4. Prepare for the appeal hearing

You and the principal will be the parties at the hearing. A committee of school board trustees will be in charge of the hearing.

Prepare questions, a statement, and evidence

If you have a lawyer, they will prepare for the appeal hearing. If you do not have a lawyer, you should prepare these things:

  1. Questions to ask the principal: These questions should help to show that the principal did not properly consider or apply the factors listed in Step 1. For example:
    1. You agree that I have never been in trouble at school before? So using progressive discipline you could have started with a less serious punishment than suspension?
    2. You know that I have a learning disability that makes it difficult for me to keep up with my work? You know that being suspended for 10 days will make it even more difficult for me?
    3. You agree that I have been bullied before because of my disability? You know that the reason I hit the other kid was because he was teasing me about my disability again?
  2. A statement: You will be allowed to explain your side of the story to the trustees. You can also tell them why you think the suspension is wrong or too long. You should try to tell the trustees about the things you think the principal did not properly consider. You can also tell them things about you and your experiences at school that help support your side of the story. If you think you have been a good student, you can tell them this. If you have been charged criminally for the same incident, you should talk to a lawyer before making a statement.
  3. Evidence: You can bring documents, photos, videos, or other evidence to support what you are saying. For example, if you have a learning disability that the school has not helped you with, you can bring documents that explain the disability. If the principal’s report does not accurately describe what happened, you may also be allowed to bring witnesses to say what actually happened.  The rules about evidence or witnesses you can bring are different for each school board.
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