the child's parent, and school or school district personnel to implement the plan.

(6) The court before which a proceeding to compel attendance is brought may issue, in its discretion, an order against the child or the child's parent or both compelling the child to attend school as provided by this article or compelling the parent to take reasonable steps to assure the child's attendance. The order must require the child and parent to cooperate with the school district in complying with the plan created for the child pursuant to section 22-33-107 (3).

(7)(a) If the child or youth does not comply with the valid court order issued against the child or youth or against both the parent and the child or youth, the court may order that an assessment for neglect as described in section 19-3-102 (1) be conducted as provided in section 19-3-501. In addition, the court may order the child or youth to show cause why he or she should not be held in contempt of court. When instituting contempt of court proceedings pursuant to this subsection (7), the court shall provide all procedural protections mandated in rule 107 of the Colorado rules of civil procedure, or any successor rule, concerning punitive sanctions for contempt.

(a.5) A judge or magistrate of any court may issue a warrant that authorizes the taking into temporary custody of a child or youth who has failed to appear for a court hearing for a truancy or contempt action; except that any such warrant must provide for release of the child or youth from temporary custody on an unsecured personal recognizance bond that is cosigned by the child's or youth's parent or legal guardian or, if the child or youth is in the custody of the department of human services, cosigning may be accomplished by a representative of the department of human services. In the alternative, the warrant may direct that the child or youth must only be arrested while court is in session and that he or she be taken directly to court for an appearance rather than booked into secure confinement.

(b) The court may impose sanctions after a finding of contempt that may include, but need not be limited to, community service to be performed by the child or youth, supervised activities, participation in services for at-risk students, as described by section 22-33-204, and other activities having the goal of ensuring that the child or youth has an opportunity to obtain a quality education.

(c)(I) If the court finds that the child or youth has refused to comply with the plan created for the child or youth pursuant to section 22-33-107 (3), the court may impose on the child or youth, as a sanction for contempt of court, a sentence of detention for no more than forty-eight hours in a juvenile detention facility operated by or under contract with the department of human services pursuant to section 19-2-402 and any rules promulgated by the Colorado supreme court. The court shall not sentence a child or youth to detention as a sanction for contempt of court unless the court finds that detention is in the best interest of the child or youth as well as the public. In making such a finding, the court shall consider the following factors, including that:

(A) The child or youth has violated a valid court order;

(B) National and Colorado-specific evidence shows that detaining children and youth for truancy alone is counterproductive and harmful to children and youth;

(C) The legislative intent is that a child or youth who is truant must not be placed in secure confinement for truancy alone;

(D) Detention is likely to have a detrimental effect on the child's or youth's school attendance; and

(E) Detention is likely to have an effect on the child's or youth's future involvement with the criminal justice system.

(II) There is a rebuttable presumption that a child or youth must receive credit for time served if he or she is sentenced to detention pursuant to subsection (7)(c)(I) of this section for violating a valid court order to attend school. If the court rebuts this presumption, it shall explain its reasoning on the record.

(8) If the parent refuses or neglects to obey the order issued against the parent or against both the parent and the child, the court may order the parent to show cause why he or she should not be held in contempt of court, and, if the parent fails to show cause, the court may impose a fine of up to but not more than twenty-five dollars per day or confine the parent in the county jail until the order is complied with.

REGULATIONS

No relevant regulations found.

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