“take into account the developmental differences of students at various stages of childhood and
adolescence, as well as the cognitive and emotional maturity of the students served.”
Given national data that shows that expulsions and suspensions regularly occur in preschools,
this model code also includes strict restrictions on expulsion and suspension of preschool
children. Districts that run preschool or pre-K programs should consult the specific federal
guidance on discipline of children in early childhood settings148 and the requirements of their
program’s funding stream (e.g. Head Start).
Our district or school limits the number of days the student is removed from school to as few as
possible given our philosophy that students should be in school and learning. We provide all
students, regardless of background or demographic characteristics, with adequate and meaningful
due process prior to excluding a student from school for any length of time.
School staff should complete the checklist below before imposing a suspension or expulsion to
determine whether other forms of intervention and support should be attempted first.
Suspensions of more than three days are to be used only in certain situations as is defined further
Is the offense eligible for suspension?
Suspension and expulsion are prohibited for:
Being late to school or class or being absent or
Violating school dress code, cell phone policies or uniform rules.
This behavior can be handled through in-school interventions and consequences.
Would the student’s continuing presence in school cause a threat to school safety
or a disruption to other students’ learning opportunities?
Short-term suspensions are only allowed if the student’s continuing presence in
school would pose a threat to school safety or a disruption to other students’
School staff should be particularly mindful of this standard when imposing out of
school discipline for offense categories that rely principally on the subjective
interpretation of school staff (e.g., insubordinate behavior, defiance, disobedience,
146 U.S. DEP’T OF EDUC., GUIDING PRINCIPLES, supra note 8, at 13–14.
147 U.S. Dep’t of Health and Human Serv. and U.S. Dep’t of Educ., Dear Colleague Letter (Dec. 10, 2014),
148 U.S. DEP’T OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERV. & U.S. DEP’T OF EDUC., POLICY STATEMENT ON EXPULSION AND
SUSPENSION POLICIES IN EARLY CHILDHOOD SETTINGS (Dec. 2014), https://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/school-
Disciplinary Checklist: To Be Used Prior to Imposing
Suspensions or Expulsions