8 Things Parents Need to Know About School Suspension

School Suspension is a Serious Warning Sign

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Teens are suspended from school for serious rule infractions. If your teen is suspended this is warning sign of problems that must be addressed before they get worse.

School suspension should be taken seriously and dealt with carefully, here’s what parents need to know:

School Suspensions Are Serious

A suspension from school is a serious disciplinary action. It is used when a teen has done something very wrong and the administration feels it best to remove them from the regular classroom for a day or more.

It is the most serious consequence available to school officials. The only other option is expulsion in which the student is permanently kicked out of school.

The Reasons for Suspension

There are many reasons why students may be suspended from school:

  • Assault
  • Possession or use of weapons
  • Possession of drugs or alcohol
  • Property damage
  • Obscenity
  • Theft
  • Defiance, threats, or hazing
  • Sexual harassment

Types of Suspension

There are two types of suspension:  

  • In-school suspension is usually reserved for less serious offenses. Teens serve the suspension in a special classroom, are supervised by school staff and kept separate from school activities.
  • Formal or out-of-school suspension is when a teen is not allowed on campus during the suspension. The only exception is for scheduled meetings with school officials.

The Parent Meeting

If a teen is suspended, a formal meeting is set up with the parents to discuss what behaviors led to the suspension.

It includes recommendations from the school staff to keep the behavior from reoccurring in the future.

Attend this meeting, as it will provide first-hand accounts of your teens’ unacceptable behavior and a discussion of how you can help. It is a good idea for parents to request that the school counselor or psychologist be in attendance.

Why Was Your Teen Suspended?

Get all of the details for why your teen was suspended. The school should provide:

  • Reasons for the suspension.
  • Details of the incident including statements made by school staff.
  • The expected duration of the suspension.
  • Recommendations for helping the student.

Make sure your teen participates in this meeting. It will give them a chance to express their viewpoint and be part of the decision-making process.

Advocate for your teen to receive help in dealing with the factors leading to the suspension. This could include an evaluation for substance abuse, learning disabilities or emotional problems.

The Appeal of a Suspension

Know that you can appeal a suspension. All schools have an appeal process outlined in their suspension policy and most have it available online.

If you get all the facts and believe that the suspension is an unfair response to your teen’s behavior, you do have the right to appeal.

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