Substitute Senate Bill No. 355
          Substitute Senate Bill No. 355

              PUBLIC ACT NO. 98-139


AN   ACT  CONCERNING   STUDENT   SUSPENSIONS   AND
EXPULSIONS.


    Be it enacted  by  the  Senate  and  House  of
Representatives in General Assembly convened:
    Section 1. Subsection  (a)  of section 10-233c
of  the  general  statutes  is  repealed  and  the
following is substituted in lieu thereof:
    (a) Any local  or  regional board of education
may authorize the  administration  of  the schools
under  its  direction   to   suspend  from  school
privileges  any  pupil  whose  conduct  on  school
grounds  or at  a  school  sponsored  activity  is
violative of a  publicized policy of such board or
is seriously disruptive of the educational process
or endangers persons  or property or whose conduct
off school grounds is violative of such policy and
is  seriously  disruptive   of   the   educational
process. IN MAKING  A  DETERMINATION AS TO WHETHER
CONDUCT IS SERIOUSLY DISRUPTIVE OF THE EDUCATIONAL
PROCESS, THE ADMINISTRATION MAY CONSIDER, BUT SUCH
CONSIDERATION SHALL NOT BE LIMITED TO: (1) WHETHER
THE INCIDENT OCCURRED  WITHIN CLOSE PROXIMITY OF A
SCHOOL; (2) WHETHER OTHER STUDENTS FROM THE SCHOOL
WERE  INVOLVED  OR  WHETHER  THERE  WAS  ANY  GANG
INVOLVEMENT;  (3)  WHETHER  THE  CONDUCT  INVOLVED
VIOLENCE, THREATS OF  VIOLENCE OR THE UNLAWFUL USE
OF A WEAPON,  AS  DEFINED  IN  SECTION  29-38, AND
WHETHER ANY INJURIES OCCURRED; AND (4) WHETHER THE
CONDUCT INVOLVED THE  USE  OF  ALCOHOL.  Any  such
board may authorize  the administration to suspend
transportation  services  for   any   pupil  whose
conduct while awaiting or receiving transportation
to and from  school  endangers persons or property
or is violative  of  a  publicized  policy of such
board. Unless an  emergency exists, no pupil shall
be suspended without  an  informal  hearing by the
administration,  at  which  such  pupil  shall  be
informed  of  the  reasons  for  the  disciplinary
action and given  an  opportunity  to  explain the
situation,  provided  nothing   herein   shall  be
construed to prevent  a  more  formal hearing from
being held if  the  circumstances  surrounding the
incident so require, and further provided no pupil
shall be suspended  more than ten times or a total
of  fifty  days  in  one  school  year,  whichever
results in fewer  days  of  exclusion, unless such
pupil is granted  a  formal  hearing  pursuant  to
sections 4-176e to  4-180a, inclusive, and section
4-181a. If an  emergency  situation  exists,  such
hearing shall be held as soon after the suspension
as possible.
    Sec.  2.  Section   10-233d   of  the  general
statutes  is  repealed   and   the   following  is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    (a)  (1)  Any   local  or  regional  board  of
education, at a  meeting  at  which  three or more
members  of  such   board   are  present,  or  the
impartial hearing board  established  pursuant  to
subsection (b) of this section, may expel, subject
to the provisions  of  this  subsection, any pupil
whose  conduct  on   school   grounds   or   at  a
school-sponsored  activity  is   violative   of  a
publicized policy of  such  board  or is seriously
disruptive of the educational process or endangers
persons or property  or  whose  conduct off school
grounds  is  violative   of  such  policy  and  is
seriously disruptive of  the  educational process,
provided a majority  of  the board members sitting
in the expulsion hearing vote to expel and that at
least three affirmative  votes  for  expulsion are
cast. IN MAKING  A  DETERMINATION  AS  TO  WHETHER
CONDUCT IS SERIOUSLY DISRUPTIVE OF THE EDUCATIONAL
PROCESS,  THE  BOARD  OF  EDUCATION  OR  IMPARTIAL
HEARING BOARD MAY CONSIDER, BUT SUCH CONSIDERATION
SHALL NOT BE  LIMITED TO: (A) WHETHER THE INCIDENT
OCCURRED WITHIN CLOSE  PROXIMITY  OF A SCHOOL; (B)
WHETHER  OTHER  STUDENTS   FROM  THE  SCHOOL  WERE
INVOLVED   OR   WHETHER   THERE   WAS   ANY   GANG
INVOLVEMENT;  (C)  WHETHER  THE  CONDUCT  INVOLVED
VIOLENCE, THREATS OF  VIOLENCE OR THE UNLAWFUL USE
OF A WEAPON,  AS  DEFINED  IN  SECTION  29-38, AND
WHETHER ANY INJURIES OCCURRED; AND (D) WHETHER THE
CONDUCT INVOLVED IN THE USE OF ALCOHOL.
    (2)  Expulsion proceedings  pursuant  to  this
section, except as  provided  in subsection (i) of
this section shall  be  required whenever there is
reason to believe  that  any  pupil  (A) on school
grounds or at  a school sponsored activity, was in
possession of a firearm, as defined in 18 USC 921,
as amended from  time  to  time, or deadly weapon,
dangerous instrument or  martial  arts  weapon, as
defined in section  53a-3, (B) off school grounds,
did possess such a firearm in violation of section
29-35 or did  possess  and  use  such  a  firearm,
instrument or weapon  in the commission of a crime
under  chapter  952,  or  (C)  on  or  off  school
grounds,  offered  for   sale  or  distribution  a
controlled substance, as  defined  in  subdivision
(9)  of  section   21a-240,   whose   manufacture,
distribution,   sale,  prescription,   dispensing,
transporting or possessing  with intent to sell or
dispense, offering, or administering is subject to
criminal  penalties  under  sections  21a-277  and
21a-278. Such a  pupil  shall  be expelled for one
calendar year if  the  local  or regional board of
education or impartial  hearing  board  finds that
the pupil did so possess or so possess and use, as
appropriate, such a  firearm, instrument or weapon
or did so  offer  for  sale or distribution such a
controlled  substance,  provided   the   board  of
education or the  hearing  board  may  modify  the
period of expulsion  for a pupil on a case by case
basis.
    (3) Unless an emergency exists, no pupil shall
be expelled without a formal hearing held pursuant
to  sections  4-176e  to  4-180a,  inclusive,  and
section 4-181a, provided  whenever such pupil is a
minor, the notice  required  by  section 4-177 and
section 4-180 shall  also  be given to the parents
or guardian of  the pupil. If an emergency exists,
such hearing shall  be  held  as  soon  after  the
expulsion as possible.
    (b)  For  purposes   of  conducting  expulsion
hearings as required  by  subsection  (a)  of this
section, any local  or regional board of education
or any two  or  more of such boards in cooperation
may establish an impartial hearing board of one or
more persons. No  member  of  any  such  board  or
boards shall be a member of the hearing board. The
hearing board shall  have the authority to conduct
the expulsion hearing  and render a final decision
in  accordance with  the  provisions  of  sections
4-176e to 4-180a, inclusive, and section 4-181a.
    (c) In determining  the length of an expulsion
and  the nature  of  the  alternative  educational
opportunity to be  offered  under  subsection (d),
the local or  regional  board of education, or the
impartial hearing board  established  pursuant  to
subsection (b) of  this  section,  may receive and
consider evidence of  past  disciplinary  problems
which  have  led  to  removal  from  a  classroom,
suspension or expulsion of such pupil.
    (d) Any pupil  under  sixteen years of age who
is  expelled  shall   be  offered  an  alternative
educational  opportunity  during   the  period  of
expulsion, provided any parent or guardian of such
pupil who does not choose to have his or her child
enrolled in an  alternative  program  shall not be
subject to the  provisions  of section 10-184. Any
pupil expelled for  the  first time who is between
the ages of sixteen and eighteen and who wishes to
continue his or  her education shall be offered an
alternative educational opportunity  if  he or she
complies with conditions established by his or her
local  or  regional   board   of  education.  Such
alternative may include,  but shall not be limited
to, the placement  of  a  pupil  who  is  at least
sixteen years of age in an adult education program
pursuant to section  10-69.  A  local  or regional
board of education  shall count the expulsion of a
pupil when he  was  under sixteen years of age for
purposes  of determining  whether  an  alternative
educational opportunity is required for such pupil
when  he  is  between  the  ages  of  sixteen  and
eighteen. A local  or  regional board of education
may offer an  alternative  educational opportunity
to a pupil  for  whom such alternative educational
opportunity  is  not  required  pursuant  to  this
section.
    (e)   Notwithstanding   the    provisions   of
subsection  (d) of  this  section  concerning  the
provision    of   an    alternative    educational
opportunity for pupils between the ages of sixteen
and  eighteen,  local   and   regional  boards  of
education shall not  be  required  to  offer  such
alternative  to any  pupil  between  the  ages  of
sixteen and eighteen  who  is  expelled because of
conduct  which  endangers   persons   if   it   is
determined  at  the  expulsion  hearing  that  the
conduct for which  the  pupil is expelled involved
(1) possession of  a firearm, as defined in 18 USC
921, as amended  from  time  to  time,  or  deadly
weapon,  dangerous  instrument   or  martial  arts
weapon, as defined  in  section  53a-3,  on school
property or at  a school-sponsored activity or (2)
offering  for  sale   or  distribution  on  school
property  or  at  a  school-sponsored  activity  a
controlled substance, as  defined  in  subdivision
(9)  of  section   21a-240,   whose   manufacture,
distribution,   sale,  prescription,   dispensing,
transporting or possessing with the intent to sell
or  dispense,  offering,   or   administration  is
subject  to  criminal   penalties  under  sections
21a-277  and  21a-278.  If  a  pupil  is  expelled
pursuant  to this  section  for  possession  of  a
firearm or deadly  weapon  the  board of education
shall report the  violation  to  the  local police
department or in the case of a student enrolled in
a  regional  vocational-technical  school  to  the
state police. If  a  pupil is expelled pursuant to
this section for  the sale or distribution of such
a controlled substance,  the  board  of  education
shall refer the  pupil  to an appropriate state or
local agency for  rehabilitation,  intervention or
job  training, or  any  combination  thereof,  and
inform the agency  of its action. Whenever a local
or regional board  of  education  notifies a pupil
between the ages  of  sixteen  and eighteen or the
parents  or  guardian   of   such  pupil  that  an
expulsion hearing will  be  held, the notification
shall  include  a  statement  that  the  board  of
education is not  required to offer an alternative
educational opportunity to  any pupil who is found
to have engaged  in  the conduct described in this
subsection.
    (f) Whenever a  pupil  is expelled pursuant to
the provisions of  this  section,  notice  of  the
expulsion and the  conduct for which the pupil was
expelled  shall  be   included   on   the  pupil's
cumulative educational record. Such notice, except
for notice of  an expulsion based on possession of
a  firearm  or   deadly  weapon  as  described  in
subsection (a) of  this section, shall be expunged
from  the cumulative  educational  record  by  the
local or regional  board  of  education if a pupil
graduates from high school.
    (g) A local or regional board of education may
adopt the decision  of  a  pupil expulsion hearing
conducted by another school district provided such
local or regional  board of education or impartial
hearing board shall hold a hearing pursuant to the
provisions of subsection (a) of this section which
shall be limited to a determination of whether the
conduct which was  the  basis  for  the  expulsion
would also warrant expulsion under the policies of
such  board. The  pupil  shall  be  excluded  from
school pending such  hearing. The excluded student
shall  be  offered   an   alternative  educational
opportunity in accordance  with  the provisions of
subsections (d) and (e) of this section.
    (h) Whenever a pupil against whom an expulsion
hearing is pending  withdraws  from  school  after
notification  of  such   hearing  but  before  the
hearing  is  completed  and  a  decision  rendered
pursuant  to  this  section,  (1)  notice  of  the
pending expulsion hearing shall be included on the
pupil's cumulative educational  record and (2) the
local or regional  board of education or impartial
hearing board shall complete the expulsion hearing
and render a  decision.  If  such pupil enrolls in
school  in another  school  district,  such  pupil
shall not be  excluded  from  school  in the other
district  pending  completion   of  the  expulsion
hearing  pursuant to  this  subsection  unless  an
emergency  exists,  provided   nothing   in   this
subsection shall limit  the authority of the local
or regional board  of  education for such district
to  suspend  the  pupil  or  to  conduct  its  own
expulsion hearing in accordance with this section.
    (i) Prior to  conducting  an expulsion hearing
for  a  child   requiring  special  education  and
related services described  in subparagraph (A) of
subdivision (5) of  section 10-76a, a planning and
placement team shall  convene to determine whether
the  misconduct  was   caused   by   the   child's
disability.  If  it   is   determined   that   the
misconduct was caused  by  the child's disability,
the child shall  not be expelled. The planning and
placement team shall  reevaluate the child for the
purpose of modifying  the  child's  individualized
education program to address the misconduct and to
ensure the safety  of  other children and staff in
the  school.  If   it   is   determined  that  the
misconduct  was  not   caused   by   the   child's
disability,  the  child   may   be   expelled   in
accordance with the  provisions  of  this  section
applicable to children  who do not require special
education  and related  services.  Notwithstanding
the provisions of  subsections (d) and (e) of this
section, whenever a  child  requiring such special
education and related  services  is  expelled,  an
alternative  educational  opportunity,  consistent
with  such  child's  educational  needs  shall  be
provided during the period of expulsion.
    (j) AN EXPELLED  PUPIL  MAY  APPLY  FOR  EARLY
READMISSION TO SCHOOL.  EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN THIS
SUBSECTION,  SUCH  READMISSION  SHALL  BE  AT  THE
DISCRETION  OF THE  LOCAL  OR  REGIONAL  BOARD  OF
EDUCATION. THE BOARD  OF  EDUCATION  MAY  DELEGATE
AUTHORITY  FOR  READMISSION   DECISIONS   TO   THE
SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS FOR THE SCHOOL DISTRICT.
IF THE BOARD DELEGATES SUCH AUTHORITY, READMISSION
SHALL BE AT  THE DISCRETION OF THE SUPERINTENDENT.
READMISSION  DECISIONS SHALL  NOT  BE  SUBJECT  TO
APPEAL   TO   SUPERIOR   COURT.   THE   BOARD   OR
SUPERINTENDENT, AS APPROPRIATE, MAY CONDITION SUCH
READMISSION ON SPECIFIED CRITERIA.
    [(j)]  (k)  Local   and   regional  boards  of
education  shall submit  to  the  Commissioner  of
Education such information  on  expulsions for the
possession of weapons  as required for purposes of
the Gun-Free Schools  Act  of 1994, 20 USC 8921 et
seq., as amended from time to time.
    Sec. 3. This  act  shall  take effect from its
passage.

Approved June 4, 1998