Appeal Procedures

    1. Right to Appeal
      If either long-term suspension or expulsion is recommended, the student may submit a timely request for an appeal hearing unless the student waived the right to appeal by failing to participate in the Administrative Hearing process.
       
    2. Request for Appeal Hearing
      If a student who participated in the Administrative Hearing wishes to appeal an Administrative Decision imposing a long-term suspension or recommendation for expulsion, the student shall serve a written Request for Appeal Hearing with the Conduct Dean no later than 5:00 p.m. on or before the fifth working day after the student’s receipt of the written Administrative Decision.
      If no timely Request for an Appeal Hearing is received by the Conduct Dean, the right to an Appeal Hearing is waived by the student. If the Administrative Decision imposes a long-term suspension, the long-term suspension shall commence immediately upon the expiration of the time to request an Appeal Hearing. If the Administrative Decision recommends expulsion, the matter shall be sent to the Superintendent/President.
       
    3. Schedule and Notice of  Appeal Hearing
      1. Upon receipt of a student’s timely request for an Appeal Hearing, the Conduct Dean will schedule an Appeal Hearing and send written notice to the student of a Notice of Appeal Hearing and Statement of Charges.
      2. The Appeal Hearing shall be held within twenty (20) working days after a written request for Appeal Hearing is received from the student. The Conduct Dean or Hearing Officer may determine an extension of the Appeal Hearing date is appropriate to support a meaningful disciplinary process. The Notice of Appeal Hearing and Statement of Charges shall advise the student of the date, time, and place of the Appeal Hearing. The written Notice of Appeal Hearing and Statement of Charges shall be sent to the student at least five (5) working days prior to the Appeal Hearing date.
      3. The Statement of Charges shall include the following:
        1. The alleged misconduct.
        2. The specific section (s) of the Standards of conduct that the student is accused of violating.
        3. A brief statement of the facts supporting the Charges.
        4. The discipline sanction (s) being considered.
      4. The Administrative Decision may serve as the Statement of Charges.
      5. The student may submit a written response to the Statement of Charges to the Hearing Officer by no later than 5:00 p.m. three (3) working days in advance of the date of the Appeal Hearing.
         
    4. Impartial Appeal Hearing
      1. The President/Superintendent shall assign the Appeal Hearing to an impartial District administrative Hearing Officer, such as another dean or vice president. Prior to assigning the matter, the Superintendent/President shall determine to his/her satisfaction that the assigned Hearing Officer does not have personal knowledge of or involvement in the matter and that the Hearing Officer is able to provide a timely and unbiased review and determination of the matter.
      2. Prior to the commencement of the Appeal Hearing, the Hearing Officer shall be provided with a copy of the Statement of Charges and any timely written response provided by the student.
      3. Formal rules of evidence shall not apply, but relevant evidence may be admitted and considered if it is the kind of evidence upon which reasonable persons are accustomed to rely in the conduct of serious affairs.
      4. Unless the Hearing Officer determines to proceed otherwise, the Conduct Dean and the student may make opening statements. The facts supporting the accusation shall be presented by the Conduct Dean. The student may then present his or her evidence. The Conduct Dean may present rebuttal evidence after the student completes his or her defense. If the student’s disciplinary history is introduced, the student may address his or her discipline history, but shall not be permitted to call witnesses or introduce documents to refute the conduct upon which the previous disciplinary action(s) were based or the appropriateness of the previous disciplinary action(s).  The Conduct Dean and the student may call and question their own witnesses and introduce oral and written testimony relevant to the matter. Written testimony must be signed and dated, and the accuracy of the contents must be verified by the author under penalty of perjury. Notification of names of witnesses and relevance to the case shall be submitted in writing to the Conduct Dean by no later than 5:00 p.m. three (3) working days in advance of the date of the Appeal Hearing. All witnesses shall be excluded from the Appeal Hearing when not testifying. The Hearing Officer does not have the power to subpoena witnesses. The Conduct Dean and the student may make closing statements.
      5. A student who fails to appear for the Appeal Hearing at the designated time and place shall be deemed to have waived his or her right to an Appeal Hearing and the discipline sanctions included in the Statement of Charges shall be imposed.
      6. The student shall represent him or herself at the Appeal Hearing with the same stipulations regarding attorney and non-attorney advisors as outlined under the Administrative Hearing Process.
      7. The Appeal Hearing shall be closed and confidential.
      8. The Appeal Hearing shall be audio or stenography recorded by the District and shall be the only recording made unless the Hearing Officer authorizes additional recordings. No witness who refuses to be recorded shall be permitted to give testimony. Recordings shall remain in the custody of the District at all times, unless released to a professional transcribing service. The student may request a copy of the recording at his or her own cost.
         
    5. Preparation of Decision
      1. Within thirty (30) working days following the conclusion of the Appeal Hearing, the Hearing Officer shall prepare and send to the Superintendent/President a written Advisory Decision and a complete copy of the record of the Hearing. In matters under the jurisdiction of Title IX, the timeline shall be adjusted to meet the 60 working days guideline for completion of the appeal. The Advisory Decision shall be based upon the preponderance of evidence relevant to the charges adduced at the Hearing. The Advisory Decision shall include factual findings, conclusions as to whether any sections(s) of the standards of Student Conduct were violated, and a recommendation of the disciplinary action to be imposed, if any. The Advisory Decision shall be based only on the record of the hearing.
      2. The “record of the hearing” shall include the Statement of Charges (as amended, if applicable), the student’s written response, if any, the oral and documentary evidence adduced at the Hearing, the recording made during the Hearing, and the District’s record of previous disciplinary issues related to the student, it any.
         
  1. SUPERINTENDENT/PRESIDENT’S REVIEW
     
    1. President’s Review When Student Waived Procedures
      If the Conduct Dean recommends expulsion and the student waives his or her right to proceed by failing to attend the Administrative Hearing or by failing to make a timely request for an appeal hearing, the Superintendent/President shall determine whether to accept, modify, or reject the Dean’s Administrative Decision.
       
    2. President’s Review of Appeal Hearing
      1. Within thirty (30) working days of receipt of the Hearing Officer’s Advisory Decision and record of the Appeal Hearing, or sooner if required to meet Title IX guidelines, the Superintendent/President shall review the Advisory Decision and the record of the Appeal Hearing and shall determine whether to accept, modify or reject the Advisory Decision. If the Superintendent/President determines to modify or reject the Hearing Officer’s Advisory Decision, he or she shall prepare a new written decision which contains specific factual findings and conclusions based on the record of the Appeal Hearing.
      2. A decision of the Superintendent/President to uphold the Conduct Dean’s suspension of a student shall be final and written notice of the final Administrative Decision shall be sent to the student.
      3. If the Superintendent/President determines that expulsion is appropriate, the recommendation for expulsion shall be made in writing to the Board of Trustees and written notice sent to the student.
         
  2. BOARD OF TRUSTEES REVIEW – EXPULSION
     
    1. Consideration of Expulsion Recommendation
      The Board of Trustees shall consider any recommendation from the Superintendent/President for expulsion at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board occurring at least 10 working days after receipt of the recommendation or at a special meeting held within 20 working days after receipt of the recommendation.The Board’s review may be extended beyond these periods if the Superintendent/President determines that an extension is appropriate to support a meaningful disciplinary process. The Board’s consideration consists of a review of the record of Appeal Hearing and the Advisory Decision from the Appeal Hearing (if applicable), or the President’s written decision and/or recommendation.The Board review does not provide another evidentiary hearing for the student on the matter.
       
    2. Board of Trustees Review
      The student shall be given written notice of the date, time, and place of the Board’s meeting at least five (5) working days in advance of the meeting.
      The Board shall consider an expulsion recommendation in closed session unless the student or his or her parent, guardian, or conservator, if the student is a minor or conserved, requests an open session.
       
    3. Board Decision
      The Board may accept or reject the expulsion recommendation of the Superintendent/President after a review of the Appeal Hearing record or after reviewing the Conduct Dean’s Administrative Decision when the student waived his or her right to an Appeal Hearing. If the Board rejects the expulsion recommendation, the Board shall prepare a new written decision which includes factual findings, Standards of Conduct that were violated, and disciplinary action, if any. The decision of the Board shall be based only on the record of the Appeal Hearing or the Dean’s Administrative Decision, and the District’s record of previous disciplinary issues related to the student, if any.
      The Board’s decision regarding expulsion is final. The Board’s action shall be a public record of the District in accordance with laws related to student records.
      Written notice of the Board’s final decision shall be sent to the student as soon as practicable after the Board meeting.
       
  3. SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES
    The District may notify the parent(s)/guardian(s) of minor students, or conservators of students known to be under conservatorship for educational decisions of proposed disciplinary action against the minor or conserved student when the disclosure to the parent/guardian/conservator is permitted under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.