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A New York appeals court upheld the right of a church-operated elementary school to dismiss a first grade pupil on account of "continuous behavioral problems." The parents had filed a lawsuit demanding reinstatement of their child on the grounds that the dismissal had been "arbitrary and capricious." The court noted that the school had substantially complied with its procedure for discipline, which involved a series of graduated sanctions starting with a warning and leading ultimately to expulsion. The court also emphasized that private schools are "afforded broad discretion in conducting their programs, including decisions involving the discipline, suspension and expulsion of their students." Hutcheson v. Grace Lutheran School, 517 N.Y.S.2d 760 (1987).

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  • September 1, 1987

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