Joshua Abel, et. Al v. Mississinawa Valley Board of Education

Headnotes

H1: Admin Law > Judicial Review > Standard of review > General Overview

Ohio Revised Code §2506.04

H2: Admin Law> Judicial Review > Reviewability

Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code §2506.03(A)(1), if the admin body does not submit a complete transcript of testimony and evidence offered in an admin proceeding, then the hearing of such appeal shall proceed as in the trial of a civil action, and  the court shall be confined to the transcript as filed pursuant to Ohio Revised Code §2506.02. However, if on the face of the transcript or by affidavit filed by the appellant, the transcript does not contain a report of all evident admitted or proffered by the appellant, then the court may hear the appeal upon the incomplete transcript and such additional evidence as introduced by either party. Additionally, at the hearing, any party may call on cross-examination any witness who previously gave testimony in opposition to the party.

H3: Education Law > Student Dsicipline > Methods of Discipline > Suspensions and Expulsion of Students

Ohio Revised Code §3313.66(E)

 

Summary of Case

Procedural Posture: Appellant parent on behalf of Student filed an administrative appeal based on the Mississinawa Valley Board of Education’s upholding of appellant’s 80 day expulsion ordered by the Principal of the Mississinawa Valley High School.

Overview: Appellant Student was found to have said disruptive and inappropriate comments in class. The Principal, as well as the Darke County Sherriff’s department, investigated the matter. The Principal, after an investigation, suspended Student for 10 days. Principal then recommended to the Superintendent that Student be expelled from school. Superintendent, based off the findings of the Principal, upheld the Principal’s decision and expelled student from school for 80 days. Student was allowed to return the following school year, if Student submitted a “Psychological Examination” for the School Board to review.

Parents of Student filed an appeal with School Board on the Superintendent’s decision. The School Board held a special meeting where 3 of the 5 board members attended. The present board members unanimously agreed to uphold the Superintendent’s decision. Parents of Student then filed this appeal with the Darke County Court of Common Pleas.

Outcome: The School Board failed to submit a complete transcript of the special meeting, and so the Court ruled on this appeal de novo. The Court ordered final judgment of affirming in part and modifying in part the decision of the School Board. The Court upheld the expulsion of Student, but found that the 80 day expulsion was excessive for the violation. Court modified the expulsion to the beginning of the following school year, conditioned on the submittal of the “Psychological Examination” of Student.

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