Puerto Rico School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Grounds for Suspension or Expulsion

Discipline Compendium

Puerto Rico School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Grounds for Suspension or Expulsion

Category: Exclusionary Discipline: Suspension, Expulsion, and Alternative Placement
Subcategory: Grounds for Suspension or Expulsion
State: Puerto Rico

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LAWS

34 L.P.R.A. § 2201. Title, nature and application.

This chapter shall be known as the "Puerto Rico Minors’ Act." Its provisions shall be applicable with preference over other laws, and in case of conflict, the special principles of this chapter shall prevail.

34 L.P.R.A. § 2203. Definitions.

The words and phrases used in this chapter shall mean:

(a) Adult.- Any person who has attained eighteen (18) years of age.

(b) Probable cause.- Determination made by an investigating magistrate on the occurrence of a violation to a law or municipal ordinance, in the commission of which a minor is regarded as the perpetrator or accomplice.

c) Treatment center.- Residential institution which offers the minor protective, evaluating and diagnostic services, in addition to rehabilitating treatment after a final decision of the case has been made.

(d) Detention center.- Institution where the minor shall be held pending the adjudication or final decision of the case, or pending any other procedure before the court.

(e) Custody.- The act of putting the minor under the responsibility of the Secretary of the Family or of any other body or private or public institution through a court order and subject to the jurisdiction thereof; said person shall retain custody during the period he is receiving the protective, evaluating and diagnostic services, in addition to the rehabilitating treatment which his condition calls for.

(f) Classification and Evaluation Division.- A dependency of the Juvenile Institutions Administration in charge of evaluating all minors whose custody has been assigned to the Juvenile Institutions Administration by order of the court, and which shall determine the placement of the minor.

(g) Removal.- Resolution of the court suspending the judicial procedure in the interest of the minor and referring him to an agency, institution or public or private body to receive services.

(h) Detention.- Provisional care of the minor in an institution or center created for such purposes pending the determination of the court on the facts he is charged with, and thus is placed under its authority after probable cause has been found, or due to pending post-adjudicative procedures.

(i) Family Relations Specialists.- Social worker thus classified in the Personnel Administration System of the Judiciary Branch attached to the court.

(j) Offense.- Violation or attempted violation by a minor of penal or special laws or municipal ordinances of Puerto Rico except those violations or attempted violations that are excluded, by the express provisions of this chapter.

(k) Class I Offense.- Conduct that if incurred by an adult would constitute a misdemeanor.

(l) Class II Offense.- Conduct that if incurred by an adult would constitute a felony, except those included in Class III offenses.

(m) Class III Offense.- Conduct that if incurred by an adult would constitute a first degree felony, except for the modality of first degree murder that is excluded from the authority of the court; second degree felony; the following felonies in the classification of third degree: manslaughter, aggravated burglary, kidnapping, theft, aggravated assault under the modality of mutilation, manslaughter; and the following offenses in special laws: distribution of controlled substances and §§ 458b, 458f, 458g, 458h and 458i of Title 25, part of the Weapons Law.

(n) Judge.- The person designated to take cognizance in the matters within the provisions of this chapter.

(o) Minor.- A person who is under eighteen (18) years of age or that having attained said age is held liable for an offense committed prior to attaining that age.

(p) Prosecutor for Minor’s Affairs, or Prosecutor.- Assistant Prosecutor of the Court of First Instance designated exclusively to exercise his functions in matters covered by this chapter.

(q) Complaint.- Writ filed in the court describing the offense charged to a minor.

(r) Rehabilitation.- Process through which it is expected to adequately reintegrate the minor to society with the capacity to function on his own.

(s) Family Relations Technician.- Professional thus classified in the Personnel Administration System of the Judiciary Branch attached to the court who shall have professional training in the field of human behavior.

(t) Transgressor.- A minor who has been found guilty of committing an offense.

(u) Court.- Court of First Instance, Part that executes its authority pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

(v) Escape.- Any minor who, while under the custody of the Juvenile Institutions Administration, commits the offense of escape, shall be guilty of a new offense. The resolutory measure of this new offense shall be subsequent to the original resolutory measure. Escape shall be understood to be a unjustified absence without the permission of the Institution, or the unjustified abandonment of any program to which the minor was referred.

REGULATIONS

Regulation Num. 8115. Article IX, F. Rules and procedures for filing complaints and implementation of corrective actions.

2.b.1) Concepts

a) This process can only be used by the Principal when:

(1) he knows that student performance is out of compliance with Class II or Class III in accordance with the Children Act, or if the student is to be tried as an adult or is involved in an act that is establishing serious criminal offense, or

(2) when the Principal has grounds to believe that a student may be an actual or imminent harm to another student or other persons or school property.

Regulation Num. 8115. Article IX, G. Infractions and corrective or disciplinary measures.

3.a) Corrective or Disciplinary Methods for Informal Complaints

The Principal shall have power to impose the following corrective or disciplinary measures:

6) Suspension of one (1) to fifteen (15) school days.

3.b) Corrective or Disciplinary Methods for Formal Complaints

The Secretary of Education, or his authorized representative, shall have power to impose any disciplinary or corrective measures for which the Principal is authorized, plus those described below:

4) Expulsion–permanent separation of the Public Education System.

5.a.3. Misbehavior Against Institutional Order

a. Impeding or limiting other students from completing their homework- all students who obstruct or impede other students from doing their school work will incur this violation

c. Challenge Authority–a student is in violation if they disobey a directive or direct order for lawful purposes and that has been issued by a person with authority to do so. […]

j. Mutiny–It is a violation when two or more students working together, without legal authorization, make use of force and violence to disturb the institutional peace or threaten to use force or violence accompanied by the ability to do it.

5.a.5. Corporal Offense

a. Assault- Assault–anyone who employs force or violence against another person to do harm.

b. Mutilation–any student who illegally and maliciously deprives or disables and disfigures a person or a body part.

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