Suspension Due Process

(SFUSD Board Policy & SFUSD Administrative Regulation 5144.1)

Suspension removes a student from their classroom and/or the school campus, and results in the student losing important academic time.  Students are urged to seek assistance and support from a staff member with whom they have a positive relationship, in order to avoid making a behavior choice that could result in a suspension being issued.  Staff are encouraged to intervene and provide support and/or a restorative process in order to assist the student(s) to deescalate behavior and resolve any conflicts or misbehavior that could result in suspension and/or referral for expulsion.

Jurisdiction for Suspension

(CA Education Code 48900(s))

No student shall be suspended or expelled for any of the acts enumerated above unless that act is related to school activity or school attendance occurring within a school under the jurisdiction of the superintendent or principal or occurring within any other school district. 

A student may be suspended or expelled for acts which are enumerated in CA Education Code 48900 and related to school activity or attendance which occur at any time, including but not limited to, any of the following:

  • a.  While on school grounds.
  • b. While going to or coming from school.
  • c.  During the lunch period, whether on or off the campus.
  • d. During, or while going to or coming from, a school sponsored activity.

Suspension by a Teacher/Required Due Process

(CA Education Code 48910)

Maximum Days of Suspension:

Any teacher or substitute teacher may suspend a student from their classroom for the day of suspension plus the following day for any of the acts described in CA Education Code 48900.

Parent/Guardian/Caregiver Conference

The teacher who issued the suspension shall immediately report the suspension to the principal of the school and send the student to the principal for appropriate action.The teacher shall ask the parent/guardian/caregiver of the student to attend a parent/guardian/caregiver-teacher conference regarding the suspension.

Classroom Visitation

A teacher may request, when reasonable, a parent/guardian/caregiver to attend the classroom from which their child was suspended by the teacher for offenses, which involve defiance, disruption, committing an obscene act, and/or engaging in habitual profanity or vulgarity.  If a teacher wishes to have the parent/guardian/caregiver visit the classroom, the principal shall send a written notice to the parent/guardian/caregiver stating that attendance by the parent/guardian/caregiver is pursuant to law (CA Education Code 48900.1).  This requirement shall apply only to a parent/guardian/caregiver who is actually living with the student.

The teacher shall ensure the principal or designee meets with the parent/guardian/caregiver after completing the classroom visitation and before leaving the school site.  The principal or designee shall contact parents/guardians/caregivers who do not respond to the teacher’s request to attend school.  The principal or designee shall follow procedures pursuant to this section.  (CA Education Code 48900.1)

Supports During In-School Suspension

Consistent in-school options must be available to students who have been suspended by a teacher, with appropriately credentialed intensive supervision, behavioral counseling, and completion of schoolwork as required by CA Education Code 48911.1.

Suspension by the Principal / Required Due Process

(CA Education Code 48911)

Maximum Days of Suspension: 

The duration of a suspension by the Principal is limited to 5 consecutive school days for any one incident, up to a maximum of 20 school days during the school year.

A recommendation to expel should be made no later than the fifth day of suspension.  (CA Education Code 48903)

Informal Conference: 

Before suspending the student, the principal or designee shall have an informal conference with the student and when practicable, the teacher, supervisor, or school employee who referred the student to the principal.  At the informal conference, the student shall be informed of the reason for the disciplinary action and the evidence against him/her, and shall be given an opportunity to present their version and evidence in their defense.

Emergency Situation: 

A student may be suspended without a conference if the principal or designee determines that an emergency situation exists.  Emergency situation means a situation determined by the principal, the principal’s designee, or the superintendent, to constitute a clear and present danger to the life, safety, or health of students or school personnel. 

If a student is suspended without a conference prior to suspension, both the parent/guardian/caregiver and the student shall be notified of the student’s right to such a conference, and the student’s right to return to school for the purpose of a conference. 

The conference shall be held within two school days, unless the student waives this right or is physically unable to attend for any reason including, but not limited to, incarceration or hospitalization.  The conference shall then be held as soon as the student is physically able to return to school for the conference.

Notice of Suspension: 

At the time of suspension, a school employee shall make a reasonable effort to contact the student’s parent or guardian in person or by telephone.  If the parent/guardian/caregiver cannot be reached, the student is to remain on campus until the parent/guardian/caregiver is contacted or to the end of the school day.  Whenever a student is suspended from school, the parent or guardian shall be notified in writing of the suspension.

Re-Entry Conference:

Every student who is suspended from school shall receive a re-entry conference and an intervention plan to be developed with the student and guardian/parent(s) that shall include clear documented behavioral and academic expectations for the student, and any additional services or support that school staff will provide to assist the student in meeting those expectations.  The parent/guardian shall respond without delay to any request from school officials to attend a re-entry conference, but a parent/guardian’s failure to participate shall not prevent the student from returning to school after the suspension, nor will it prevent the school and student from holding the conference or developing the intervention plan.  

Suspension Pending Expulsion: 

In a case where expulsion from any school is being processed, the Superintendent or designee may extend the duration of the suspension until the Board has rendered its final decision in the action. 

An extension of the suspension pending the Board’s decision regarding the expulsion may be granted only if the Superintendent or designee (Student, Family and Community Support Division) has determined, following a meeting in which the student and the parent/guardian are invited to participate, that the presence of the student would cause a danger to persons or property or a threat of disrupting the instructional process.

Foster Youth:  The foster youth’s attorney and child welfare agency representative or homeless student’s liaison must be notified of the expulsion proceedings and invited to participate in the extension of suspension meeting.  (CA Education Code 48853.5, 48911).

Counseling Center

To the extent feasible, students shall be permitted to serve out of school suspension instead of serving the suspension at home at the: 

SFUSD Counseling Center

44 Gough Street, Suite 107
San Francisco, CA 94103  
Phone: (415) 241-6024 or (415) 241-6038 
Fax: (415) 621-1567 

Homework/Assignments: 

The principal or designee shall ensure that the student's teacher provides the student with the homework that the student would otherwise have been assigned. If a homework assignment is requested and is turned in to the teacher by the student either upon the student's return from suspension or within the timeframe originally prescribed by the teacher, whichever is later, and is not graded before the end of the academic term, the homework assignment shall not be included in the calculation of the student's overall grade in the class. (CA Education Code 48913.5)

The teacher of any class from which a student is suspended may require the student to complete any assignments and tests missed during the suspension. (Education Code 48913)

The teacher of any class from which a student is suspended may require the suspended student to complete any assignments and tests missed during the suspension. (CA Education Code 48913)

Community Service: 

As part of or instead of disciplinary action, the principal of a school or designee may require that a student perform community service on school grounds or, with written permission of the parent or guardian of the student, off school grounds, during the student’s non-school hours.  It is advisable that this approach be combined with a Restorative Practices approach such as a conference in which the student and other affected members of the school community delineate the harm done, develop a plan to promote future positive behavior, and reintegration of the student into the school and classroom. 

“Community service” may include, but is not limited to, work performed in the community or on school grounds in the areas of outdoor beautification,  community or campus betterment, and teacher, peer, or youth assistance programs.  This section does not apply if a student has been suspended, pending expulsion, pursuant to Section 48915.

Parent/Guardian/Caregiver Request to Meet to Discuss a Student's Suspension

In accordance with CAState Education Code 48914, if a suspension is ordered by a principal pursuant to CA Education Code 48900, the parent/guardian/caregiver may request a meeting to discuss:

  1. The cause for suspension,
  2. The duration of the suspension,
  3. The school/district policy involved, and
  4. Other matters pertinent to the suspension.

Special Education Students:

Please refer to “Suspension and Expulsion Procedures for Special Education Students” in chapter 6.3.7 for additional rights.