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Parents Right to be at Short Term Suspension Meeting

Peter Rawitsch asked the New Hanover County (NC) Board of Education a question about Short-Term Suspension Policy 4351 at the Town Hall meeting on April 18, 2023.

Here is his question:

The Short Term Suspension Policy 4351 states that before a student receives an out-of-school suspension, “The student has the right to be present at the informal hearing, but does not have the right to have a parent or other representative present.”

Okay, so now think about a 4, 5, 6, and 7-year-old child at this hearing who “shall be informed of the charges and the basis for the accusations against him or her, and may make statements in defense or mitigation of the charges. The student also may request that the principal hear from persons whom the student claims can speak on his or her behalf. If the student reasonably claims the need for additional time to present such persons, the principal may postpone action for a reasonable time.”

I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect any 4, 5, 6, and 7-year-old child to do those things, let alone even think of them.

Would you consider having the Policy Committee review Policy 4351 and revise it to allow a parent the right to be present at an informal hearing for their 4, 5, 6, or 7-year-old child either in-person, over the phone, or on Zoom?

Listen to the Board’s response.

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