Discipline and Compliance


The Role of School Principals

School administrators have the responsibility for carrying out policies established by the local school board. At the school level, principals have primary responsibility for enforcing the Student Code of Conduct. They are typically authorized by local school boards to impose a broad range of disciplinary actions such as in-school suspension, after-school detention, suspension of certain privileges, and out-of-school suspension for up to ten days.

The Role of the Superintendent/Disciplinary Hearing Officer

At the school division level, the superintendent administers discipline policy. In most school divisions there is a superintendent’s designee who typically conducts disciplinary hearings, has authority to suspend for more than ten days, investigates incidents, and prepares recommendations for action by the school board. Virginia law defines the designee as a “(i) trained hearing officer or (ii) professional employee within the administrative offices of the school division who reports directly to the division superintendent and who is not a school-based instructional or administrative employee” (§22.1-276.01.B, Code of Virginia).

The Role of Local School Boards

In accordance with Virginia laws and regulations, only local school boards have the authority to establish student conduct policies and procedures, often referred to as “discipline policies.”

Final administrative authority for all disciplinary matters rests with local school boards which 3 determine how and under what circumstances a disciplinary action may be appealed. Only a local school board has the authority to expel a student from school.

The following questions and answers are intended to help you better understand school discipline policy. The questions listed are those most frequently asked by parents when their
children are involved in a disciplinary process.