An expulsion hearing before a district Hearing Officer is a legal procedure. The hearing is similar to a hearing in City or County Court in many regards. A district Hearing Officer will facilitate the hearing and serve similar to a judge in a court proceeding.
Hearings Officers are professionals with extensive experience in educational law. They are well versed in District 12 Policy. Our goal is to provide a fair and impartial hearing for all involved. Therefore, Officers are independently contracted agents not otherwise employed by the district.
During the Hearing
Once participants are under oath, the Hearing Officer will hear both sides as they present information and evidence related to the case. The Officer may ask clarifying questions.
The hearing will be recorded.
Evidence from the investigation which resulted in the school referring the student for an expulsion hearing will be considered. Any additional evidence gained since the original expulsion notification to parents may also be discussed.
Based on the information shared, as well as the facts and merits of the case, the Hearing Officer will make a decision on his or her recommendation.
Following the Hearing
The Hearing Officer’s recommendation will then be forwarded to the Superintendent who will render a written decision within five business days from the time of the hearing. The family should not expect a decision at the conclusion of the hearing.
Unless otherwise notified by school officials, the student will remain suspended until the decision letter is received by the family following the hearing. This letter will explain the decision and direct the family as to what should occur next.
For more details regarding student discipline policy, please review the District Policy 5000 Student Code and 5010 Due Process.
Early Return from Expulsion Options
In some cases, a student who is expelled from the district will have the opportunity to return early from the assigned term of expulsion. This opportunity is outlined in the initial expulsion decision letter. Those expectations are typically centered around the student accessing services to support a positive change in behavior.
Alternative to Expulsion Plans
Adams 12 Five Star Schools is committed to helping students remain in school, provided the parent/guardian and student share that same commitment. With this goal in mind the District provides many students the opportunity to participate in alternative to expulsion (ATE) services. A candidate for ATE services is facing a possible expulsion from school. Participation in an ATE is optional. Parent/Guardian(s) or the student may decline the opportunity to participate in ATE services, in which case expulsion proceedings will continue and a due process expulsion hearing may be scheduled at the family’s request.
Each ATE plan requires commitment and participation from the student and their parent or guardian. Participants will be required to sign a contract prior to officially beginning the plan and prior to the student being permitted to return to school. Each ATE contract identifies program expectations and the consequences for not completing program requirements.
Examples of common expectations include but are not limited to:
Agreement that any further behavior violations that would otherwise typically result in an out-of-school suspension will constitute a violation of the ATE agreement and will result in the expulsion being implemented
Agreement to attend, participate and demonstrate effort consistent with program requirements
Restrictions from participation or attendance at specified school activities
Loss of privileges such as having electronics (including cell phone) at school
Loss of “off-campus” privileges
Restitution or other restorative justice measures
Participation in support programs
Check-ins or appointments with administrative or mental health support staff