Your Rights During your Suspension Hearing:

  • You have the right to have your parent/guardian at your hearing, as well as an attorney or an advocate there to defend you. The school does not have have to provide you with a free attorney, but if you have one they can come to the hearing and represent you.

(Source: BPS COC, Exhibit 3, p. 36)

  • You have the right to have a translator at the hearing for either you or your parent/guardian.

  • The hearing will be conducted by someone in school administration, like the principal or vice principal, unless there is a conflict of interest (for example if that school official is the alleged victim)

(BPS COC, 9.5.1, p. 32)

  • The person running the hearing must make sure you understand the charges against you. 

(BPS COC, 9.5.3)

  • You can call witnesses, like a therapist or other students for example, who can offer evidence that you shouldn't be expelled- if it will not endanger the person. If the school calls witnesses to testify against you, you have a right to ask those witnesses questions too. This is called cross-examining. The person running the hearing can stop questions if they think the questions are disrespectful, intimidating, or irrelevant. 

(BPS COC, 9.5.4)

  • You will have the opportunity to state your own version of the events. 

  • The school will record the audio of the hearing if it could result in a long-term suspension or expulsion. The school is not required to record the hearing if it could result in just a short-term suspension. You have the right to get an audio recording of the hearing within five days of the hearing. Your hearing is private unless you want it to be made public.

(BPS COC, 10.4.1)

  • If you testify it can be later used in a civil or criminal court, if you do not testify it is NOT an indication that you are guilty.

BPS COC, Exhibit 4, p. 43)

  • You are innocent until proven guilty. The school has to show that it is more likely than not that the offense occurred, that it gave you notice, and that it used alternatives to exclusion first.

(BPS COC, 9.5.7-9.5.8)

  • The school leader running the hearing can take your entire student record into account when deciding whether to expel you.

If the person running the hearing decides to suspend you, they have to let you know in person and in writing within 24 hours after the hearing. The letter they give you has to clearly say the specific things for which you are being suspended, the length of your suspension, and your right to appeal

(BPS COC, 9.6.2, p. 32)