ERIC Number: ED108297
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1975-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Student Discipline, Suspension and Expulsion. A Legal Memorandum.
National Association of Secondary School Principals, Reston, VA.
In Goss v. Lopez and Wood v. Strickland, the U.S. Supreme Court spelled out what due process means as it applies to suspension and expulsion of public school students. In Goss v. Lopez, the Court decided that a student who is suspended for up to ten days without a hearing is entitled to due process of law: "students . . . must be given some kind of notice and afforded some kind of hearing . . . . In most cases, the disciplinarian may informally discuss the alleged misconduct with the student minutes after it has occurred." The Court also emphasized that "longer suspensions or expulsions . . . may require more formal procedures." In Wood v. Strickland, the Court ruled that, although school board members are entitled to a "qualified" privilege against damages for wrongful acts committed while acting in good faith, they are not protected against damages if they knew, or reasonably should have known, that their actions would violtate the constitutional rights of a student. However, the Court stressed that a mere mistake in carrying out his duties should not make a board member liable. Furthermore, the Court stated, "It is not the role of the federal courts to set aside decisions of school administrators which the court may view as lacking a basis in wisdom or compassion." (Author/JG)
Descriptors: Board of Education Policy, Boards of Education, Discipline Policy, Due Process, Elementary Secondary Education, Expulsion, Legal Responsibility, School Law, Student Rights, Supreme Court Litigation, Suspension
National Association of Secondary School Principals, 1904 Association Drive, Reston, Virginia 22091 ($0.25, quantity discounts)
Publication Type: Guides - General
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Association of Secondary School Principals, Reston, VA.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Goss v Lopez; Wood v Strickland