Laws on student rights in discipline and dismissal
Right to protection from ability discrimination in discipline and dismissal The 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act protect students against discrimination based on ability. This includes ability discrimination in discipline and dismissal. Individuals shall be designated with a disability by amedical professional, legally recognized with a disability. Right to due process in disciplinary action Matthews v. Elderidge (1976) found when there is the possibility that one’s interests will be deprived through procedural error, the value of additional safe guards and governmental interests, including monetary expenses, should be weighed. Foster v. Board of Trustees of Butler County Community College (1991) found that students are not entitled to due process rights when appealing rejected admissions applications. They are not yet students. Right to due process in disciplinary with the potential to lead to a monetary loss Due process is required when actions have the potential to resulting a property or monetary loss or loss of income or future income etc. This includes degree revocation  or dismissal. Students have a property interest in remaining at the institution and have protection form undue removal. Right to due process in disciplinary with the potential for a loss of liberty Students also have a liberty right to protect themselves from defamation of character or a threat to their reputation. Federal district courts have, therefore, found that due process is required in cases involving charges of plagiarism, cheating and falsification of research data. Right to a clear notice of charges in the disciplinary process In disciplinary measures students are entitled to the provision of a definite charge. Right to a prompt notice of charges in the disciplinary process Students are entitled to a prompt notice of charges eg: 10 days before the hearing. Right to a hearing before an expert judge In cases involving expulsion or dismissal students are entitled to right to “expert” judgment with a judge who is empowered to expel. Right to inspect all documents in disciplinary hearings Students may inspect documents considered by institutional officials in disciplinary hearings. Right to be a witness in disciplinary hearings Students may stand as a witness and tell their story during disciplinary hearings. Right to record disciplinary hearings Students may record disciplinary hearings to ensure they are conducted in a legal fashion. Right to unbiased ruling in disciplinary hearings Students can expect rulings in discip inary hearings to be based solely on evidence presented at the hearing. Students are also entitled to a hearing before a person or committee not involved in the dispute. Right to a written statement of findings in disciplinary hearings Students may expect to receive a written account of findings from disciplinary hearings showing how decisions are in line with evidence. Right to fairness in disciplinary hearings Board of Curators of the University of Missouri et al. v. Horowitz (1978) found that fairness means that decisions, a) may not be arbitrary or capricious, b) must provide equal treatment with regard to sex, religion or personal appearance ect. and c) must be determined in a careful and deliberate manner. Right to hearing before discipline Hearings must be conducted before suspension or discipline unless there is a proven threat to danger, damage of property or academic disruption. Gross v. Lopez, 1975 Right to action in line with inquiry findings Texas Lightsey v. King (1983) determined that due process requires that the outcomes of investigation be taken seriously. A student cannot, for instance, be dismissed for cheating after a hearing has found him not guilty. Right to investigation and consideration of circumstance The American Bar Association (ABA) found that the need for a fair and just hearing also precludes the use of zero tolerance policies which ignore the circumstances surrounding an action. An individual who commits a crime because they believe they are in danger may not be held accountable in the same way as an individual who conducts the same crime for self interest. Right to greater due process in criminal matters Students accused of criminal acts including drug possession, plagiarism, cheating and falsification of research data or fraud, may have greater due process rights. Right to cross examine in criminal matters Students accused of criminal acts may cross-examine witnesses, counsel. Right to an open trial in criminal matters Students accused of criminal acts may have an open trial to ensure that it is conducted fairly, counsel. Right to a fair evidentiary standard of proof in criminal matters In non-criminal hearings in the educational setting, schools may use a lesser standard evidence but where criminal matters are concerned they must have clear and convincing evidence. Right to counsel in criminal matters Students accused of criminal acts may have counsel present. This does not mean that the institution must pay for it but that they may be present. Right to a higher appeals process in criminal matters Students accused of criminal acts should have access to a higher appeals process.