Appeal from the Hearing Examiner’s Determination


X.    Appeal from the Hearing Examiner’s Determination

        A.    Overview of Student Discipline Under Student Discipline Act

                1.    Student discipline resulting in long-term suspension, expulsion, mandatory reassignment, or emergency exclusion for more than five     
                       (5) school days. Under Nebraska's Student Discipline Act ("Act"), students subjected to disciplinary procedures that may result in 
                       long-term suspension, expulsion, mandatory reassignment, or emergency exclusion for more than five (5) school days may request 
                       hearing. The Act requires the District to serve the student, the student's parents or guardian with:

                        a.    Notice of Long-Term Suspension, Expulsion, or Mandatory Reassignment form;

                        b.    Notice of Emergency Exclusion: More than Five School Days form; and

                        c.    Parents' Request for Hearing form (Long-Term Suspension, Expulsion, or Mandatory Reassignment).

                              Samples of these three (3) forms are found in Appendix C & D.

            B.    Hearing Conducted by Hearing Examiner

                    If a hearing is requested, the hearing is to be conducted by a Hearing Examiner. There is no Board involvement at the Hearing 
                    Examiner stage.

                    1.    After the hearing, the Hearing Examiner is to prepare a Report containing the Hearing Examiner's recommendation of the action 
                           to be taken. The Report is to explain, in terms of the needs of both the student and the Board, the reasons for the particular action 
                           recommended. The recommendation may range from no action, the entire field of counseling, long-term suspension, expulsion, 
                           mandatory reassignment, or alternative educational placement. 

                    2.    The Hearing Examiner's Report is to be reviewed by the Superintendent who may change, revoke, or impose the sanction 
                           recommended by the Hearing Examiner; the Superintendent is not permitted to impose a sanction more severe than that 
                           recommended by the Hearing Examiner. Written notice of the findings and recommendations of the Hearing Examiner and the 
                           determination of the Superintendent are to be served on the student or the student's parents or guardian by certified or registered 
                           mail, or by personal service. The findings and recommendations of the Hearing Examiner and the determination by the 
                           Superintendent is to be made solely on the basis of the evidence presented at the hearing.

            C.    Hearing Before the Board

                    1.    Within seven (7) school days of the receipt of the written notice of the Superintendent's determination, the student or the student's 
                           parents or guardian may appeal the Superintendent's determination by filing a written request for a Hearing with the Board's 
                           Secretary or the Superintendent.

                    2.    The appeal is to be made up of "the record". The record consists of:

                            a.    The charge;

                            b.    The notice;

                            c.    The evidence presented at the Hearing before the Hearing Examiner;

                            d.    The Hearing Examiner's findings and recommendations; and

                            e.    The Superintendent’s action. 

                            In addition to the record, however, “new” evidence may be submitted "to avoid a substantial threat of unfairness."

                    3.    The Board hearing is to be held before the Board within ten (10) school days after it is requested. The hearing date may be 
                           changed by mutual agreement of the student and the Superintendent. The hearing may be held before a committee of the Board 
                           of not less than three (3) members. The Board hearing must be recorded at District expense.

            D.    Disposition by Board

                    1.    After examining the record and receiving new evidence, if any, the Board (or designated committee) may withdraw to deliberate     
                           privately upon the record and any new evidence. The deliberation is to be on the record, and is to be held in the presence only of 
                           the Board members in attendance at the appeal proceeding but may be held in the presence of legal counsel who has not 
                           previously acted as the principal's designee in presenting the school's case before the Hearing Examiner. 

                    2.    If any questions arise during such deliberation that requires additional evidence, the Board (or Board committee) may reopen the 
                           hearing to receive such evidence, subject to the right of all parties to be present.

                    3.    The Board may alter the Superintendent's disposition of the case if it finds the decision to be too severe; the Board may not 
                           impose a more severe sanction.

            E.    The Board's Procedural Requirement

                    1.    The Board's final action is to be evidenced by personally delivering or mailing by certified mail a copy of the Board's decision to 
                           the student and the student's parents or guardian. There is no deadline imposed by the Act.

            F.    Court Action

                    1.    According to the Act, any person aggrieved by a final decision in a contested case under the Act, whether such decision is 
                           affirmative or negative in form, is entitled to judicial review. Nothing in the Act is to be deemed to prevent resort to other means 
                           of review, redress, or relief provided by law.

                    2.    Proceedings for such a review are instituted by filing a petition in the district court where the action is taken within thirty (30) 
                           days after service of the final decision of the Board. Service of summons and the petition may be made on any duly elected 
                           Board officer or the Board's Secretary. The Board need not file any responsive pleading to the petition. The filing of the petition 
                           or the service of the summons upon the Board shall not stay enforcement of a decision, but the Board may stay enforcement, or 
                           the court may order a stay after notice to the Board of application therefore and upon such terms as the court deems proper. 

                    3.    Within fifteen (15) days after service of the petition or within such time as the court for good cause shown may allow, the Board 
                           is to prepare and transmit to the court a certified transcript of the record which is to include the rules and regulations of the Board 
                           relied upon by the District in its determination to suspend, reassign, or expel the student and the proceedings conducted before it, 
                           including the final decision sought to be reversed, vacated, or modified.

                    4.    The court may affirm the decision of the Board, remand the case for further proceedings, or reverse or modify the decision if the 
                           substantial rights of the petitioner may have been prejudiced because the Board's decision is:

                            a.    In violation of constitutional provisions;

                            b.    In excess of the statutory authority or jurisdiction of the Board;

                            c.    Made upon unlawful procedure;

                            d.    Affected by other error of law;
                            e.    Unsupported by competent, material, and substantial evidence in view of the entire record as made on review; or

                            f.    Arbitrary or capricious.

                5.    An aggrieved party may secure a review of any final judgment of the district court appeal as provided in the Administrative 
                       Procedures Act.