< Back to S. 2404 (108th Congress, 2003–2004)

Text of the Fairness in School Discipline Act of 2004

This bill was introduced on May 11, 2004, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of May 11, 2004 (Introduced).

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Source: GPO

S 2404 IS

108th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 2404

Entitled the ‘Fairness in School Discipline Act of 2004’.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

May 11, 2004

Mr. MILLER introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


A BILL

Entitled the ‘Fairness in School Discipline Act of 2004’.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Fairness in School Discipline Act of 2004’.

SEC. 2. PURPOSES.

    The purposes of this Act are--

      (1) to restore moral authority to the public schools and support their efforts to create and maintain an orderly school environment conducive to learning;

      (2) to correct widespread misperceptions regarding Federal due process requirements in the public school context; and

      (3) to enforce the minimum Federal due process obligations of the public schools, pursuant to section 5 of the 14th amendment to the United States Constitution, and in accordance with the interpretation of the due process clause by the United States Supreme Court in Goss v. Lopez (419 U.S. 565 (1975)).

SEC. 3. DUE PROCESS REQUIRED BY FEDERAL LAW.

    (a) Suspensions of 10 Days or Less- In connection with suspension of public school students for 10 days or less, due process requires that the principal or her designee explain to the student what he is accused of doing and the basis for the accusation and give the student an opportunity to tell his side of the story in an informal, non-adversarial meeting. No right of appeal from the decision of the principal is necessary to satisfy this statute. The meeting should typically take place before the student is removed from school; provided, however, that where the principal or her designee determines that the student presents a continuing danger to person or property or may be disruptive to the academic process, the student may be removed immediately. The procedures described in this subsection shall follow soon after the removal.

    (b) Suspensions of More Than 10 Days- In connection with suspension of public school students for more than 10 days, the following due process protections are required in addition to those described in subsection (a):

      (1) The student and his parent or guardian should be notified of the suspension and be given an opportunity to attend an informal, non-adversarial follow-up meeting with the principal at the school or other location designated by the principal.

      (2) Where the meeting described in subsection (a) does not occur before the student is removed from school, the due process required by subsections (a) and (b)(1) may be afforded the student at one meeting described in subsection (b)(1).

      (3) The student shall be permitted a single appeal of the principal’s decision to a body designated by the school board or a school-based committee of teachers, parents and administrators. No right of appeal from the decision of the designated body is necessary to satisfy this statute.

    (c) WAIVER- The student shall be deemed to waive his procedural rights by remaining silent, or, where the hearing is held after the suspension, shall be deemed to waive his procedural rights by failing to appear.

    (d) OTHER CLAIMS- Nothing in this Act shall prevent any person from bringing a claim based on any other legally cognizable right in a court of competent jurisdiction.

    (e) FEDERAL MINIMUM- Nothing in this statute should be construed to prohibit any State or local government or local education authority from providing additional procedural protections not required by Federal law.

    (f) SEVERABILITY- If any provision of this Act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of this Act that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this Act are declared to be severable.