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Bala Cynwyd Middle School

Off-Canvas

Hearings

Education is a fundamental right and students must be afforded all appropriate elements of due process if they are to be excluded from school.

  1. Investigatory Hearing
    1. The purposes of the investigatory hearing are:
      1. To enable the principal or his/her designee to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident for which the student may be temporarily suspended from school, including conferring with members of the staff, other students or other possible witnesses who may have first-hand knowledge of the incident for which the student is being charged.
      2. To inform the student of the specific policy or regulation which has been violated; and
      3. To enable the student to present reasons why he/she is not guilty of the charge(s) and, therefore, should not be suspended.
    2. If the principal or his/her designee decided to suspend a student from school:
      1. Before the suspension takes place, the principal or his/her designee shall notify the parent or guardian by telephone.
      2. If the parent or guardian cannot be contacted, the Principal or his/her designee at his/her discretion may temporarily postpone the suspension.
      3. When the parent or guardian has been contacted and if he/she wishes to confer with the principal or his/her designee, the principal and his/her designee shall arrange a conference.
        The suspension shall be held in abeyance until such a conference has been held and a final decision has been made by the principal or his/her designee.
      4. The principal or his/her designee shall forthwith notify the parents or guardians in writing of such action.
  2. Informal Hearing
    1. The purpose of the informal hearing is to enable the appropriate school official to determine the circumstances surrounding the event for which the student may be given a full suspension, to enable the student to demonstrate that there is a case of mistaken identity and/or enable the student to show that there are other reasons why the student should not be suspended.
    2. At the informal hearing, you have the right to have:
      1. Written notification of the reasons for which the full suspension may be imposed shall be given to the parents or guardian;
      2. Sufficient notice of the time and place of the informal hearing.
  3. Formal Hearing
    1. A formal hearing may be held before the Board or a duly authorized committee of the Board, preferably composed of no fewer than three members of the Board. The hearing committee’s decision is advisory to the Board where expulsion is recommended.
    2. At the formal hearing, the following due process requirements are to be observed:
      1. Written notification of the reasons for which expulsion may be imposed shall be sent to the parents or guardian by certified mail, and to the student;
      2. Sufficient notice of the time and place of the hearing;
      3. The right to an impartial tribunal;
      4. The right to be represented by counsel;
      5. The right to be presented with the names of witnesses against the student, and copies of any written statements and affidavits of those witnesses;
      6. The right to demand that any such witnesses appear in person and answer questions or be cross-examined;
      7. The student’s right to testify and produce witnesses on his/her own behalf and not be compelled to testify against himself/herself;
      8. A record must be kept of the hearing, either by a stenographer or by tape recorder. The parent(s) or guardian and the student are entitled, at their expense, to a copy of the transcript;
      9. The proceeding must be held with all reasonable speed;
      10. The Board is not bound by strict rules of evidence; and
      11. The decision must be based upon such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.
      12. If requested by the student or the student’s parents or guardians, the formal hearing shall be held in private.

Parents or guardians and students are reminded that where the student is dissatisfied with the results or the procedure of the formal hearing, recourse can be had to the appropriate court.