Sixth Circuit confirms that suspended school student enjoys limited due process rights.
In Heyne, et al. v. Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, the Sixth Circuit recently upheld the long-established principle that a student suspended from a public school is entitled to very limited due process protection. Basically, the student is entitled to be informed, in an informal manner consistent with the circumstances and public safety, of the allegations against him or her and entitled to an opportunity to make an informal explanation. The student is protected from arbitrary actions of the school administrators because school attendance and reputation are both substantial civil rights implicated in a suspension. The due process entitlements do not include the right to a formal hearing or a right to counsel.