The following was included in TCTA's 2017-18 Survival Guide, the ultimate reference tool for Texas educators, and is current as of September 2017 but is subject to change.

See also Removal/Expulsion of Students for a summary and additional information.

Grounds for:
 
Removal by Teacher
  • A teacher may send a student to the principal to maintain effective classroom discipline.
  • A teacher may remove a student from class after documenting repeated interference with the teacher’s ability to communicate with the class OR if the student engages in behavior so unruly, disruptive, or abusive that it seriously interferes with instruction.
    • Following removal, the principal may place the student in a disciplinary alternative education program (DAEP), in-school suspension, or another teacher’s class.
  • A teacher must remove from class and send to the principal any student who engages in conduct for which the student must be placed in a DAEP or for which the student may or must be expelled.
  • A conference must be held within three class days of the removal, during which time the student may not be returned to the regular classroom.
  • A removed student cannot be returned to the teacher’s classroom over the teacher’s objection unless the Placement Review Committee finds that the placement is the best or the only alternative. If the teacher removed the student from class because the student engaged in an offense of assault causing bodily injury against the teacher, the student may not be returned to the teacher’s class without the teacher’s consent. The teacher may not be coerced to consent.
Suspension
  • Grounds for suspension may be developed by the district and must be defined in the district’s Student Code of Conduct.
  • A student may be suspended for up to three days at a time.
  • A student in a grade below 3 cannot be placed in out-of-school suspension except for certain serious offenses involving a weapon, violence, or drugs/alcohol.
Removal to Disciplinary Alternative Education Program
  • A school district must place in a DAEP any student who, while on or within 300 feet of school property or while attending a school-sponsored or school-related activity on or off school property, engages in the following:
    • Conduct punishable as a felony;
    • Conduct containing the elements of the offense of assault causing bodily injury;
    • Selling, giving, delivering to another person or possessing, using or being under the influence of marijuana, a controlled substance, a dangerous drug or an alcoholic beverage;
    • Commission of a serious act or offense while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage;
    • Conduct containing the elements of an offense relating to an abusable volatile chemical; or
    • Conduct containing the elements of public lewdness or indecent exposure.
  • A student, whether or not on school property or at a school event, must be placed in a DAEP for engaging in conduct that:
    • Constitutes retaliation, i.e., harming or threatening to harm by an unlawful act a school employee on account of the employee’s job-related duties;
    • Involves a public school and contains the elements of the offense of false alarm, report or terroristic threat.
  • A student must be placed in a DAEP if, while off campus and not in attendance at a school-sponsored or school-related activity, the student receives deferred prosecution for the felony offense of aggravated robbery or offenses listed in Title 5 of the Texas Penal Code, i.e., violent offenses against the person; a court or jury finds that the student has engaged in delinquent conduct including the felony offense of aggravated robbery or conduct defined as a Title 5 felony offense; or the superintendent or designee has a reasonable belief that the student engaged in the felony offense of aggravated robbery or conduct defined as a Title 5 felony offense.
  • A student may be placed in a DAEP if the superintendent or designee has a reasonable belief that the student, while off campus and not in attendance at a school-sponsored or school-related activity, has engaged in conduct defined as a felony offense other than aggravated robbery, or those offenses listed in Title 5 of the Texas Penal Code, and the continued presence of the student in the regular classroom threatens the safety of other students or teachers or will be detrimental to the educational process.
  • A student who is required to register as a sex offender must be placed in a DAEP or JJAEP for at least one semester.
  • An elementary school student may not be placed in a DAEP with nonelementary school students.
  • Students younger than age 6 may not be removed to a DAEP, unless they bring a firearm to school.
  • When a student is removed to a DAEP, a conference is required within three days of removal. The school board or its designee must review a student’s status, including academic status, at least every 120 days. For high school students, progress toward graduation requirements must be reviewed and a specific plan developed.
Expulsion or Removal to DAEP, JJAEP

A student may be expelled or placed in a DAEP or JJAEP if the student has received deferred prosecution for the felony offense of aggravated robbery or conduct defined as a felony offense in Title 5 of the Texas Penal Code; has been found by a court or jury to have engaged in the felony offense of aggravated robbery or delinquent conduct or conduct defined as a felony offense in Title 5 of the Texas Penal Code; is charged with engaging in conduct defined as the felony offense of aggravated robbery or a felony offense in Title 5 of the Texas Penal Code; has been referred to a juvenile court for allegedly engaging in delinquent conduct or conduct defined as the felony offense of aggravated robbery or a felony offense in Title 5 of the Texas Penal Code; has received probation or deferred adjudication for the felony offense of aggravated robbery or a felony offense under Title 5 of the Texas Penal Code; has been convicted of the felony offense of aggravated robbery or a felony offense under Title 5 of the Texas Penal Code; or has been arrested for or charged with the felony offense of aggravated robbery or a felony offense under Title 5 of the Texas Penal Code. Before the placement, the board of trustees of a school district or the board’s designee must give an opportunity for a hearing. In addition, the board or the board’s designee must determine that the student’s presence in the regular classroom threatens the safety of other students or teachers, will be detrimental to the educational process, or is not in the best interests of the district’s students. (NOTE: Certain instances described here require mandatory expulsion.)

Expulsion
  • A student must be expelled for committing any of the following serious offenses while on school property or while attending a school-sponsored or school-related activity:
    • Uses, exhibits, or possesses a firearm, illegal knife, club, or other prohibited weapon; or
    • Commits the elements of any of the following offenses:
      • aggravated assault
      • sexual assault
      • aggravated sexual assault
      • arson
      • murder
      • capital murder
      • criminal attempt to commit murder or capital murder
      • indecency with a child
      • aggravated kidnapping
      • aggravated robbery
      • manslaughter
      • criminally negligent homicide
      • continuous sexual abuse of young child or children, or
      • drug- or alcohol-related offenses punishable as a felony
  • A student must be expelled for committing any of the above offenses against any employee or volunteer in retaliation for or as a result of the person’s employment or association with a school district, without regard to whether the conduct occurs on or off school property or while attending a school-sponsored or school-related activity on or off school property.
  • A student who engages in the conduct described above on school property of another district in this state or while attending a school-sponsored or school-related activity of a school in another district in this state may be expelled from school by the district which the student attends.
  • A student may not be expelled solely on the basis of the student’s use, exhibition, or possession of a firearm that occurs at an approved target range facility that is not located on a school campus; and while participating in or preparing for a school-sponsored shooting sports competition or a shooting sports educational activity that is sponsored or supported by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department or a shooting sports sanctioning organization working with the department.
  • A student may be expelled if, while on or within 300 feet of school property or while attending a school-sponsored or school-related event, the student:
    • Sells/gives/delivers/possesses or is under the influence of marijuana, a controlled substance, a dangerous drug or an alcoholic beverage;
    • Engages in conduct containing the elements of an offense relating to an abusable volatile chemical;
    • Engages in documented serious misbehavior despite documented behavioral interventions, while placed in a DAEP on the program campus; or 
    • Engages in conduct containing the elements of deadly conduct.
  • A student may be expelled if, within 300 feet of school property, the student:
    • Uses, exhibits, or possesses a firearm, illegal knife, club, or other prohibited weapon; or
    • Commits the elements of any of the following offenses:
      • aggravated assault
      • sexual assault
      • aggravated sexual assault
      • arson
      • murder
      • capital murder
      • criminal attempt to commit murder or capital murder
      • indecency with a child
      • aggravated kidnapping
      • aggravated robbery
      • manslaughter
      • criminally negligent homicide
      • continuous sexual abuse of young child or children, or
      • drug- or alcohol-related offenses punishable as a felony
  • A student may be expelled if the student engages in conduct against another student containing the elements of:
    • aggravated assault
    • sexual assault
    • aggravated sexual assault
    • murder
    • capital murder
    • criminal attempt to commit murder or capital murder or the offense of aggravated robbery, without regard to whether the conduct occurs on or off school property or while attending a school-sponsored or school-related activity on or off school property.
  • A student may be expelled for committing assault against any employee or volunteer in retaliation for or as a result of the person’s employment or association with a school district, without regard to whether the conduct occurs on or off school property or while attending a school-sponsored or school-related activity on or off school property.
  • A student may be expelled if the student:
    • Engages in conduct containing the elements of felonious criminal mischief;
    • Engages in school-related conduct involving false alarm, report or terroristic threat; or
    • Engages in conduct containing the elements of the offense of breach of computer security involving a computer, computer network or computer system owned by the district.
  • Students younger than age 10 may not be expelled, unless they bring a firearm to school.
  • A teacher must be informed by the district if one of the teacher’s students has committed any of the above offenses. (NOTE: A teacher must keep this information confidential, or risk certificate sanctions.)
  • A student must be given a hearing before expulsion occurs.
Emergency Removal
  • A principal (or designee) may order the immediate removal of a student to a DAEP or may order expulsion if the student’s behavior is such that it seriously interferes with the teacher’s ability to communicate with the class or with the operation of the school, or if action is necessary to prevent harm to persons or property.
  • The student shall receive oral notice of the reason for the action at the time of the emergency placement. A proper due process hearing must occur within a reasonable time after the placement or expulsion.

Chapter 37 does not specify a minimum term of a disciplinary removal or expulsion, as these decisions are determined by local codes of conduct and school officials. Additional requirements for discipline of students with disabilities are included in the sections on IDEA and restraint of students. [This chart is excerpted from the Texas Education Code, Section 37.]