Section VII

DUE PROCESS PROCEDURES

Due Process Procedures for Investigation of Incidents and Parent Notification Regarding the Suspension/Expulsion of Students: When a student is sent to the principal or his / her designee for any disciplinary action or conference concerning an incident, the steps listed below must be followed. These guidelines for disciplinary action constitute a hearing for the student and represent the due process procedures that are required by law.

The Administrator:
  • Advises the student of the charge(s).
  • Advises the student of the facts on which the charge(s) are based.
  • Gives the student an opportunity to respond to the charge(s) and to provide his/her version. The student is asked to give a written or verbal statement concerning the incident.
  • Provides written verification of the proposed disciplinary action to the parent(s)/guardian.
  • Makes every effort to notify the student’s parent(s)/guardian by telephone, if action is going to be taken immediately to suspend the student.Provides written notification of the action taken to the District Hearing Officer if the suspension is longer than ten (10) days or if the anticipated action is long-term suspension or expulsion.
  • Students whose presence poses a continuing danger to persons or property or an ongoing threat of disruption may be removed from school immediately. The notice of charges, explanation of facts and opportunity to present his/her version of what occurred, shall be provided as soon as practicable thereafter.
  • For purposes of Due Process Procedures, “days” mean school days unless otherwise specifically noted. For example: “within three (3) school days after receipt” means if the parent post marked the appeal notice on Monday, the principal’s written response must be received by the parent on the following Thursday. After the regular school year has officially ended, “school days” means school administrative office working days.

LONG-TERM SUSPENSION OR EXPULSION – DISTRICT HEARING OFFICER

Principal’s Recommendation

The principal notifies the student and parent(s)/guardian that the student will be recommended for long-term suspension or expulsion. The student may be suspended up to ten (10) school days by the principal.

The principal will notify the Los Lunas Schools District Hearing Officer of the suspension and ensure that a hearing date is set for the student according to district procedure. A long-term suspension will be within the range of 11 to 180 days. Expulsions will be for at least one calendar year and may be permanent. The student and parent will be advised by the district that an administrative hearing officer will be conducting a hearing at the Los Lunas Schools Administrative Offices (119 Luna Ave., Los Lunas, NM 87031) regarding the infraction, as well as the time and date of the hearing.

Every effort will be made to conduct the hearing within ten (10) school days after the date of the suspension; however, when this is not possible, the parent and the school will collaboratively determine the time and date of the hearing. The parent/ guardian must sign a waiver to this effect. In order to protect the privacy of the students involved, the hearings are closed. Parents may bring an attorney or other representative into a closed hearing and may bring others to speak in support of the student. However, if an attorney is to be present, the school must have at least seventy-two (72) hours’ notice in order to have their own legal representation.

Individuals participating in the hearing are subject to a security check. Admittance may be denied any person refusing to adhere with the District Hearing Officer’s directions regarding security, conduct, or general operating procedures of the hearing. No recording (audio or video), filming, or photography is permitted during District Hearing Officer’s review by parties other than by the District Hearing Officer.

The Hearing Procedure is as follows:
The District Hearing Officer conducts the hearing. The District Hearing Officer opens the hearing and introduces all present. Anyone present who will be called to testify will be sworn in by the District Hearing Officer and must pledge to tell the truth.
The facts of the incident are presented to the District Hearing Officer, including the presentation of materials and documentation. The District Hearing Officer will call upon the school personnel and others to present the testimony and evidence of the student’s violations.
After the school’s evidence is presented, the District Hearing Officer will call upon the student or their representative to present the student’s testimony to the District Hearing Officer. Parents/guardians and others present on behalf of the student may testify before the District Hearing Officer. Letters of support may be submitted for the District Hearing Officer’s consideration. Witnesses may be called but may not remain for the entire testimony unless they are the parent, guardian, representative, or the student.

At any point during the hearing, the District Hearing Officer may ask questions of those testifying. The student’s school records are reviewed by the District Hearing Officer and questions may be asked regarding student attendance, achievement, discipline history, or any other matter related to the history of the student. The student’s parents or guardians are permitted by the District Hearing Officer to ask questions to clarify any point they do not understand. When all evidence has been presented and there are no additional questions, the District Hearing Officer will ask the school principal to give closing comments with his/her recommended sanction and rationale for the recommended long-term suspension or expulsion to the District Hearing Officer. The District Hearing Officer will decide whether to uphold the recommendation of the principal either in whole or in part or deny it entirely. The District Hearing Officer may render a decision at the time of the hearing or may want to take the case under advisement and may withhold comment until the he / she has time to reflect upon the testimony. In either case, the parent will receive written notification of the District Hearing Officer’s decision within seven (7) calendar days following the hearing. The District Hearing Officer will close the hearing. Students, parents, school representatives, witnesses, and any others present will be dismissed. Recorded minutes will be kept of all District Hearing Officer’s sessions, and copies of the minutes will be made available to parents upon request.

APPEAL TO THE SUPERINTENDENT

The student, parent/guardian or their representative may appeal the decision of the District Hearing Officer if done within ten (10) school days after the student is informed of the hearing officer’s decision. A student, parent/guardian or their representative is aggrieved by the hearing officer’s decision, after the formal hearing shall have the right to have the decision reviewed.

The Superintendent shall be bound by the hearing officer’s factual determinations unless the student persuades the Superintendent that a finding of fact was arbitrary, capricious or unsupported by substantial evidence or that new evidence has come to light since the hearing and which could not with reasonable diligence have been discovered in time for the hearing and that this evidence would manifestly change the factual determination. Upon any such finding, the Superintendent shall have the discretion to receive new evidence, or reconsider evidence introduced at the hearing. In the absence of any such finding, the review shall be limited into the appropriateness of the penalty imposed.

The review procedure is as follows:
The Superintendent will review the evidence as presented in the formal hearing. The tape recording, written documentation and other forms of media will be considered. If new evidence has come to light, the student, parent/guardian or their representative shall provide such evidence in written form to the Superintendent’s Executive Assistant upon written request for the review by the Superintendent at the Los Lunas Schools Administrative Offices (119 Luna Ave. Los Lunas, New Mexico 87031). After review of the evidence the Superintendent will render a decision to uphold or modify the District Hearing Officer’s decision. The Superintendent will prepare a written decision, including concise reasons, and mail or deliver it to the principal, the hearing officer and the student, parent/guardian, or their representative within ten (10) working days after the review is concluded.

APPEAL TO THE SCHOOL BOARD

The Los Lunas School Board may consider appeals of the Superintendent’s decisions in accordance with the procedure set forth herein. Within three (3) school days after the receipt of the decision of the Superintendent, a parent may request an appeal of that decision, in writing, to the Los Lunas Schools Board President. A review of the case by the members of the Los Lunas School Board may be granted based upon specific reasons to support the request. Within ten (10) school days the student, parent or their representative will be advised by the district that the Los Lunas Schools Board of Education will be conducting a hearing at the Los Lunas Schools Administrative Offices (119 Luna Ave., Los Lunas, NM 87031) regarding the appeal, as well as, the time and date of the hearing. Every effort will be made to conduct the hearing within ten (10) school days after the date the School Board President is notified that the decision of the Superintendent has been appealed, however, when this is not possible the parent and the School Board President will collaboratively determine the time and date of the hearing. The parent / guardian must sign a waiver to this effect. In order to protect the privacy of the student(s) (FERPA) involved, the hearings are closed. Parents may bring an attorney or other representative into a closed hearing and may bring others to speak in support of the student. However, if an attorney is to be present, the Los Lunas Schools Board of Education must have at least seventy-two (72) hours’ notice in order to have their own legal representation.

Individuals participating in the hearing are subject to a security check. Admittance may be denied any person refusing to adhere with the School Board President’s directions regarding security, conduct, or general operating procedures of the hearing. No recording (audio or video), filming, or photography is permitted during Los Lunas School Board’s review by parties other than the Board itself.

The format for Los Lunas School Board appeal hearings will be as follows:

The President of the Board calls the meeting to order.
The President of the Board requests a motion to go into Closed Executive Session as provided for in New Mexico State Statute, Annotated. If the motion is seconded and approval is voted, the Board goes into closed, executive session.
The President of the Board states the procedure:
The School Board has the right and responsibility to serve as the source of final appeal in all appeals in the entire disciplinary process in accordance with the regulations of the State of New Mexico.
An appeal hearing is an administrative hearing, not a court of law, and the Board is not bound by technical rules of evidence and the Board will decide the admissibility of evidence. Any objections as to the admissibility of evidence shall be addressed to the President of the Board and determined by a majority of the Board.
The school administration and student, along with any witnesses, shall be given the opportunity to be heard and give testimony that is related to the issue in question.

The Board may direct questions to all parties at interest for points of clarification and/or under-standing during or after the evidence has been presented. After the appeal hearing, the Board will render its decision in writing within thirty (30) school days and provide a copy to the student and his or her parents.

The Hearing Procedure is as follows:
The School Board President conducts the hearing. The School Board President opens the hearing and introduces all present. The School Board President swears in witnesses. Witnesses will be separated after this step. The School Board President invites the superintendent or his/her designee to make opening statements. The student’s representative is extended the opportunity to make an opening statement. The facts of the incident are presented by the Superintendent or his/her designee, including the presentation of materials and documentation. The School Board President calls upon school personnel and others to present the testimony and evidence of the student’s violations to the Board. After the school’s evidence is presented, the School Board President calls upon the student or their representative to present the student’s testimony to the School Board. Parents/guardians and others present on behalf of the student may testify before the School Board. Letters of support may be submitted for the School Board’s consideration. Witnesses may be called but may not remain after their testimony unless they are the parent, guardian, representative, or the student themselves. At any point during the hearing, members of the Board of Education may ask questions of those testifying. The student’s school records may be reviewed by the Board of Education and questions may be asked regarding student attendance, achievement, discipline history, or any other matter related to the history of the student. The student’s parents or guardians are permitted by the School Board to ask questions to clarify any point they do not understand.

When all evidence has been presented and there are no additional questions, the School Board President will ask the Superintendent or his/her designee to give closing comments with his/her recommended sanction and rationale for the recommended long-term suspension or expulsion to the School Board. The student or their representative will be given the opportunity to make a closing statement. All parties except the Board Members adjourn. The Board deliberates their decision in closed executive session (private). The School Board will decide whether to uphold the recommendation of the Superintendent, either in whole or in part or deny it entirely.

The Board will return from closed executive session and invite the student, their parents or guardians and their representatives back into the room. School district representatives including the Superintendent and his / her designee will be invited back into the room. At this point the hearing is still a closed proceeding. The Board may render a decision at the time of the hearing or may want to take the case under advisement and withhold comment until the Board has time to reflect upon the testimony. In either case, the parent will receive written notification of the Board’s decision within thirty (30) calendar days following the hearing. The President of the Board will request a motion to go into Regular Session as provided for in New Mexico State Statutes, Annotated. If the motion is seconded and approval is voted, the Board goes back into regular session. The School Board President requests a motion to adjourn the meeting. If the motion is seconded and approval is voted, the meeting will be adjourned. Students, parents, school representatives, witnesses, and any others present will be dismissed. Recorded minutes will be kept of all the Superintendent’s appeal hearings, and copies of the minutes will be made available to parents upon request.
Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2019 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.