1. Finding out that your child has been suspended
If your child comes home and tells you that they have been suspended, call the school to make sure this is true. If you do not get a notice in writing right away, ask for a written report. The report should give the reasons for the suspension and the number of days your child will be suspended.
2. You may appeal the suspension
You may choose to appeal the suspension. The appeal may not take place before the suspension ends. At the suspension hearing, you can give reasons for disagreeing with the school’s decision to suspend your child. You can also ask the school to remove the suspension from your child’s school record. Winning the appeal should prevent an expulsion hearing for the same suspected misconduct. Plus, removal of a suspension from the student’s record may reduce the chance that the student will be expelled in the future for suspected misconduct. It may also increase the chances of getting an alternative to expulsion (like the SMART program in Chicago) for future acts of misconduct.
3. Ask for schoolwork for during the suspension
You should ask for schoolwork for your child during the suspension. This makes it easier for your child to keep up in school. In Chicago, the disciplinary code says that principals must make sure that students receive schoolwork during the suspension and get the opportunity to take any missed tests or quizzes.
4. Keep track of suspensions
Keep track of each suspension. Note the dates, length of time, and reasons for each suspension. If your child is suspended for more than 10 days in a row, you can challenge the suspension by asking for a due process hearing. If your child is suspended for more than 10 days in the same school year, go over your notes to see if the suspensions look like a pattern of suspensions. If you think there is a pattern of suspensions that total more than 10 days in the same school year, you may request a due process hearing.
5. Look into a BIP or FBA
Your child should have a behavioral intervention plan (BIP) if your child’s behavior is keeping your child or others from learning. You should look at your child’s BIP. If you think your child’s BIP needs to be changed because your child is continuing to have problems at school, you should call the school and ask for a meeting. If your child does not have a BIP and your child’s behavior is keeping your child or others from learning, you should call the school. You should ask the school to do a functional behavioral assessment (FBA) and make a BIP to help with your child’s inappropriate behavior.