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5:138 Suspension

The purpose of this policy is to provide an additional option to letters of reprimand and formal dismissal proceedings.   This policy provides that a suspension cannot be made without a written statement of charges, and that a procedure exists to immediately appeal the suspension to the Board of Education.  Further, this policy provides, if the suspension is without pay that no loss of salary will result until the person has an opportunity to have the action reviewed by the Board of Education. This policy does not preclude dismissal of an employee under the provisions of the School Code, nor does it preclude the Superintendent from temporarily re-assigning an employee with pay pending investigation of a disciplinary matter.
Suspension is a disciplinary measure wherein removal of the employee from the school premises and/or from school-sponsored activities not conducted on school premises is appropriate due to misconduct of the type set forth below.  This policy is not applicable to the suspension procedures pertaining to dismissal as provided for in the School Code Section 24-12.
Suspension Procedure
Prior to suspending an employee, the Superintendent must provide the employee with a written statement detailing the grounds for the suspension and must afford the employee the opportunity to provide either a written or an oral defense to the charges.   However, in emergency situations, an employee may be suspended first, followed as soon as reasonable, possible by the written statement and opportunity to provide a defense to the charges.
Any decision by the Superintendent to suspend may be appealed to the Board.  The request for an appeal must be submitted in writing and must be filed with the Secretary of the Board of Education within (5)  work  days  of  receipt  of  the  Superintendent's  decision  to  suspend.  This is accomplished by addressing a letter to the Board secretary and delivering it to the Administration Center at 15732 Howard Street, Plainfield, Illinois, during regular office hours.
No employee suspended by the Superintendent shall suffer loss of pay or other benefits until either the period of time for appealing the suspension has passed, or until the Board of Education has affirmed the decision to suspend.
Repayment of Compensation and Benefits
If an employee is suspended with pay, either voluntarily or involuntarily, pending the outcome of a criminal investigation or prosecution, and the employee is later dismissed as a result of his or her criminal conviction, the employee must repay to the District all compensation and the value of all benefits received by the employee during the suspension.  The Superintendent will notify the employee of this requirement when the employee is suspended.
Length of Suspension
For employees covered by the Negotiated Agreement between the Board of Education and the Plainfield Association of Support Staff, a suspension under this policy shall not exceed ten (10) work days during the term of the current -2016-2019 Negotiated Agreement.
For employees covered by the Negotiated Agreement between the Board of Education and the Association of Plainfield Teachers, a suspension under this policy shall not exceed fifteen (15) work days during the term of the 2017-2022 Negotiated Agreement. 
For all employees, except as provided above, a suspension under this policy shall not exceed thirty (30) work days. 
Grounds for Suspension
The Superintendent is hereby authorized to suspend employees from all or part of their duties, with or without pay, for serious misconduct or for repeated instances of misconduct of a less serious nature. Misconduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. Failure to follow a directive from an administrator.
  2. Failure to comply with written School District policies, rules or regulations or with statutory obligations concerning the conduct of the schools.
  3. Verbal abuse of employees, students or parents of students, or verbal abuse of other persons on school property, or at school-sponsored activities wherever located. (Examples would include inappropriate profanity; inappropriate sexual comments; and inappropriate language demeaning an employee, parent or student of the School District.)
  4. Failure to take reasonable measures to protect or account for school property for which the employee has responsibility.
  5. Failure to adequately supervise assigned students so as to expose students to dangerous situations.
  6. Conduct which permits students to obstruct the school program. (An example would include blatant student misconduct in class which disturbs learning in adjacent classrooms.)
  7. Incidents or activities not occurring in connection with the school program but which substantially reduce the effectiveness of the employee in performance of duties in connection with the school program. (Examples would include an employee involved with illegal drug usage off campus or an employee involved with sexual misconduct with a student.)
  8. Actions which endanger the physical safety of employees, students or parents of students or of other persons on school premises, or at school-sponsored activities wherever located.
  9. Unexcused absence from duties.
  10. Misrepresentation or withholding of information relevant to the conduct of school affairs. (An example would be falsification of credentials or transcripts.)
  11. Failure to meet timelines in performance of a duty relating to the school program. (An example would be failure to submit student reports of progress as requested.)
  12. Use, possession, or being under the influence of intoxicants such as but not limited to alcohol, marijuana, narcotics or other drugs not properly prescribed on school premises or at school- sponsored activities wherever located.
  13. Habitual tardiness or frequent absences from duty during work hours.
  14. Unauthorized use of leave benefits.
  15. Any ground or cause for dismissal stated in Section 10-22.4 of The School Code.  

LEGAL REF.: 5 ILCS 430 et seq.
105 ILCS 5/24-12.
Cleveland Bd of Educ. v. Loudermill, 470 U.S. 532 (1985)
Barszcz v.  Community College District No. 504, 400 F.Supp. 675 (N.D. Ill. 1975).
Massie v. East St. Louis Sch. District No. 189, 203 Ill.App.3d 965 (5th Dist., 1990)  

CROSS REF.: 5:290 (Educational Support Personnel – Employment Termination and Suspensions)

ADOPTED: November 22, 2004

REVISED: April 24, 2006
June 22, 2009
January 23, 2012
May 26, 2015
December 14, 2015
January 22, 2018