Lusk & Albertson recently defeated an attempt to obtain an injunction seeking to prevent Rochester Community Schools (RCS) from imposing student discipline for actions that occurred during summer recess. Several RCS students broke into one of the District’s middle schools during summer recess, destroyed RCS property, and tried to run off with a laptop. The students were charged with various crimes for their actions, including forced entry, malicious destruction of property, and larceny. In addition, the School District determined that the students violated the RCS Student Code of Conduct and ordered suspensions of 5 or 10 days on the students depending on their level of culpability.
Two of the students (one that received a 5-day suspension and one that received a 10-day suspension) filed suit in court claiming, among other things, that the School District did not have the authority under Michigan law to impose a suspension because the acts occurred while the District was on summer recess. They also sought an injunction to prevent the imposition of the suspensions.
A hearing on the injunction was held on Wednesday, October 27, 2010, during which Oakland Circuit Judge Phyllis McMillen held that the Michigan Revised School Code gives “broad powers to the districts to maintain and enforce discipline” including discipline for actions “that occur outside of the regular school day.” The Judge also held that the students will suffer no irreparable harm, one of the prerequisites to receive and injunction, but rather will merely suffer the “natural, reasonable and predictable consequences as a result of the criminal acts that were engaged in . . . .”