The following rules will govern hearings held by the superintendent in assessing misbehavior and appropriate consequences.
1. The hearing will be informal and will be conducted in private.
2. The hearing may be attended by the superintendent or designee, the principal and administrative assistants, along with the student, the student’s parents and, if desired, a representative and any persons the superintendent or designee deems necessary.
3. The principal or other representatives of the school have the burden of proving the misbehavior, the violation of Wilkes County Board of Education policy or school standards or rules and the appropriateness of the recommended consequence for the violation.
4. The school representatives present first the witnesses and documentary evidence against the student. Next, the student or his or her representative may present evidence, including any documents and witnesses. Witnesses should be present only when giving information.
5. Both the principal or school representative and the student or his or her representative may examine the witnesses presented by the other side. The superintendent or designee has the power to limit questioning by any person, if such questioning is unproductive, unnecessarily lengthy, repetitive or irrelevant.
6. The superintendent or designee may consider the school records of the student, as well as documents produced in the hearing and the testimony of any witnesses. Formal rules of evidence do not apply and the superintendent or designee may rely on evidence that a reasonably prudent person would consider in the conduct of serious affairs.
7. The superintendent or designee will provide for making a record of the hearing, including any findings or conclusions made by the superintendent or designee.
APPEAL OF SUPERINTENDENT’S DECISION
The Board of Education will review any records created on the superintendent’s decision and the record created from any administrative hearing held. The superintendent’s decision will be reviewed pursuant to Board of Education policy 4361, Appeals of Long-Term Suspensions. The Board of Education will provide the opportunity for a hearing which follows the rules established for administrative hearings, except the superintendent or designee will represent the school district and the Board of Education or a panel of the Board of Education is the decision maker. If a hearing has been held at the administrative level, the hearing rules may be modified at the Board of Education’s discretion to limit presentations of testimony to the student, student’s parent and representative and the school district’s representative. The student and the superintendent may be represented by legal counsel. The Board of Education also may limit documentation to the records and evidence produced at the administrative hearing, unless there is a substantial threat of unfairness.
BOARD DECISION ON 365 DAYS SUSPENSION OR EXPULSION
The Board of Education will provide an opportunity for a hearing to review the superintendent’s recommendation for 365 days suspension or expulsion. The rules established for the administrative hearing will be followed except the superintendent or designee will represent the school district and the Board of Education or panel of the Board of Education and will be the decision maker. The student and superintendent may be represented by legal counsel. The Board of Education may request additional records or witnesses. A decision will be made on the superintendent’s recommendation following the standards established in Board of Education policy 4353, Long-Term Suspension, 365 Days Suspension, Expulsion.
Legal References: 20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.; 29 U.S.C. 701 et seq.; G.S. 115C-45, -47, -276, -288, -391
Cross References: Long-Term Suspension, 365 Days Suspension, Expulsion (policy 4353), Appeals of LongTerm Suspensions (policy 4361)
Adopted: January 9, 2006