School Discipline: Suspensions & Expulsions

In North Carolina, as well as across the country, school discipline is typically imposed by suspending students from school. More than 300,000 short-term suspensions (10 days or less) and approximately 4,000 long-term suspensions are issued annually to students in the N.C. public schools. Nearly 100 students are permanently expelled from the public schools. Suspended students are not entitled to any alternative education while they are suspended. Suspensions often result in students having to repeat grades or dropping out of school altogether.

Policies regarding suspension vary widely from school district to school district throughout North Carolina. An offense that results in a five-day suspension in one district could result in a five-month suspension in another. Despite these variations, all students facing a long-term suspension have the right to an administrative appeal of the suspension. Students who take advantage of the administrative appeal, especially those who are represented by an attorney, may be able to have their suspensions reversed or reduced in length.

This website is intended to provide guidance to parents and attorneys to help protect students’ rights throughout the disciplinary process. Even attorneys who have no familiarity with school discipline law should be able to ably represent a student in a discipline appeal using the tools contained on this website.