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I. INTRODUCTION
1. Do students have rights when they break school rules?

Yes. Students must follow school rules, but they have the right

to know what those rules are. If a student breaks a school rule,

state law limits the ways that student may be punished and protects

the student’s right to be treated fairly. Also, if a student is

receiving special education services, state and federal law protect

the student’s right to receive a free appropriate public education

(see Section III, Question 9).

II. SCHOOL RULES

1. How do I know what my school's rules and policies are?

State law requires that schools make available to students and

their parents a handbook of school rules and policies. The

handbook should include rules governing student behavior and

attendance. It is usually given out at the beginning of the school

year. If you have not received a copy of your school’s rules and

policies, you should call your school principal and ask for one.

2. Must schools have policies on bullying?

Yes. Connecticut state law

requires schools districts to

have and implement policies to

address bullying, and to

provide prevention and

intervention strategies. The

policies should explain the

right to report the bullying and

the actions the school must take

in response to that report. Ask

the principal or school district

for a copy of the policies if you do not have one. Also ask for a

list of “all verified acts of bullying” to see how often it happens.

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Important Tips about Bullying for Parents/Guardians

❑ Ask a school administrator for a copy of the bullying policies.

❑ Put your concerns in writing.

❑ After you make your report, follow up regularly after with the

principal to see what is being done to address the problem.

The school policy on bullying must:

■ allow anonymous reports by students and written reports by

parents or guardians;

■ require teachers and other school staff who witness bullying

or receive a student's report of bullying to report it in writing

to an administrator;

■ direct what school staff should do when bullying occurs;

■ require school administrators to notify parents or guardians

of all students involved in a confirmed act of bullying and

invite them to attend at least one meting at the school;

■ require interventions (including counseling and discipline)

for students who repeatedly bully or are bullied; and

■ require each school to keep a list of verified bullying.

3. When must the school address bullying?

A school must address bullying

when it happens on school grounds, at

a school activity or on a school bus.

The policies may address bullying that

happens outside of school if it has a

direct and negative impact on a

student’s academic performance or

safety in school.

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school or participate in any school activities. A student cannot be

suspended for more than 10 school days in a row.

Note: Starting July 1, 2009, suspensions shall take place in

school unless the administration determines that the suspended

student poses such a danger to people or property, or such a

disruption of the work in the school that the student shall be

excluded from school during the suspension.

d. Expulsion. (Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-233d)

A student may be expelled from school for any of the reasons

listed for suspension (see above). A student who is expelled from

school is not allowed to come to school or participate in any

classroom or school activities for a specified time up to a

maximum of one calendar year. (See the legal aid pamphlet

School Expulsions).

A student must face expulsion proceedings if he or she:

1) Possesses a gun or other deadly weapon on school grounds

or at a school activity.

2) Uses a firearm or other deadly weapon to commit a crime

off school grounds.

3) Sells or attempts to sell illegal drugs, on or off school grounds.

2. What rights does a student have if he/she has been

removed from the classroom or suspended from school?

Whenever a student is disciplined by a school official, within

24 hours of the disciplinary action the school must inform the

student’s parent or guardian of why and how the student was

punished. The student may have other rights which depend on the

type of punishment:

■ Removal from the classroom. When a student is removed

from the classroom, he/she must be taken to another room in the

school building and the teacher must immediately tell the principal

about the removal. The student does not have a legal right to a

meeting with the principal about the reasons for the removal

III. DISCIPLINE

1. In what ways may a school punish a student?

The most common ways a school may punish a

student are removal from the classroom, in-school

suspension, suspension, and expulsion.

a. Removal from classroom. (Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-233b)

Of the punishments listed above, this is the least serious. A

teacher may remove a student from the classroom if that student is

deliberately causing a serious disruption of the work in the

classroom. A student who is removed from the classroom must be

taken to another part of the school building to remain for the rest

of the classroom period, up to 90 minutes. Removal from the

classroom for 90 minutes or more must be considered a

suspension.

b. In-school suspension. (Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-233f)

A student may be placed on in-school suspension if he/she has:

● seriously disrupted work in the classroom or school;

● violated a school rule or policy; or

● put himself, other students, or school property in danger.

In-school suspension means the student is allowed to come to

school but is not allowed to participate in classroom activities. A

student may not be placed on in-school suspension for more than 5

school days in a row (10 school days in a row starting July 1,

2009).

c. Suspension. (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-233c)

A student may be suspended from school for conduct on

school grounds or at a school-sponsored activity for any of the

reasons listed for in-school suspension (see above). In addition, a

student may be suspended for conduct off school grounds if the

conduct violated a school rule or policy and seriously disrupted

work in the school. A suspended student is not allowed to come to

What Is Bullying?
“Bullying” includes a variety of
behaviors that are intended to
ridicule, harass, humiliate or
intimidate other student(s).
The behavior can be physical,
verbal, or psychological.
Examples: hitting, kicking,
threatening, taunting, name
calling, spreading rumors, etc.
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school or participate in any school activities. A student cannot be
suspended for more than 10 school days in a row.
Note: Starting July 1, 2009, suspensions shall take place in
school unless the administration determines that the suspended
student poses such a danger to people or property, or such a
disruption of the work in the school that the student shall be
excluded from school during the suspension.
d. Expulsion. (Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-233d)
A student may be expelled from school for any of the reasons
listed for suspension (see above). A student who is expelled from
school is not allowed to come to school or participate in any
classroom or school activities for a specified time up to a
maximum of one calendar year. (See the legal aid pamphlet
School Expulsions).
A student must face expulsion proceedings if he or she:
1) Possesses a gun or other deadly weapon on school grounds
or at a school activity.
2) Uses a firearm or other deadly weapon to commit a crime
off school grounds.
3) Sells or attempts to sell illegal drugs, on or off school grounds.
2. What rights does a student have if he/she has been
removed from the classroom or suspended from school?
Whenever a student is disciplined by a school official, within
24 hours of the disciplinary action the school must inform the
student’s parent or guardian of why and how the student was
punished. The student may have other rights which depend on the
type of punishment:
■ Removal from the classroom. When a student is removed
from the classroom, he/she must be taken to another room in the
school building and the teacher must immediately tell the principal
about the removal. The student does not have a legal right to a
meeting with the principal about the reasons for the removal
III. DISCIPLINE
1. In what ways may a school punish a student?
The most common ways a school may punish a
student are removal from the classroom, in-school
suspension, suspension, and expulsion.
a. Removal from classroom. (Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-233b)
Of the punishments listed above, this is the least serious. A
teacher may remove a student from the classroom if that student is
deliberately causing a serious disruption of the work in the
classroom. A student who is removed from the classroom must be
taken to another part of the school building to remain for the rest
of the classroom period, up to 90 minutes. Removal from the
classroom for 90 minutes or more must be considered a
suspension.
b. In-school suspension. (Conn. Gen. Stat. §10-233f)
A student may be placed on in-school suspension if he/she has:
● seriously disrupted work in the classroom or school;
● violated a school rule or policy; or
● put himself, other students, or school property in danger.
In-school suspension means the student is allowed to come to
school but is not allowed to participate in classroom activities. A
student may not be placed on in-school suspension for more than 5
school days in a row (10 school days in a row starting July 1,
2009).
c. Suspension. (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-233c)
A student may be suspended from school for conduct on
school grounds or at a school-sponsored activity for any of the
reasons listed for in-school suspension (see above). In addition, a
student may be suspended for conduct off school grounds if the
conduct violated a school rule or policy and seriously disrupted
work in the school. A suspended student is not allowed to come to
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