Metcalf & Beal
Types of School Discipline
There are numerous types of school discipline that may be imposed if a student engages in improper conduct.

Academic Sanctions

An academic sanction involves keeping a child back in a certain grade or withholding a degree. It is well accepted that academic sanctions should not be imposed for disciplinary misconduct. Academic sanctions are only permitted if misconduct is directly related to academic performance.

Long-Term Suspensions or Expulsions

Long-term suspensions or expulsions for the remainder of the school term, or permanently, may require more formal procedures. A long-term suspension generally lasts ten days in duration. There are many states that limit the maximum duration of a long-term suspension to a shorter time frame.

Depending upon the severity of the student's misconduct, the student may be expelled. The student may be expelled for:

  • Carrying or bringing any type of weapon onto school grounds.
  • Theft.
  • Violence towards other students or school personnel.

When a student is expelled they are not permitted to return to the school where they were expelled from during that school year or typically in any following years. There is a wave now of zero tolerance in school settings. Zero tolerance means that school officials will not tolerate certain types of improper behavior.

Short-Term Suspensions

A short-term suspension does not have a fixed definition with respect to duration of time. Typically, a short-term suspension usually lasts for up to ten days in duration. Most state statutes designate the maximum duration of short-term suspensions. Many state statutes limit the duration of a short-term suspension at five days or less.

School Transfers

If the student engages in misconduct, they may be transferred to another school. Depending upon the state and the school district, a school transfer may or may not be an option as a type of discipline.

Copyright 2006 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.


This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.