Types of Offenses
Each county has different policies. The types of offenses, definitions of offenses, and the offenses for which you can be suspended or expelled may vary from county to county.
Check your school handbook or school policies. If you never received a copy of your school's handbook or misplaced your copy, ask for a new one. Many counties also post electronic versions of their handbooks and policies on their websites. The Maryland State Department of Education has direct links to the websites for all 24 of Maryland's local school systems.
Schools discipline students for many reasons. Here are some reasons students are suspended or expelled:
- Harassing or bullying another student
- Sexual offenses or assault
- Possession of matches or lighters
- Weapons, including possession of look-alike weapons and many knives including box cutters
- Pulling a fire alarm
- Drugs or Alcohol
- Cell phones
- Cheating (academic dishonesty)
- Skipping School
- Destroying Property
- Computer Misuse
There are specific disciplinary procedures that your school must follow. For example, if you are facing suspension, the school must provide written notice, including the name of your offense, like “disrespect” or “possession of a cell phone.”
Make sure the school is disciplining you correctly. For example, if the handbook or school policy says “disrespect” is only punishable with suspension, make sure the school does not try to expel you. Learn more about school disciplinary procedures.