19 Nov 2022


The United States Constitution and Its Underlying Principles

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Academic level: College

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The school board policy relating to short-term and long-term penalty gives detailed information on the procedures and the types of discipline to be enhanced to students. The school policy stipulates on the types of crimes that warrants either long or short term suspension. Also, the school policy is based on the due process that is in the Constitution of the United States. According to the reports, more than 1.5 million students miss a day or two of school because of suspension depending on the type of offence they have committed. Most of the offences are for crimes such as smoking cigarette in school, bullying other students or being disobedient to the school authorities. In most cases, the type of suspension depends on the state that a student lives. 

In most cases, school authorises consider suspension as an extreme punishment and tend to use it at the last resort. However, in some cases, students who are prone to certain offences are always suspended on a daily basis as the school authorities try to change their behaviours (Chapman, 2010).The law further explains that if the student is not content with the ruling that the authorities have made regarding his case, then he/she has the right to appeal the hearing. Such actions are to ensure that the right of the student is respected. In some cases, the people in authorities might have used false evidence against the student. 

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The fourteenth amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees everyone something call the ‘due process’ which means that people have the right to be treated fairly by people who are in the positions of authority. The right was established by the Supreme Court way back in 1975 after a case was presented that included high school students who were suspended without hearing. The due process is required before after school detention. The law is very clear that any student who is found or believed to have committed a crime has the right to a hearing. The people in charge would then determine if the student is guilty or not. In that case, before determining any action to be taken upon that student, it is the responsibility of the authorities to investigate the matter. 

The fourteenth amendment also explains that if the student is found guilty of something, the punishment cannot be more serious that the crime committed. The main aim of punishment is to correct the student and ensure that he/she behaves in a certain manner. Based on that information, the school cannot suspend or get detention for such crimes. There have been various debates relating to such issues as some people argue that students need to be punished the same even if they have committed minor crimes. Such cases would ensure that student behaves in a particular way. 

The due process procedures for a short-term and a long-term suspension of students are different. In some cases, a student might have committed minor offences that do not require so much intervention by the school authorities. For the school to give a student a long-term suspension, they must have retrieved all the evidence that the student has committed that crime. As such, it would take them a long process of determining the type of offence that is committed and the best types of punishment for the student. 


Chapman, J. W., & Pennock, J. R. (2010). Due process. New York: New York University Press. 

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