New ALR: School’s Violation of Student’s Substantive Due Process Rights by Suspending or Expelling Student

January 29, 2014

westlawnextAlthough there is no fundamental right to an education explicitly or implicitly under the U.S. Constitution, whether a student who is subject to dismissal may maintain a cause of action for violation of his or her right to substantive due process on the basis of having a state-created property interest in receiving his or her education remains an open question. Courts generally assume that such a right exists for purposes of deciding whether the suspension or expulsion violated substantive due process.

Noting that courts are extremely hesitant to second-guess the disciplinary decisions made by those entrusted with education, the court in Sabol v. Walter Payton College Preparatory High School, 804 F. Supp. 2d 747, 275 Ed. Law Rep. 219, 90 A.L.R.6th 711 (N.D. Ill. 2011), held that a high school did not violate a student’s substantive due process rights by suspending her for 10 days for violating the school’s prohibition on alcohol during a trip to China, where the suspension did not shock the conscience, and there was nothing constitutionally violative in the chaperones’ investigation of the incident. This annotation collects and discusses the cases that have addressed a school’s violation of a student’s substantive due process rights by suspending or expelling the student. See School’s Violation of Student’s Substantive Due Process Rights by Suspending or Expelling Student, 90 A.L.R.6th 235.