2019 Connecticut General Statutes
Title 10 - Education and Culture
Chapter 170 - Boards of Education
Section 10-233d - Expulsion of pupils.

Universal Citation: CT Gen Stat § 10-233d (2019)

(a)(1) Any local or regional board of education, at a meeting at which three or more members of such board are present, or the impartial hearing board established pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, may expel, subject to the provisions of this subsection, any pupil in grades three to twelve, inclusive, whose conduct on school grounds or at a school-sponsored activity is violative of a publicized policy of such board or is seriously disruptive of the educational process or endangers persons or property or whose conduct off school grounds is violative of such policy and is seriously disruptive of the educational process, provided a majority of the board members sitting in the expulsion hearing vote to expel and that at least three affirmative votes for expulsion are cast. In making a determination as to whether conduct is seriously disruptive of the educational process, the board of education or impartial hearing board may consider, but such consideration shall not be limited to: (A) Whether the incident occurred within close proximity of a school; (B) whether other students from the school were involved or whether there was any gang involvement; (C) whether the conduct involved violence, threats of violence or the unlawful use of a weapon, as defined in section 29-38, and whether any injuries occurred; and (D) whether the conduct involved the use of alcohol.

(2) Expulsion proceedings pursuant to this section, except as provided in subsection (i) of this section, shall be required for any pupil in grades kindergarten to twelve, inclusive, whenever there is reason to believe that any pupil (A) on school grounds or at a school-sponsored activity, was in possession of a firearm, as defined in 18 USC 921, as amended from time to time, or deadly weapon, dangerous instrument or martial arts weapon, as defined in section 53a-3, (B) off school grounds, did possess such a firearm in violation of section 29-35 or did possess and use such a firearm, instrument or weapon in the commission of a crime under chapter 952, or (C) on or off school grounds, offered for sale or distribution a controlled substance, as defined in subdivision (9) of section 21a-240, whose manufacture, distribution, sale, prescription, dispensing, transporting or possessing with intent to sell or dispense, offering, or administering is subject to criminal penalties under sections 21a-277 and 21a-278. Such a pupil shall be expelled for one calendar year if the local or regional board of education or impartial hearing board finds that the pupil did so possess or so possess and use, as appropriate, such a firearm, instrument or weapon or did so offer for sale or distribution such a controlled substance, provided the board of education or the hearing board may modify the period of expulsion for a pupil on a case-by-case basis, and as provided for in subdivision (2) of subsection (c) of this section.

(3) Unless an emergency exists, no pupil shall be expelled without a formal hearing held pursuant to sections 4-176e to 4-180a, inclusive, and section 4-181a, provided whenever such pupil is a minor, the notice required by section 4-177 and section 4-180 shall also be given to the parents or guardian of the pupil at least five business days before such hearing. If an emergency exists, such hearing shall be held as soon after the expulsion as possible. The notice shall include information concerning the parent’s or guardian’s and the pupil’s legal rights and concerning legal services provided free of charge or at a reduced rate that are available locally and how to access such services. An attorney or other advocate may represent any pupil subject to expulsion proceedings. The parent or guardian of the pupil shall have the right to have the expulsion hearing postponed for up to one week to allow time to obtain representation, except that if an emergency exists, such hearing shall be held as soon after the expulsion as possible.

(b) For purposes of conducting expulsion hearings as required by subsection (a) of this section, any local or regional board of education or any two or more of such boards in cooperation may establish an impartial hearing board of one or more persons. No member of any such board or boards shall be a member of the hearing board. The hearing board shall have the authority to conduct the expulsion hearing and render a final decision in accordance with the provisions of sections 4-176e to 4-180a, inclusive, and section 4-181a.

(c) (1) In determining the length of an expulsion and the nature of the alternative educational opportunity to be offered under subsection (d) of this section, the local or regional board of education, or the impartial hearing board established pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, may receive and consider evidence of past disciplinary problems that have led to removal from a classroom, suspension or expulsion of such pupil.

(2) For any pupil expelled for the first time pursuant to this section and who has never been suspended pursuant to section 10-233c, except for a pupil who has been expelled based on possession of a firearm or deadly weapon as described in subsection (a) of this section, the local or regional board of education may shorten the length of or waive the expulsion period if the pupil successfully completes a board-specified program and meets any other conditions required by the board. Such board-specified program shall not require the pupil or the parent or guardian of the pupil to pay for participation in the program.

(d) No local or regional board of education is required to offer an alternative educational opportunity, except in accordance with this section. Any pupil under sixteen years of age who is expelled shall be offered an alternative educational opportunity, which shall be (1) alternative education, as defined by section 10-74j, with an individualized learning plan, if such board provides such alternative education, or (2) in accordance with the standards adopted by the State Board of Education, pursuant to section 10-233o, during the period of expulsion, provided any parent or guardian of such pupil who does not choose to have his or her child enrolled in an alternative educational opportunity shall not be subject to the provisions of section 10-184. Any pupil expelled for the first time who is between the ages of sixteen and eighteen and who wishes to continue his or her education shall be offered such an alternative educational opportunity if he or she complies with conditions established by his or her local or regional board of education. Such alternative educational opportunity may include, but shall not be limited to, the placement of a pupil who is at least seventeen years of age in an adult education program pursuant to section 10-69. Any pupil participating in any such adult education program during a period of expulsion shall not be required to withdraw from school under section 10-184. A local or regional board of education shall count the expulsion of a pupil when he was under sixteen years of age for purposes of determining whether an alternative educational opportunity is required for such pupil when he is between the ages of sixteen and eighteen. A local or regional board of education may offer an alternative educational opportunity to a pupil for whom such alternative educational opportunity is not required pursuant to this section.

(e) If a pupil is expelled pursuant to this section for possession of a firearm, as defined in 18 USC 921, as amended from time to time, or deadly weapon, dangerous instrument or martial arts weapon, as defined in section 53a-3, the board of education shall report the violation to the local police department or in the case of a student enrolled in a technical education and career school to the state police. If a pupil is expelled pursuant to this section for the sale or distribution of a controlled substance, as defined in subdivision (9) of section 21a-240, whose manufacture, distribution, sale, prescription, dispensing, transporting or possessing with the intent to sell or dispense, offering, or administration is subject to criminal penalties under sections 21a-277 and 21a-278, the board of education shall refer the pupil to an appropriate state or local agency for rehabilitation, intervention or job training, or any combination thereof, and inform the agency of its action.

(f) Whenever a pupil is expelled pursuant to the provisions of this section, notice of the expulsion and the conduct for which the pupil was expelled shall be included on the pupil’s cumulative educational record. Such notice, except for notice of an expulsion of a pupil in grades nine to twelve, inclusive, based on possession of a firearm or deadly weapon as described in subsection (a) of this section, (1) shall be expunged from the cumulative educational record by the local or regional board of education if a pupil graduates from high school, or (2) may be expunged from the cumulative educational record by the local or regional board of education before a pupil graduates from high school if (A) in the case of a pupil for which the length of the expulsion period is shortened or the expulsion period is waived pursuant to subdivision (2) of subsection (c) of this section, such board determines that an expungement is warranted at the time such pupil completes the board-specified program and meets any other conditions required by such board pursuant to subdivision (2) of subsection (c) of this section, or (B) such pupil has demonstrated to such board that the conduct and behavior of such pupil in the years following such expulsion warrants an expungement. A local or regional board of education, in determining whether to expunge such notice under subparagraph (B) of this subdivision, may receive and consider evidence of any subsequent disciplinary problems that have led to removal from a classroom, suspension or expulsion of such pupil.

(g) A local or regional board of education may adopt the decision of a pupil expulsion hearing conducted by another school district provided such local or regional board of education or impartial hearing board shall hold a hearing pursuant to the provisions of subsection (a) of this section which shall be limited to a determination of whether the conduct which was the basis for the expulsion would also warrant expulsion under the policies of such board. The pupil shall be excluded from school pending such hearing. The excluded student shall be offered an alternative educational opportunity in accordance with the provisions of subsections (d) and (e) of this section.

(h) Whenever a pupil against whom an expulsion hearing is pending withdraws from school after notification of such hearing but before the hearing is completed and a decision rendered pursuant to this section, (1) notice of the pending expulsion hearing shall be included on the pupil’s cumulative educational record, and (2) the local or regional board of education or impartial hearing board shall complete the expulsion hearing and render a decision. If such pupil enrolls in school in another school district, such pupil shall not be excluded from school in the other district pending completion of the expulsion hearing pursuant to this subsection unless an emergency exists, provided nothing in this subsection shall limit the authority of the local or regional board of education for such district to suspend the pupil or to conduct its own expulsion hearing in accordance with this section.

(i) Prior to conducting an expulsion hearing for a child requiring special education and related services described in subparagraph (A) of subdivision (5) of section 10-76a, a planning and placement team shall convene to determine whether the misconduct was caused by the child’s disability. If it is determined that the misconduct was caused by the child’s disability, the child shall not be expelled. The planning and placement team shall reevaluate the child for the purpose of modifying the child’s individualized education program to address the misconduct and to ensure the safety of other children and staff in the school. If it is determined that the misconduct was not caused by the child’s disability, the child may be expelled in accordance with the provisions of this section applicable to children who do not require special education and related services. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (d) and (e) of this section, whenever a child requiring such special education and related services is expelled, an alternative educational opportunity, consistent with such child’s educational needs shall be provided during the period of expulsion.

(j) An expelled pupil may apply for early readmission to school. Except as provided in this subsection, such readmission shall be at the discretion of the local or regional board of education. The board of education may delegate authority for readmission decisions to the superintendent of schools for the school district. If the board delegates such authority, readmission shall be at the discretion of the superintendent. Readmission decisions shall not be subject to appeal to Superior Court. The board or superintendent, as appropriate, may condition such readmission on specified criteria.

(k) Local and regional boards of education shall submit to the Commissioner of Education such information on expulsions for the possession of weapons as required for purposes of the Gun-Free Schools Act of 1994, 20 USC 8921 et seq., as amended from time to time.

(l) (1) Any student who commits an expellable offense and is subsequently committed to a juvenile detention center, the Connecticut Juvenile Training School or any other residential placement for such offense may be expelled by a local or regional board of education in accordance with the provisions of this section. The period of expulsion shall run concurrently with the period of commitment to a juvenile detention center, the Connecticut Juvenile Training School or any other residential placement.

(2) If a student who committed an expellable offense seeks to return to a school district after participating in a diversionary program or having been detained in a juvenile detention center, the Connecticut Juvenile Training School or any other residential placement and such student has not been expelled by the local or regional board of education for such offense under subdivision (1) of this subsection, the local or regional board of education for the school district to which the student is returning shall allow such student to return and may not expel the student for additional time for such offense.

(P.A. 75-609, S. 4; P.A. 78-218, S. 165; P.A. 79-115, S. 2, 3; 79-369, S. 1, 2; P.A. 81-215, S. 1, 3; P.A. 82-118, S. 1, 2; P.A. 83-218, S. 1, 2; 83-587, S. 70, 96; P.A. 84-546, S. 25, 173; P.A. 86-398, S. 2; P.A. 88-317, S. 57, 107; P.A. 92-37, S. 1, 2; P.A. 93-35, S. 1–3; P.A. 94-221, S. 2; P.A. 95-304, S. 5, 9; P.A. 96-146, S. 9, 12; 96-244, S. 19–21, 63; P.A. 98-139, S. 2, 3; P.A. 00-157, S. 4, 8; P.A. 07-122, S. 2; 07-217, S. 45; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 07-3, S. 49; P.A. 09-82, S. 1; P.A. 11-115, S. 3; 11-126, S. 1; P.A. 12-116, S. 87; 12-120, S. 28; P.A. 14-229, S. 1, 2; P.A. 15-96, S. 3; P.A. 16-147, S. 12; P.A. 17-220, S. 2; 17-237, S. 75, 76.)

History: P.A. 78-218 substituted “local” for “town” boards of education, deleted reference to school districts and included feminine personal pronoun in Subsec. (c); P.A. 79-115 inserted new Subsec. (b) re consideration of past disciplinary problems in determining length of expulsion and alternative educational opportunity to be offered and relettered former Subsecs. (b) and (c) as (c) and (d); P.A. 79-369 required presence of at least three members at meeting for expulsion and required majority vote, with at least three votes in favor of expulsion, for expulsion to be effected in Subsec. (a) and made technical change in Subsec. (b); P.A. 81-215 inserted new Subsec. (b) authorizing boards of education to establish impartial hearing boards for the purpose of conducting expulsion hearings, relettering remaining Subsecs. accordingly and amended Subsec. (e) to limit the mandatory provision of an alternative educational opportunity to pupils under 18 years of age, but specified that age limitation shall not apply to special education pupils; P.A. 82-118 repealed Subsec. (d) which required notification be sent to state board of education of any student against whom disciplinary action was taken, relettering Subsec. (e) accordingly, reduced age limitation on offering of alternative educational opportunities to expelled students from 18 to 16 and made offering of such programs to 16 to 18-year-olds made conditional on students’ acceptance of board of education requirements in newly relettered Subsec. (d); P.A. 83-218 added Subsec. (e) limiting requirement that boards of education offer alternative educational opportunities to expelled students between the ages of 16 and 18; P.A. 83-587 made technical change in Subsec. (e); P.A. 84-546 made technical change, substituting references to pupils for references to students in Subsecs. (d) and (e); P.A. 86-398 amended Subsec. (e) by restructuring it and by not requiring boards of education to offer alternative educational opportunities to students expelled for offering controlled substances for sale or distribution and by imposing certain duties on boards of education; P.A. 88-317 amended references to Secs. 4-177 to 4-180 in Subsecs. (a) and (b) to include new sections added to Ch. 54, effective July 1, 1989, and applicable to all agency proceedings commencing on or after that date; P.A. 92-37 added Subsecs. (f) and (g) concerning the notice on the cumulative educational record and the adoption of the decision of another school district, respectively; P.A. 93-35 amended Subsec. (g) to limit the scope of the hearing and added Subsec. (h) concerning procedure when pupil who faces expulsion hearing withdraws from school, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 94-221 amended Subsec. (a) to provide for mandatory expulsion proceedings whenever there is reason to believe that a pupil was in possession of a weapon on school grounds and to provide for mandatory expulsion if it is determined as a result of the proceedings that the pupil did so possess the weapon and expanded Subsec. (e)(1) to include firearms and deadly weapons, to apply the provisions to school-sponsored activities and to provide for the referral to a planning and placement team of special education students; P.A. 95-304 amended Subsec. (a) to provide for expulsions for conduct off school grounds, to change the provisions concerning possession of a weapon and to provide for case by case modification of the period of expulsion, amended Subsec. (d) to limit the requirement for the provision of an alternative educational opportunity for pupils between 16 and 18 years of age to such pupils “expelled for the first time”, to add provision on the counting of expulsions prior to 16 years of age, to remove language concerning special education students and language specifying that an alternative educational placement may include placement in a regular classroom program in another school and to add language on placement in an adult education program, amended Subsec. (e) to add requirement for report to the police in specified cases, to delete requirement for the board to report to the Commissioner of Education referrals based on the sale or distribution of controlled substances and to delete provisions concerning special education students, amended Subsec. (f) to add exception for possession of a firearm or deadly weapon, added Subsec. (i) re special education students and Subsec. (j) re information on expulsions for the possession of weapons and made technical corrections, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 96-146 made technical change in Subsec. (i), effective July 1, 1996; P.A. 96-244 amended Subsec. (a) to rewrite the criteria for expulsion for conduct based on where the conduct took place, to insert Subdiv. and Subpara. designations, to make the existing language Subpara. (A) and to apply it to conduct on school grounds or at a school sponsored activity, in Subpara. (A) to delete requirement that the possession be in violation of Secs. 29-35 or 53a-3, to add the cite to federal law for the definition of “firearm”, to add “dangerous instrument or martial arts weapon”, to add Subpara. (B) re conduct off school grounds and Subpara. (C) re controlled substances, amended Subsec. (e) to apply the federal definition for “firearm”, to add “martial arts weapon” and to make technical changes and amended Subsec. (f) to delete provision requiring removal of the notice of expulsion from the cumulative record if the pupil is not expelled again or suspended one or more times during the 2-year period commencing on the date of return to school from the expulsion, effective July 1, 1996; P.A. 98-139 amended Subsec. (a)(1) to add criteria for consideration in determining whether conduct is seriously disruptive of the educational process, added new Subsec. (j) re readmission and redesignated existing Subsec. (j) as Subsec. (k), effective June 4, 1998 (Revisor’s note: In Subsec. (a)(1)(D) the word “in” in the phrase “whether the conduct involved in the use of alcohol” was deleted editorially by the Revisors for grammatical accuracy); P.A. 00-157 amended Subsec. (d) to specify that boards of education are only required to offer an alternative educational opportunity in accordance with this section, effective July 1, 2001; P.A. 07-122 made a technical change in Subsec. (a)(2), amended Subsec. (c) to designate existing language as Subdiv. (1) and add Subdiv. (2) re program for first time expulsions, and amended Subsec. (f) to designate existing language as Subdiv. (1), make a technical change therein and add Subdiv. (2) re shortened or waived expulsion period, effective July 1, 2007; P.A. 07-217 made a technical change in Subsec. (c), effective July 12, 2007; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 07-3 amended Subsec. (a)(3) to add language re legal services information, effective July 1, 2007; P.A. 09-82 made a technical change in Subsecs. (f)(2) and (h) and added Subsec. (l) re prohibition against expulsion of students who return to school district after serving in a residential placement, effective July 1, 2009; P.A. 11-115 amended Subsec. (l) by designating existing provisions as Subdiv. (2) and amending same to delete “for one year or more, the” and add language re student who has not been expelled by board of education, and by adding Subdiv. (1) re expulsion of student to run concurrently with period of commitment, effective July 1, 2011; P.A. 11-126 amended Subsec. (d) by adding provision re pupils participating in adult education program during period of expulsion shall not be required to withdraw from school and making technical changes, effective July 1, 2011; pursuant to P.A. 12-116, “regional vocational-technical school” was changed editorially by the Revisors to “technical high school” in Subsec. (e), effective July 1, 2012; P.A. 12-120 amended Subsec. (d) by replacing “sixteen” with “seventeen” re placement of pupil in adult education program, effective June 15, 2012; P.A. 14-229 amended Subsec. (c) by making a technical change in Subdiv. (1) and adding provision re exception for a pupil who has been expelled based on possession of a firearm or deadly weapon in Subdiv. (2), and amended Subsec. (f) by deleting existing Subdiv. (1) designator, making exception re expulsion based on possession of firearm or deadly weapon applicable to only pupils in grades nine to twelve, designating existing provision re expungement if pupil graduates from high school as new Subdiv. (1), adding new Subdiv. (2) re expungement before a pupil graduates from high school and deleting former Subdiv. (2), effective July 1, 2014; P.A. 15-96 amended Subsec. (a) by making provisions of Subdiv. (1) applicable to pupils in grades 3 to 12, making provisions of Subdiv. (2) applicable to pupils in grades kindergarten to 12 and making a technical change, effective July 1, 2015; P.A. 16-147 amended Subsec. (a)(3) by adding provision re notice to be given at least 5 business days before hearing and to include information re legal rights and adding provision re representation of pupil and right to postpone hearing in order to obtain representation, amended Subsec. (d) by deleting provision notwithstanding Sec. 10-220(a), by adding provision equating alternative educational opportunity with alternative education with an individualized learning plan, amended Subsec. (e) by deleting provisions re boards of education not required to provide alternative educational opportunity to pupils between ages of 16 and 18 who are expelled for certain conduct endangering persons and by adding references to definition of firearm and references to dangerous instrument and martial arts weapon and by adding provision re controlled substance, amended Subsec. (l)(2) by adding provision re diversionary program, and made technical and conforming changes, effective August 15, 2017; P.A. 17-220 amended Subsec. (d) by adding “No local or regional board of education is required to offer an alternative educational opportunity, except in accordance with this section.”, deleting “equivalent to”, designating existing provision re alternative education as Subdiv. (1) and amending same by adding “if such board provides such alternative education”, adding Subdiv. (2) re standards adopted by State Board of Education, replacing “program” with “opportunity”, and making technical and conforming changes, effective August 15, 2017; P.A. 17-237 amended Subsec. (e) by replacing “technical high school” with “technical education and career school”, effective July 1, 2017; P.A. 17-237 amended Subsec. (e) by replacing “technical high school” with “technical education and career school”, effective August 15, 2017.

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