Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - Suspensions

What can the school do to help me stay on top of my work if I've been suspended?
Any parent of a student on suspension may request class assignments and tests during a suspension. Additionally, the teacher of any class from which a student is suspended may require that the student complete assignments and tests during the period of suspension. Students may also want to check with their counselor regarding tutoring programs available. For more information, see District Procedure 6290.

How do you define "assault?"
"Assault" is defined as "an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability to commit, a violent injury on the person of another." In district disciplinary policies, the "assault and battery" category includes caused, attempted to cause, or threatened to cause physical injury; willfully used force or violence upon another person, except in self-defense; and sexual assault and battery.

What is the process to appeal a suspension?
To appeal a suspension, the student's parent or guardian should complete a Suspension Appeal Form, which is available for download in English or Spanish. To receive the form by mail, call the Placement and Appeal Department at (619) 725-5660. The Placement and Appeal office must receive the completed form and a copy of the suspension form from the student's school within 15 days of the first day of suspension.

How do you define "defiance?"
Defiance is defined as "Willfully defying the valid authority of school personnel." That includes supervisors, teachers, school officials and other school staff performing their duties. This can include deliberately challenging teachers or deliberately ignoring classroom rules deliberately.

What can I do if I feel I've been treated unfairly by school staff?
Complaints about staff should be addressed to the school's principal. If the situation cannot be resolved at that level, a formal complaint may be filed with the Area Superintendent office for your school.

Can teachers force my parents to come to school for meetings about a suspension?
It is usually suggested that a parent come to the school to shadow their child or come in for a conference, but no one can force a parent to show up. A student cannot be denied or delayed a return from suspension or receive other punishment based on the parent's failure to contact the school.

What can I do if I feel I was wrongly suspended?
If a student feels he or she has been wrongly suspended, he or she must serve their suspension, but may file a suspension appeal that, if granted, would result in removal of the suspension from their record.

If I get suspended, can I go back to school? What will happen if I do?
For the duration of a formal (out of school) suspension, a student is not allowed on any school district campus unless attending an official meeting relating to his or her suspension. If a student does return to campus, the school may call the school police or the student's parents to have the student removed.

What is the difference between in-school suspension and out of school suspension?
Out of school, or formal, suspension means students are not allowed to go to campus during the period of suspension except for official meetings relating to their suspension. In-school suspension usually means that a student is sent to a particular area at the school where they are monitored by school staff. In-school suspension does not go on the student's permanent record, but may be retained in the student's general file for reference and may be used as an alternative consequence before rising to the level of a formal suspension.

Under what circumstances can the district suspend or expel a student with a disability, when we have an IEP?
Students with exceptional needs, or who are eligible for services under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, are treated the same as their non disabled peers in cases of suspension. However, even when a student enrolled in special education meets the criteria for an expulsion, or suspension beyond 10 days, the law continues to require a Free Appropriate Public Education.

Unlike a regular education student, a student in special education will not see an end to services, but may have a change of placement to an alternative setting which will provide the services required by a student's IEP.

Learn more about Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Free Appropriate Public Education Act.

Why are toy guns an issue?
Pellet, airsoft, paintball and BB guns - many of which can closely resemble real firearms - have become popular toys for children of all ages. These replica weapons are dangerous for a variety of reasons. The risk of injury from one going off is clear. Less obvious, but possibly more scary, is the danger faced by someone holding one of these real-looking toy weapons. When someone is brandishing or discharging one of these replica weapons, the public doesn't know they are not real guns - and neither do police who get sometimes panicked calls to respond to what some may see as a threatening situation. These toys are NOT ALLOWED on district campuses, and under district policy, any student found in possession of these or any other replica firearm will be automatically suspended for five days and recommended for expulsion.