State Profile

School Discipline

State Profile - Tennessee


School Discipline
What may a student be suspended or expelled for? Assault
Criminal behavior
Defiant or disruptive behavior
Destruction of property
Drug use/possession
Firearm/weapon possession
Profanity/vulgarity
Physical harm or threat of physical harm
Threat to educational institution
Violating school rules
Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-3401
What must a student be suspended or expelled for? Assault
Drug use/possession
Firearm/weapon possession
Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-3401
Are there limitations placed on suspension or expulsion? Length: Suspension is not more than 10 days.
Violation type: Acts of self-defense must be considered.
Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-3401
Are there non-punitive approaches outlined as alternatives to suspension or expulsion? Alternatives to discipline encouraged: The legislature requires the department to develop a model policy for alternatives to exclusionary discipline practices for students in pre-kindergarten through kindergarten. Each Local Education Agency must either adopt the model policy or develop their own. Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-3024
Are there alternative schooling options available for students who are suspended or expelled? Yes. At least one alternative school must be available for students in grades seven through twelve who have been suspended or expelled. Local boards of education must may establish alternative schools for suspended/expelled students in grades one through six. Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-3402
When is a school required to involve law enforcement in student discipline? Not specified in statute or regulation.
Is corporal punishment permitted? Yes. Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-4103
Does the state outline reporting requirements for suspension and expulsion? Commissioner of Education must report on disciplinary actions in Tennessee schools, including information on number of students suspended/expelled, reason for disciplinary action and alternative placements. The data must be sorted by school and various demographic categories, including grade, race and sex. Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-3401

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