A student enrolled at San Joaquin Delta Community College District assumes an obligation to conduct him/herself in a manner compatible with the District’s function as an educational institution. This includes the obligation to act with honesty and integrity. Students are expected to treat members of the campus community, District property, and personal property of members of the campus community with respect and to take care not to cause harm to others or their property. Students are expected to obey all federal and state laws as well as all campus rules and regulations.
The Superintendent/President shall establish regulations setting standards and expectations for student conduct, including regulations specifying acts by students that constitute student misconduct and the disciplinary consequences for such misconduct as defined in Administrative Procedure 5500, Standards of Student Conduct.
For the purpose of this policy, the term “student” includes applicants, enrolled students, students between academic terms, graduates awaiting degrees, and students who withdraw from school while a disciplinary matter is pending. (BP 5500 6/17/14)
Standards of Student Conduct
For the purpose of this procedure, the term “student” includes applicants, enrolled students, students between academic terms, graduates awaiting degrees, and students who withdraw from school while a disciplinary matter is pending.
Students are expected to obey all federal and state laws as well as all District policies and procedures. Students are obligated to treat all District activities with respect so as not to disturb the opportunity for faculty and staff to perform their duties and for students to gain the full benefits of participation in their classes and other District programs.
A student may be disciplined, and sanctions imposed, in accordance with the procedures set forth in Administrative Procedure 5520, Student Discipline, relating to attendance or District activity. Student misconduct constituting good cause for imposition of discipline includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Academic Misconduct - Plagiarism (including plagiarism in a student publication), cheating, or other forms of academic dishonesty, intended to gain unfair academic advantage. The following list of offenses is not intended to be fully exhaustive of all potential instances of academic dishonesty, cheating, plagiarism or falsification. Faculty and administrators may identify other acts constituting any of said types of student misconduct.
- Academic Dishonesty/Plagiarism: presenting work, words, ideas, theories, etc., derived in whole or in part from a source external to the student as though they are the student’s own efforts. Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to the following:
- Failing to use proper citations as acknowledgment of the true source of information found in a paper, written or oral examination, or any other academic exercise.
- Presenting any work completed in whole or in part by any individual or group other than the student, as though the work is the student’s own, in any academic exercise.
- Buying, selling, bartering, or in any other fashion obtaining or distributing material to be used fraudulently as part of any academic exercise.
- Disseminating or receiving answers, data, or other information by any means other than those expressly permitted by the professor as part of any academic exercise.
- Copying answers, data, or other information (or allowing others to do so) during an examination, quiz, laboratory experiment, or any other academic exercise in which the student is not expressly permitted to work jointly with others.
- Assuming another individual’s identity or allowing another person to do so on one’s own behalf for the purpose of fulfilling any academic requirement or in any way enhancing the student’s grade or academic standing.
- Using any device, implement, or other form of study aid during an examination, quiz, laboratory experiment, or any other academic exercise without the faculty member’s permission.
- Other Academic Misconduct: Alteration, distortion, forgery, falsification, or fabrication of data, records, or any information relevant to the student’s participation in any course or academic exercise or tampering with such information as collected or distributed by the faculty member.
- Falsifying, or attempting to falsify, attendance records, graded exercises of any kind, or any information or document intended to excuse the student from participation in any academic exercise.
- Inventing, fabricating, or falsifying data as part of the completion of any academic exercise.
- Knowingly furnishing false information (or facilitating the furnishing of false information) to a District official, faculty member, or staff member or campus office.
- Forgery, alteration, or misuse of a District document, key, or identification instrument.
- Misrepresenting one’s self to be an authorized agent of the District or one of its auxiliaries.
- Other Misconduct (Non-Academic):
- Any act chargeable as a violation of a federal, state, or local law that poses a substantial threat to the safety or well-being of others participating in District activities, to property within the District community or poses a significant threat of disruption or interference with District operations.
- Dishonesty (Non-academic dishonesty), lying, corruption, deceit, fraud or deception.
- Unauthorized entry into, presence in, use of, or misuse of District property.
- Willful, material and substantial disruption or obstruction of a District-related activity, or any on-campus activity.
- Participating in an activity that substantially and materially disrupts the normal operations of the District, or infringes on the rights of others participating in District activities.
- Willful, material and substantial obstruction that impedes the flow of pedestrian or other traffic, on or leading to District property or at a District- activity held at a remote location.
- Disorderly, lewd, indecent, or obscene behavior on District property or at a District activity, or directed toward a others participating in District activities.
- Disruptive behavior, willful disobedience, habitual profanity or vulgarity, open and persistent defiance of the authority of, or persistent abuse of, District personnel.
- Encouraging, permitting, or assisting another person to do any act that could subject him or her to discipline.
- Engaging in expression which is obscene; libelous or slanderous; or which incites students so as to create a clear and present danger of the commission of unlawful acts on the District premises, or the violation of lawful District administrative procedures, or the substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the District.
- Conduct that threatens, endangers, or harms the health or safety of any person within the District community; including communicable disease and the failure to address or treat communicable disease, infection or infestation (including insects), strong body odor of alcohol or marijuana emanating from one’s person, spitting, physical abuse, physical injury, threats, intimidation, harassment, stalking, sexual harassment, indecent exposure, sexual battery, rape or other types of sexual misconduct.
- Engaging in harassing or discriminatory behavior based on religion, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation of any person, or status as a veteran or other status protected by law.
- Hazing or conspiracy to haze is defined as any method of initiation or pre-initiation into a student organization or student body, whether or not the organization or body is officially recognized by an educational institution, which is likely to cause serious bodily injury to any former, current, or prospective student of a college (Penal Code 245.6), and in addition, any act likely to cause physical harm, personal degradation or disgrace resulting in physical or mental harm, to any former, current, or prospective student of a College. The term “hazing” does not include customary athletic events or District sanctioned events. Neither the express or implied consent of a victim of hazing, nor the lack of active participation in a particular hazing incident is a defense. Apathy or acquiescence in the presence of hazing is not a neutral act, and is also a violation of this section.
- Use, possession, manufacture, or distribution of illegal drugs or drug-related paraphernalia, (except as expressly permitted by law and District procedures) or the misuse of legal pharmaceutical drugs (BP/AP 3550).
- Use, possession, manufacture, or distribution of alcoholic beverages (except as expressly permitted by law and District procedures), or public intoxication while on District property and/or at a District activity (BP/AP 3560) at a remote location.
- Smoking, use or sale of tobacco-related products in any area prohibited by law or by regulation of the District (BP/AP 3570).
- Theft or extortion of property or services from the District or others participating in District activities, misappropriation of District resources, or knowing receipt of any stolen property including that of the District or private property while on District property and/or at a District activity at a remote location.
- Unauthorized destruction or damage to District or property under the use of the District (BP/AP 6520).
- Possessing, selling, using or misusing, or furnishing, firearms or guns, replicas, BB, pellet or soft air guns, ammunition, explosives, fireworks, knives, swords, tasers, stun guns or other weapons, dangerous chemicals, or other dangerous objects (without the prior authorization of the District Superintendent/President or designee) on District property or at a District activity at a remote location.
- Unauthorized recording, photographing, dissemination, or publication of academic presentations (including handwritten notes) for any purpose.
- Possessing, selling, using or misusing, or furnishing pornographic materials or items.
- Misuse of District computer facilities, its network, or resources including:
- Unauthorized entry into a file for any purpose; including electronic sabotage, i.e., downloading virus software or any other method of sabotaging District computers.
- Unauthorized transfer of a file.
- Use of the identification or password of other individuals.
- Interference with the work of a member of the District community, interference with normal District operations, or violation of copyright laws.
- Sending obscene or intimidating and abusive messages through the District’s network services.
- Accessing, viewing or downloading any type of lewd, obscene or pornographic materials, and/or sharing or sale of said materials.
- Violation of the District’s computer use policy.
- Violation of any published District policy, rule, regulation or Superintendent/President’s or designee’s directive.
- Failure to comply with directions of, or interference with, any District official or any public safety officer while acting in the performance of his/her duties.
- Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information related to a student discipline matter.
- Initiation of a student discipline proceeding in bad faith.
- Disruption or interference with the orderly progress of a student discipline proceeding:
- Attempting to discourage another from participating in the student discipline matter.
- Attempting to influence the impartiality of any participant in a student discipline matter.
- Verbal or physical harassment or intimidation of any participant in a student discipline matter.
- Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under a student discipline proceeding.
Any other conduct that threatens the health, safety or security of the campus community, or substantially disrupts the functions or operation of the District is within the jurisdiction of this Article, regardless of whether it occurs on or off campus, and whether or not it is specifically described above.
Nothing in this procedure may conflict with Education Code Section 66301, which prohibits disciplinary action against students based on behavior protected by the First Amendment. Students who engage in misconduct as described herein are subject to the procedures outlined in Administrative Procedure, AP 5520 Student Discipline, for determination of misconduct and imposition of sanctions. Violations must be reported on Form 5510 Student Misconduct Report (available on the District’s Student Services Division Web page). (AP 5500 5/14/14)
Student Discipline and Appeal Procedure
The purpose of this procedure is to provide a prompt, fair and equitable means to address student misconduct. The procedure shall be implemented in a manner providing students with all due process rights to which they are entitled under state and federal law, and not for the purpose of retaliation. Students alleged to be guilty of misconduct may also be subject to civil proceedings in a court of law that may be initiated by the District, other agencies or individuals. Students alleged to have violated state or federal law may also be subject to criminal procedures by agencies with jurisdiction.
This administrative procedure shall not be implemented in a manner that will infringe in any way on the rights of students to engage in free expression as protected by the state and federal constitutions, and by Education Code Section 76120, and will not be used to punish expression that is protected.
- Definition of Terms:
- Administrative Warning: A warning issued to a student by the Discipline Officer or designee, that further violation of District policy will result in serious consequences.
- Administrative Withdrawal: Withdrawal from a course or courses by order of an administrator of the District, usually as a result of violation of District policy.
- Board: The Board of Trustees of the San Joaquin Delta Community College District.
- Day: A day during which the District is in session and regular classes are held, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
- Discipline Officer: The Superintendent/President’s appointee to administer discipline for student behavior that violates the Student Code of Conduct in accordance with the requirements for due process under federal and state laws and regulations (BP/AP 5500 Standards of Student Conduct). Discipline Officer Behavioral Misconduct, Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Student Services, or his/her designee (Dean of Enrollment Services and Student Development). Academic Misconduct, Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Instruction, or his/her designee (Dean of Student Learning and Assessment).
- District: The San Joaquin Delta Community College District.
- Expulsion: Permanent dismissal or exclusion of the student by the Board of Trustees from all classes and activities of the District. Any student expelled pursuant to this procedure shall be permanently prohibited from being enrolled in any community college facility in the District or participating in any class, program, extra-curricular activity, or any event on or off campus that is affiliated with the District. (Education 37 Code Section A.7., A.11. and A.12.)
- Hearing Officer: The Superintendent/President shall appoint a Hearing Officer to assist students with the disciplinary appeal process and/or grievance process, coordinate hearings for appeals to disciplinary suspensions and/or student grievances (BP/AP 5530), and train Hearing Panel members to facilitate fair and efficient hearings. The Hearing Officer shall remain neutral. This person may be the Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Student Services, or designee, usually the Dean of Counseling and Special Services.
- Notice of Intended Discipline: Written Notice to a student that a misconduct report has been received by the Discipline Officer.
- Notice of Disciplinary Decision: Written Notice to a student that a decision has been made on the type of sanction that will be imposed for violation of the Student Code of Conduct. In cases of long-term suspension or expulsion, the student will receive notification from the Superintendent/President.
- Probation (Misconduct): Misconduct Probation is a period of provisional attendance for violations of District policy and procedures (BP/AP 5500), during which, any additional misconduct will likely result in more serious sanctions and possible suspension from the District. A specific period of time is designated and may include specific restrictions and extra requirements on the student that vary with each case.
- Probation (Academic): Academic or Progress Probation, (See BP/AP 5055), which relates to satisfactory educational progress; i.e., grades or coursework.
- Professor/Faculty: An academic employee of the District, in whose class a student is enrolled, or Counselor who is providing or has provided services to a student, or other academic employee who has responsibility for a student’s educational program.
- Removal from Class: Exclusion of a student, by a professor/faculty member, barring student from class for the day of the removal and the next class meeting, equal to two (2) class sessions. (Education Code A.7., B.5.)
- Removal from the District Property: The action of the professor, administrator, or classified staff of the District to discipline a student by removal/exclusion from classrooms, offices, and other areas of the campus.
- Student Advocate: A student appointed by the Associated Student Body Government (ASBG), who may assist the student in advisement on discipline policy and organization of documents, presentations and related materials for a disciplinary appeal hearing or grievance claim.
- Student: Applicants, enrolled students, students between academic terms, graduates awaiting degrees, and students who withdraw from school while a disciplinary matter is pending.
- Superintendent/President: The Superintendent/President of the San Joaquin Delta Community College District.
- Suspension, Types of:
- Immediate Suspension/Withdrawal of Consent to Remain on Campus: Withdrawal of consent by the Superintendent/President or designee, usually the Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Student Services (AS/VPSS), for any person to remain on campus in accordance with California Penal Code Section 626.4, where the Superintendent/President or designee, has reasonable cause to believe that such person presents a threat to the safety of the campus community or has willfully disrupted the orderly operation of the campus.
- Short-term Suspension: Exclusion of the student for good cause from one or more classes for a period of up to ten (10) consecutive days of instruction by the Superintendent/President or designee. Any student suspended pursuant to this procedure shall be prohibited from participating in any class, program, extra-curricular activity, or any event, on or off campus that is affiliated with the District.
- Long-term Suspension: Exclusion of the student for good cause from one or more classes for the remainder of the school term, or from all classes and activities of the College for one or more terms by the Superintendent/President or designee, either the Dean of Enrollment Services and Student Development, or the Dean of Student Learning and Assessment, depending upon the type of infraction. Any student suspended pursuant to this procedure shall be prohibited from being enrolled in the District or participating in any class, program, extra-curricular activity, or any event, on or off campus that is affiliated with the District (Education Code A.5., A.10., A.11.).
- Time Limits: Any times specified in this procedure may be shortened or lengthened on a case-by-case basis.
- Written or Verbal Reprimand: An admonition to the student to cease and desist from conduct determined to violate the standards of Student Conduct. A record of the fact that a verbal or written reprimand has been given may become part of a student’s permanent record at the College.
- Disciplinary Reporting Process:
- Removal (Dismissal) from Class or Other Area:
- A professor, administrator, or classified staff of the District may discipline a student by Removal from Class or other areas of the District. Such decision shall be at the sole discretion and professional judgment of the District employee. All such decisions shall be final. Decisions by professors, administrators, or classified staff of the District to impose removal from class or other areas on a student shall not limit the District from imposing further discipline as described herein.
- Professors, administrators, or classified staff of the District imposing Removal from Class or other areas of the District for a two day removal or more consecutive days on a student shall file a written report, Form 5510 Student Misconduct Report (available on the District’s Student Services Division Web page), and submit it to the appropriate Discipline Officer, documenting the reasons the discipline was imposed.
- Reporting Violations:
- Academic Dishonesty Violations: Plagiarism, cheating, falsifying information for an academic exercise, and other forms of academic misconduct. Faculty, administrators, or classified staff must complete a Misconduct Reporting Form (Form 5510 available on the District’s Student Services Division Web page), and submit it to the Dean of Student Learning and Assessment.
- Behavioral Violations: Furnishing false information to a District official, forgery, willful disruption. Faculty, administrators, or classified staff must a Misconduct Reporting Form (Form 5510 available on the District’s Student Services Division Web page), and submit it to the Dean of Enrollment Services and Student Development.
- Safety Concerns or Extremely Disruptive Behavior: Disorderly, lewd, or indecent conduct, dangerous or illegal activities, theft, drugs, alcohol or tobacco issues. Faculty, administrators, or classified staff should contact District Police Services, as well as complete a Misconduct Reporting Form (Form 5510 available on the District’s Student Services Division Web page), and submit to the Dean of Enrollment Services and Student Development. When Police Services are included, a District Police Report will be generated and submitted Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Student Services, as well as the Dean of Enrollment Services and Student Development.
- Notice to Student:
- When a Misconduct Reporting Form or District Police Report is received by the Discipline Officer, a Notice of Intended Discipline will be generated and sent to the student by postal mail at the address on record, as well as to the student’s Delta email address.
- The Notice of Intended Discipline shall include a specific description of the misconduct; a short statement of the facts supporting a determination of misconduct; type of possible disciplinary action; the right of the student to meet with the Discipline Officer to discuss the matter or to respond in writing, and must be provided to the student within ten (10) days of the date on which the conduct took place, was reported to the Discipline Officer, or the District reasonably learned of the conduct.
- The student has ten (10) business days from the date of the Notice of Intended Discipline to schedule an appointment and/or respond in writing. This does not mean that the student has to “meet” within ten (10) days. The student must “respond” to the Notice within this timeframe.
- The meeting must occur no sooner than five (5) days after the Notice of Intended Discipline (Section C.1) is provided. At the meeting, the student must again be told the facts leading to determination that discipline is warranted. The student will be given an opportunity to respond verbally, in writing, or provide information to dispute the report. If the student chooses not to meet, or fails to attend a meeting with the Discipline Officer, or fails to submit a written response after being given a reasonable opportunity to do so, the student waives their right to provide input or rebuttal. The Discipline Officer may move forward to take disciplinary action, which may be an Administrative Warning, Misconduct Probation, or Suspension, depending on the severity of the violation.
- The Notice of Disciplinary Decision will be generated and sent to the student by postal mail at the address on record, as well as to the student’s Delta email address, and must be provided to the student within ten (10) days of the date of the student’s meeting; or, if the student fails to meet with the Discipline Officer during the allotted time, the Discipline Officer may issue the Notice of Disciplinary Decision.
- The Notice shall include a specific description of the misconduct, a short summary of the determination, and type of disciplinary action taken. The Discipline Officer shall provide the student with his or her decision to impose an administrative warning, misconduct probation, or short-term suspension, or no further action. When discipline is imposed, the Notice of Disciplinary Decision will include the length of time of the probation, suspension or the nature of the lesser disciplinary action. The decision of the Discipline Officer on a short-term suspension shall be final. In cases of Long-Term Suspension or Expulsion, the Notice of Disciplinary Decision will include the right to appeal the Discipline Officer’s decision (Section F).
- Suspension or Expulsion:
Before any disciplinary action to impose short-term or long-term suspension or expulsion on a student, the following will apply:
- Short-time Suspension: Within ten (10) days after meeting with the Discipline Officer, as described in Section B.3., or if no meeting is held, after ten (10) days have passed since the Notice of Intended Discipline was served, the Discipline Officer shall provide the student with his or her decision to impose a short-term suspension. Where short-term suspension is imposed, the Notice will include the length of time of the suspension or the nature of the lesser disciplinary action. The decision of the Discipline Officer on a short-term suspension shall be final.
- Long-term Suspension: If the decision is to impose a long-term suspension, before a long-term suspension is imposed the Notice of Disciplinary Decision will include the right of the student to request a formal appeal hearing and a copy of this policy describing the procedure for an appeal hearing.
- Expulsion: Within ten (10) days after the meeting described in Section B.3., or if no meeting is held, within ten (10) days of serving the Notice of Intended Discipline in Section C.1., the Discipline Officer will review the evidence with the Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Student Services to decide whether to recommend expulsion to the Superintendent/President. The Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Student Services will notify the Superintendent/President of his/her Recommendation of Expulsion, and the Superintendent/President will provide his or her recommendation to the Board of Trustees. Written Notice of Disciplinary Decision to recommend expulsion shall be provided to the student by the Discipline Officer. The Notice will include the right of the student to request a formal disciplinary appeal hearing before expulsion is recommended to the Board of Trustees, and shall include a copy of this policy describing the procedure for an appeal hearing.
- Immediate Suspension/Withdrawal of Consent to Remain on Campus
Ordered by the Superintendent/President, or designee (in most cases the Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Student Services) when he or she concludes that immediate suspension is required to protect lives or property and to ensure the maintenance of order.
- The Superintendent/President or designee, usually the Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Student Services, or his/her designee, will make reasonable attempt to notify any person for whom there is a reasonable belief that the person has willfully disrupted the orderly operation of the campus, that Consent to Remain on Campus has been withdrawn, and that he or she must promptly leave or be escorted off campus. If consent is withdrawn by the Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Student Services, a written report must be promptly made to the Superintendent/President.
- Any person as to whom Consent to Remain on Campus has been withdrawn, who knowingly reenters the campus during the period in which consent has been withdrawn, except to come for a pre-arranged meeting or hearing, is subject to arrest [Penal Code Section 626.4].
- In cases where an immediate suspension has been ordered, the time limits contained in this procedure shall not apply, and, where a long-term suspension or expulsion is recommended, reasonable opportunity for a formal hearing shall be afforded to the student within ten (10) days. Nothing shall prohibit immediate suspension, where immediate suspension is required, provided a reasonable opportunity for a hearing is afforded the student within ten (10) days.
- The disciplinary action may include, but need not be limited to, suspension, dismissal, or expulsion [Education Code Section 66017]. The hearing will be conducted in accordance with the provisions of this procedure related to immediate suspensions.
- Hearing Panel Appointments:
At the beginning of the academic year, the Superintendent/President, the presidents of the Academic Senate, Management Senate, Classified Senate, and Associated Student Body Government (ASBG) shall each establish a list of at least five (5) persons who will serve on Disciplinary Appeal Hearing Panels and/or Student Grievance Hearing Panels. Persons who accept appointment to one of these hearing panels, agree to make themselves available when a hearing panel must be convened.
- Hearing Panels for any Disciplinary Appeal action shall be composed of one (1) Superintendent/President appointee, one (1) administrator, one (1) faculty member, one (1) classified staff member, and one (1) student. The Superintendent/President or designee, usually the Dean of Counseling and Special Services, shall serve as the Hearing Officer, and shall compose Disciplinary Appeal Hearing Panels from the names on these lists.
- Hearing Panels for any Student Grievance action shall be composed of one (1) Superintendent/President appointee, one (1) administrator, one (1) faculty member, and one (1) student. When a Student Grievance is related to academic, grade-related issues, classified staff will not participate on the Student Grievance Hearing Panel. The Superintendent/President or designee, usually the Dean of Counseling and Special Services, shall serve as the Hearing Officer, and shall compose Student Grievance Hearing Panels from the names on these lists.
- Any District employee or student who has any personal involvement in the matter to be decided, who is a necessary witness, or who could not otherwise act in a neutral manner, shall not serve on that hearing panel, and must recuse him or herself from the Hearing Panel.
- Hearing Panel Chair(s): The Superintendent/President or designee, usually the Hearing Officer, shall appoint one (1) member of the panel to serve as the Chair. The decision of the Hearing Panel Chair shall be final on all matters relating to the conduct of the hearing, unless there is a vote by a majority of the other members of the panel to the contrary.
- Hearing Panel Training: Annually, members appointed to serve on Disciplinary Appeal or Student Grievance Hearing Panels shall be trained on responsibilities; including, the requirements of Board Policy and Administrative Procedures in the area of student discipline, student grievances, effective hearing protocol, roles and responsibilities of panel members and the chair, and other issues bearing upon the integrity and effectiveness of these Hearing Panels.
- Request and Scheduling of Disciplinary Appeal Hearing
- Request for Disciplinary Appeal Hearing (for long-term suspension or expulsion only): Within five (5) days after the Notice of Disciplinary Decision by the Discipline Officer or designee, the student may request a formal appeal hearing. The request must be made in writing to the District’s Hearing Officer on a Request for Disciplinary Appeal Hearing Form (Form 5525), which is available from the Hearing Officer.
- When a student is removed by Immediate Suspension/Withdrawal of Consent to Remain on Campus, the Superintendent/President or designee, usually the Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Student Services, shall notify the Hearing Officer that a reasonable opportunity for a hearing must be afforded the student within ten (10) days of the date of removal. The Hearing Officer shall be responsible for notifying and organizing the Disciplinary Appeal Hearing Panel. (Section A.15.a., D.3.)
- Notice and Schedule of Disciplinary Appeal Hearing: The Hearing Officer will be responsible for notifying the student of the appeal hearing date, time and location at least two (2) days in advance of the hearing. The formal hearing shall be held within thirty (30) days after a formal request for an appeal hearing is received.
- Evidence/Hearing Materials: The student shall have access to all disciplinary evidence materials at least three (3) days in advance of the appeal hearing. In addition, the student must submit all rebuttal evidence materials three (3) days in advance of the appeal hearing. Any/all evidence submitted by the student less than three (3) days in advance of the hearing shall not be accepted.
- Conducting the Disciplinary Appeal Hearing
- The members of the Disciplinary Appeal Hearing Panel shall be provided with a copy of the Notice of Intended Discipline, Notice of Disciplinary Decision, evidence, written reports or statements, and any written response provided by the student before the hearing begins.
- Evidence regarding the conduct described in the Notice of Intended Discipline, Notice of Disciplinary Decision, evidence, written reports or statements shall be presented by the District’s Discipline Officer, or designee, or the District’s General Counsel.
- The District representative and the student may call witnesses and introduce oral and written testimony relevant to the issues of the matter. Witnesses may include administrators, faculty, classified staff members, or other students who have direct knowledge of the issues leading the recommendation for disciplinary action. District employees who have referred students for disciplinary action shall have the right to make a statement at the hearing in support of their referral and recommendations.
- Formal rules of evidence shall not apply. Any relevant evidence shall be admitted if it is the sort of evidence upon which responsible persons are accustomed to rely in the conduct of serious affairs regardless of the existence of any common law or statutory rule which might otherwise exclude such evidence.
- Unless the Disciplinary Appeal Hearing Panel determines to proceed otherwise, the District representative and the student shall each be permitted to make an opening statement. Thereafter, the District representative shall make the first presentation of evidence, followed by the student. The District representative may present a rebuttal statement and/or evidence after the student completes his or her evidence. The burden shall be on the District representative to prove by substantial evidence that the facts alleged are true.
- The student may represent him or herself, and may also have the right to be represented by a person of his or her choice. The Disciplinary Hearing Panel may also request legal assistance. Any legal advisor provided to the hearing panel may sit with the panel in an advisory capacity to provide legal counsel, but shall not be a member of the panel.
- Hearings shall be closed and confidential unless the student requests that it be open to the public. Any such request must be submitted in writing to, and received by, the Hearing Officer no less than five (5) days prior to the date of the hearing.
- In a closed hearing, witnesses shall not be present at the hearing when not testifying, unless all parties and the Hearing Panel agree otherwise. For purposes of this section, faculty, administrators, classified staff members, and students who referred the matter for disciplinary action shall not be considered witnesses and shall be allowed to be present within the closed hearing.
- The District shall record the hearing either by audio or stenographic recording, which shall be the only recording made of the hearing. No witness who refuses to be recorded may be permitted to give testimony. In the event the hearing is audio-recorded, the Disciplinary Hearing Panel chair shall, at the beginning of the hearing, ask each person present to identify them by name; and, thereafter, shall ask witnesses to identify themselves by name. The recording shall remain in the custody of the District at all times, unless released to a professional transcribing or copying service. The student may request a copy of the recording. If the District causes the recording to be transcribed, the District shall provide a copy of the transcription to the student within one business day after receipt of the completed transcription by the District. However, the District is under no obligation to cause the recording to be transcribed.
- All testimony shall be taken under oath. The Disciplinary Hearing Panel Chair, or court reporter, shall administer the oath. Written statements of witnesses, under penalty of perjury, shall not be used unless the witness is unavailable to testify. A witness who refuses to be audio-recorded is not considered to be unavailable. In other words, mere refusal by a witness to be recorded is not an acceptable excuse for submitting written testimony in lieu of verbal testimony.
- Within five (5) days following the close of the hearing, the Disciplinary Hearing Panel Chair shall prepare and submit a Hearing Summary to the Superintendent/President. The Hearing Summary shall state whether or not the Hearing Panel recommends upholding or overturning the disciplinary action imposed upon the student. The Hearing Summary shall include specific factual findings regarding the accusation, specific conclusions regarding any student conduct found to constitute good cause for imposition of discipline, and shall be based only on the record of the hearing, and not on matters or evidence outside of that record. The record consists of the Notice of Intended Discipline, Notice of Disciplinary Decisions, evidence, written reports, the written response of the student, if any, and the oral and written evidence produced at the hearing.
- Final Decision on Suspension or Expulsion Matters
- Within five (5) days following receipt of the Hearing Panel’s recommended decision, the Superintendent/President shall render a written final decision. The Superintendent/ President may accept, modify or reject the factual findings and/or recommended discipline of the Hearing Panel. However, in no event may the Superintendent/ President impose discipline that is more severe than the discipline set forth in the Notice of Disciplinary Decision. If the Superintendent/President modifies or rejects the Hearing Panel’s findings and/or recommended discipline, the Superintendent/President shall review the record of the hearing and prepare a new written decision which contains specific factual findings and conclusions. The Superintendent/President is entitled to determine and impose all forms of discipline, except for expulsion. The decision of the Superintendent/President shall be final with respect to all discipline that the Superintendent/President is authorized to impose.
- Expulsion: If the Superintendent/President determines that expulsion is the appropriate discipline, the Superintendent/President shall make that recommendation to the Board of Trustees. Expulsion may be decided upon and imposed only by the Board of Trustees. (Education Code Section 72122).
- The Board of Trustees shall consider any recommendation from the Superintendent/ President for expulsion at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees after receipt of the recommended decision. The Board of Trustees shall consider an expulsion recommendation in Closed Session, unless the student has requested that the matter be considered in a public meeting in accordance with this procedure (Education Code Section 72122).
- The student shall be notified of the date, time, and place of the Board of Trustees meeting in writing, by registered or certified mail or by personal service, at least three (3) days prior to the meeting. The student may, within forty-eight (48) hours after receipt of the Notice of Intended Discipline, request that the hearing be held as a public meeting. However, even if the student has requested that the Board of Trustees consider an expulsion recommendation in a public meeting, only consideration of the factual findings shall be conducted in Open Session. Deliberation on the appropriate discipline shall always be conducted in Closed Session. Further, the Board of Trustees will hold any discussion that might be in conflict with the right to privacy of any other student in Closed Session.
- The Board of Trustees may accept, modify, or reject the findings, decisions and recommendations of the Superintendent/President. If the Board of Trustees modifies or rejects the decision, the Board of Trustees shall review the record of the hearing and prepare a new written decision which contains specific factual findings and conclusions. The decision of the Board of Trustees shall be final.
The final action of the Board of Trustees on the expulsion shall be taken at a public meeting, and the result of the action shall be a public record of the District. (AP 5520 5/15/14)