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22 Pa. Code § 12.6. Exclusions from school.

§ 12.6. Exclusions from school.

 (a)  The governing board shall define and publish the types of offenses that would lead to exclusion from school. Exclusions affecting certain students with disabilities shall be governed by §  14.143 (relating to disciplinary placements) and 34 CFR 300.519—300.529 (relating to discipline procedures).

 (b)  Exclusion from school may take the form of suspension or expulsion.

   (1)  Suspension is exclusion from school for a period of from 1 to 10 consecutive school days.

     (i)   Suspensions may be given by the principal or person in charge of the public school.

     (ii)   A student may not be suspended until the student has been informed of the reasons for the suspension and given an opportunity to respond. Prior notice of the intended suspension need not be given when it is clear that the health, safety or welfare of the school community is threatened.

     (iii)   The parents or guardians and the superintendent of the district shall be notified immediately in writing when the student is suspended.

     (iv)   When the suspension exceeds 3 school days, the student and parent shall be given the opportunity for an informal hearing consistent with the requirements in §  12.8(c) (relating to hearings).

     (v)   Suspensions may not be made to run consecutively beyond the 10 school day period.

     (vi)   Students shall have the responsibility to make up exams and work missed while being disciplined by suspension and shall be permitted to complete these assignments within guidelines established by the governing board.

   (2)  Expulsion is exclusion from school by the governing board for a period exceeding 10 school days and may be permanent expulsion from the school rolls. Expulsions require a prior formal hearing under §  12.8.

 (c)  During the period prior to the hearing and decision of the governing board in an expulsion case, the student shall be placed in his normal class except as set forth in subsection (d).

 (d)  If it is determined after an informal hearing that a student’s presence in his normal class would constitute a threat to the health, safety or welfare of others and it is not possible to hold a formal hearing within the period of a suspension, the student may be excluded from school for more than 10 school days. A student may not be excluded from school for longer than 15 school days without a formal hearing unless mutually agreed upon by both parties. Any student so excluded shall be provided with alternative education, which may include home study.

 (e)  Students who are under 18 years of age are still subject to the compulsory school attendance law even though expelled and shall be provided an education.

   (1)  The initial responsibility for providing the required education rests with the student’s parents or guardian, through placement in another school, tutorial or correspondence study, or another educational program approved by the district’s superintendent.

   (2)  Within 30 days of action by the governing board, the parents or guardians shall submit to the school district written evidence that the required education is being provided as described in paragraph (1) or that they are unable to do so. If the parents or guardians are unable to provide the required education, the school entity shall, within 10 days of receipt of the notification, make provision for the student’s education. A student with a disability shall be provided educational services as required by the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C.A. § §  1400—1482).

   (3)  If the approved educational program is not complied with, the school entity may take action in accordance with 42 Pa.C.S. Chapter 63 (relating to the Juvenile Act) to ensure that the child will receive a proper education. See §  12.1(b) (relating to free education and attendance).


   The provisions of this §  12.6 amended under sections 2603-B and 2604-B(b)(2)(v) of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P.S. § §  26-2603-B and 26-2604-B(b)(2)(v)).


   The provisions of this §  12.6 amended February 17, 1984, effective February 18, 1984, 14 Pa.B. 520; amended December 2, 2005, effective December 3, 2005, 35 Pa.B. 6510, 6658; amended November 4, 2022, effective November 5, 2022, 52 Pa.B. 6844. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (336403) to (336406).

Notes of Decisions

   Alternative Instruction

   Local school officials may determine the amount and type of alternative instruction necessary and appropriate in each case involving an expelled student. Abremski v. Southeastern School District, 421 A.2d 485 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1980).

   Appeal; No Expulsion

   Where the discipline imposed upon the student was three 15-minute after-school detention sessions, the student has no right to a hearing or appeal, as there is no such recourse provided by the regulations. Schmader v. Warren County School District, 808 A.2d 596 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2002); appeal denied 820 A.2d 163 (Pa. 2003).

   There is no provision in the regulations for an appeal of a school board decision to suspend a student for 10 days or less. In re Appeal of JAD, 782 A.2d 1069 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2001); appeal denied at 796 A.2d 987 (Pa. 2002).

   Due Process Required

   Expulsion is exclusion from school for a period of more than 10 days. Due process requires that a student subject to expulsion be afforded a hearing. In re Appeal of JAD, 782 A.2d 1069 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2001).

   Where student was expelled from school for approximately 30 days, due process required that the student be given a formal hearing. Oravetz v. West Allegheny School District, 74 Pa. D. & C.2d 733 (1975).

   Expulsion Appropriate

   None of the provisions of this section relating to expulsions provide that an expulsion decision, otherwise proper, cannot stand if the expelled student was also suspended for the same offense, and if the period of suspension exceeded the regulatory maximum, due to the failure, for undisclosed reasons, of a student to return to school for a three-day period following a suspension, Porter v. Board of School Directors of Clairton School District, 445 A.2d 1386 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1982).

   In General

   Regulations governing the types of offenses that would lead to exclusion from school may be published by individual schools rather than by the Board of Education itself. Figueroa v. Thompson, 1 Pa. D. & C.3d 266 (1975).

   When the legislature did not delegate power over student conduct and discipline to the State Board of Education, the Board’s regulations pertaining to such matters were invalid and unenforceable. Howard H. v. Wentzel, 372 A.2d 30 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1977).

   Procedural Violations

   Where defendant school district summarily suspended plaintiffs for a period in excess of 3 days and failed to follow notice and hearing procedures, those portions of the suspension served before proper notice and hearing were expunged from plaintiffs’ records. Mullane v. Wyalusing Area School District, 30 D. & C.4th 179 (1997).

   School Board Review

   This regulation clearly provides that the decision to suspend a student for no more than 10 days is within the power of the principal. Thus, although the school board agreed to consider the issue of the students’ suspensions, that special meeting was nothing more than a gratuitous gesture to the students and their parents. The board’s acquiescence to hold the meeting was purely voluntary, and its affirmation of the principal’s decision had no legal consequence. Burns v. Hitchcock, 683 A.2d 1322 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1996).


   School regulations which restricted student smoker’s use of restrooms were not unconstitutional where they were not arbitrary, unreasonable or capricious. Figueroa v. Thompson, 1 Pa. D. & C.3d 266 (1975).

Cross References

   This section cited in 22 Pa. Code §  711.61 (relating to suspension and expulsion).

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