Where students are violent, suspensions may be justified, in order to ensure the safety of other students.

However, for non-violent behaviour, what regulations are in place with regards to suspension, and what recourse do students (or their parents) have?

Surely, if a student is entitled to an education by means of some statute or regulation, withholding it needs to be statutorily or regulatorily sanctioned?

This relates specifically to the United States; I imagine states will have different regulations, so please answer with whatever jurisdiction(s) you are comfortable with. If you also have experience with other jurisdictions, that would be interesting.

2 Answers 2


General Resource: the U.S. Department of Education puts out a nice compendium of the various state laws.

Below are my jurisdictions.

Illinois: (105 ILCS 5/10-22.6)

In brief, school administrators may be delegated the authority to suspend students for gross disobedience or misconduct without consulting the board or the parents. In this case they must notify parents of the suspension, forward a full statement of reasons for the suspension, and notify the parents of their right to have it reviewed by the board. Expulsions, on the other hand, require a hearing at the board.

Much of the due process for suspensions came frome Goss v. Lopez, 419 U.S. 565 (1975).

Of interest, language changes took effect in 2011 authorizing suspension for gross disobedience or misconduct using electronic means.

North Carolina: (NCGS 115C)

In particular, Article 27 deals with discipline. The law distinguishes between short-term, long-term, and 365-day suspensions (...the latter is for firearm possession). This is a fairly good summary of NC School Discipline Laws and Regulations (prepared by ed.gov), while this is a good summary of the governing case law.


Education is a matter of state law, trumped in some areas by rights under federal law. And, of course, local laws or regulations may exist to address the specifics of administrative proceedings required by state and federal law.

Here are the California Education Code sections on suspension.

Here is the Los Angeles Unified School District's page on appeal of suspension. Expulsion appeals are handled by the county board. Recourse to the courts would be by petition for a writ of mandamus, under California law. Other states may have different procedures.

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