15-841. Responsibilities of pupils; expulsion; alternative education programs; community service; placement review committee

A. Pupils shall comply with the rules, pursue the required course of study and submit to the authority of the teachers, the administrators and the governing board. A teacher may send a pupil to the principal's office in order to maintain effective discipline in the classroom.  If a pupil is sent to the principal's office pursuant to this subsection, the principal shall employ appropriate discipline management techniques that are consistent with rules adopted by the school district governing board.  A teacher may remove a pupil from the classroom if either of the following conditions exists:

1. The teacher has documented that the pupil has repeatedly interfered with the teacher's ability to communicate effectively with the other pupils in the classroom or with the ability of the other pupils to learn.

2. The teacher has determined that the pupil's behavior is so unruly, disruptive or abusive that it seriously interferes with the teacher's ability to communicate effectively with the other pupils in the classroom or with the ability of the other pupils to learn.

B. A pupil may be expelled for continued open defiance of authority, continued disruptive or disorderly behavior, violent behavior that includes use or display of a dangerous instrument or a deadly weapon as defined in section 13-105, use or possession of a gun, or excessive absenteeism.  A pupil may be expelled for excessive absenteeism only if the pupil has reached the age or completed the grade after which school attendance is not required as prescribed in section 15-802.  A school district may expel pupils for actions other than those listed in this subsection as the school district deems appropriate.

C. A school district may refuse to admit any pupil who has been expelled from another educational institution or who is in the process of being expelled from another educational institution.

D. A school district may annually or upon the request of any pupil or the parent or guardian review the reasons for expulsion and consider readmission.

E. As an alternative to suspension or expulsion, the school district may reassign any pupil to an alternative education program if the pupil does not meet the requirements for participation in the alternative to suspension program prescribed in subsection H of this section and if good cause exists for expulsion or for a long-term suspension.

F. A school district may also reassign a pupil to an alternative educational program if the pupil refuses to comply with rules, refuses to pursue the required course of study or refuses to submit to the authority of teachers, administrators or the governing board.

G. A school district or charter school shall expel from school for a period of not less than one year a pupil who is determined to have brought a firearm to a school within the jurisdiction of the school district or the charter school, except that the school district or charter school may modify this expulsion requirement for a pupil on a case by case basis. This subsection shall be construed consistently with the requirements of the individuals with disabilities education act (20 United States Code sections 1400 through 1420). For the purposes of this subsection:

1. "Expel" may include removing a pupil from a regular school setting and providing educational services in an alternative setting.

2. "Firearm" means a firearm as defined in 18 United States Code section 921.

H. A school district or charter school shall expel from school for at least one year a pupil who is determined to have threatened an educational institution as defined in section 13-2911, except that the school district or charter school may modify this expulsion requirement for a pupil on a case by case basis if the pupil participates in mediation, community service, restitution or other programs in which the pupil takes responsibility for the results of the threat.  This subsection shall be construed consistently with the requirements of the individuals with disabilities education act (20 United States Code sections 1400 through 1420).  A school district may reassign a pupil who is subject to expulsion pursuant to this subsection to an alternative education program pursuant to subsection E of this section if the pupil participates in mediation, community service, restitution or other programs in which the pupil takes responsibility for the threat.  A school district or charter school may require the pupil's parent or guardian to participate in mediation, community service, restitution or other programs in which the parent or guardian takes responsibility with the pupil for the threat.  For the purposes of this subsection, "threatened an educational institution" means to interfere with or disrupt an educational institution by doing any of the following:

1. For the purpose of causing, or in reckless disregard of causing, interference with or disruption of an educational institution, threatening to cause physical injury to any employee of an educational institution or any person attending an educational institution.

2. For the purpose of causing, or in reckless disregard of causing, interference with or disruption of an educational institution, threatening to cause damage to any educational institution, the property of any educational institution, the property of any employee of an educational institution or the property of any person attending an educational institution.

3. Going on or remaining on the property of any educational institution for the purpose of interfering with or disrupting the lawful use of the property or in any manner as to deny or interfere with the lawful use of the property by others.

4. Refusing to obey a lawful order to leave the property of an educational institution.

I. By January 1, 2001, each school district shall establish an alternative to suspension program in consultation with local law enforcement officials or school resource officers. The school district governing board shall adopt policies to determine the requirements for participation in the alternative to suspension program.  Pupils who would otherwise be subject to suspension pursuant to this article and who meet the school district's requirements for participation in the alternative to suspension program shall be transferred to a location on school premises that is isolated from other pupils or transferred to a location that is not on school premises.  The alternative to suspension program shall be discipline intensive and require academic work, and may require community service, groundskeeping and litter control, parent supervision, and evaluation or other appropriate activities. The community service, groundskeeping and litter control, and other appropriate activities may be performed on school grounds or at any other designated area.

J. Each school shall establish a placement review committee to determine the placement of a pupil if a teacher refuses to readmit the pupil to the teacher's class and to make recommendations to the governing board regarding the readmission of expelled pupils. The process for determining the placement of a pupil in a new class or replacement in the existing class shall not exceed three business days from the date the pupil was first removed from the existing class.  The principal shall not return a pupil to the classroom from which the pupil was removed without the teacher's consent unless the committee determines that the return of the pupil to that classroom is the best or only practicable alternative.  The committee shall be composed of two teachers who are employed at the school and who are selected by the faculty members of the school and one administrator who is employed by the school and who is selected by the principal.  The faculty members of the school shall select a third teacher to serve as an alternate member of the committee.  If the teacher who refuses to readmit the pupil is a member of the committee, that teacher shall be excused from participating in the determination of the pupil's readmission and the alternate teacher member shall replace that teacher on the committee until the conclusion of all matters relating to that pupil's readmission.