Arkansas Code Title 6. Education § 6-18-507. Suspension--Expulsion

(a) As used in this section:

(1) “Course time” means the number of hours of instruction devoted to a single subject during the school week;

(2) “Expulsion” means dismissal from school for a period of time that exceeds ten (10) days;

(3) “Nontraditional scheduling” means block or other alternative scheduling as defined by the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education;  and

(4) “Suspension” means dismissal from school for a period of time that does not exceed ten (10) days.

(b)(1) The board of directors of a school district may suspend or expel any student from school for violation of the school district's written discipline policies, except that a school district shall not use out-of-school suspension as a discipline measure for truancy.

(2) The school district shall not use out-of-school suspension or expulsion for a student in kindergarten through grade five (K-5) except in cases when a student's behavior:

(A) Poses a physical risk to himself or herself or to others;  or

(B) Causes a serious disruption that cannot be addressed through other means.

(c)(1)(A) The board of directors may authorize a teacher or an administrator to suspend any student for a maximum of ten (10) school days for violation of the school district's written discipline policies, subject to appeal to the superintendent or his or her designee.

(B) However, schools that utilize nontraditional scheduling may not suspend students from more course time than would result from a ten-day suspension under the last traditional schedule used by the school district.

(2) If the superintendent initiates the suspension process, the decision may be appealed to the board of directors.

(d)(1) A superintendent may recommend the expulsion of a student for more than ten (10) days for violation of the school district's written discipline policies, subject to appeal to the board of directors and to requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1401 et seq.

(2)(A) After hearing all testimony and debate on a suspension, expulsion, or appeal, the board of directors may consider its decision in executive session without the presence of anyone other than the board members.

(B) At the conclusion of an executive session, the board of directors shall reconvene in public session to vote on the suspension, expulsion, or appeal.

(3) A school district board of directors meeting entertaining an appeal shall be conducted in executive session if requested by the parent or guardian of the student provided that after hearing all testimony and debate, the board of directors shall conclude the executive session and reconvene in public session to vote on such appeal.

(2)(A) All school districts shall adopt a written policy regarding expulsion of a student for possessing a firearm or other prohibited weapon on school property that shall require parents, guardians, or other persons in loco parentis of a student expelled under this subsection to sign a statement acknowledging that the parents have read and understand current laws regarding the possibility of parental responsibility for allowing a child to possess a weapon on school property.

(B) The statement shall be signed by the parents, guardians, or other persons in loco parentis before readmitting a student or enrolling a student in any public school immediately after the expiration of an expulsion period pursuant to this subsection.

(3)(A) The school administrators and the local school district board of directors shall complete the expulsion process of any student that was initiated because the student possessed a firearm or other prohibited weapon on school property regardless of the enrollment status of the student.

(B) The principal of each school shall report within a week to the division the name, current address, and Social Security number of any student who is expelled for possessing a firearm or other prohibited weapon on school property or for committing other acts of violence.

(C) The expulsion shall be noted on the student's permanent school record.

(D) Nothing in this subdivision (e)(3) shall be construed to limit a superintendent's discretion to modify the expulsion requirement for a student on a case-by-case basis as set out in this subsection.

(4) The division shall maintain information regarding students who are expelled for possessing a firearm or other prohibited weapon on school property or for committing other acts of violence.

(f)(1) Upon suspension of a student, the school shall immediately contact the student's parent or legal guardian to notify the parent or legal guardian of the suspension.

(2) Each parent or legal guardian shall provide the school:

(A)(i) A primary call number.

(ii) If the call number changes, the parent or legal guardian shall notify the school of the new primary call number;

(B) An email address if the parent or legal guardian does not have a telephone;  or

(C) A current mailing address if the parent or legal guardian does not have a telephone or email address.

(3) The contact required in this subsection is sufficient if made by:

(A) Direct contact with the parent or legal guardian at the primary call number or in person;

(B) Leaving a voice mail at the primary call number;

(C) Sending a text message to the primary call number;

(D) Email if the school is unable to make contact through the primary call number;  or

(E) Regular first-class mail if the school is unable to make contact through the primary call number or email.

(4) The school shall keep a notification log of contacts attempted and made to the parent or legal guardian.

(g) A public school shall indicate on a student's attendance record if a student's absence is the result of an out-of-school suspension.

(h) A public school district and open-enrollment public charter school shall comply with the requirements under § 6-16-1406(g) with respect to courses and services provided to an expelled public school student.


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