Last Updated on July 28, 2022 by Michelle Ball
By Michelle Ball, Sacramento California Expulsion, Special Education, sports/CIF, College, Education and School Attorney/Lawyer for Students since 1995
As a student expulsion lawyer, I hear a lot of depressing expulsion stories from parents. One of the questions which comes up in school expulsion matters is whether, if the parent removes the student from the school or school district prior to the expulsion hearing, can the school district still expel the student? Yes. A school expulsion hearing cannot be avoided by running or disappearing.
Schools Have Jurisdiction To Expel If Student Attended When They Committed Expellable Act
Once an expellable act is alleged to have occurred and a student expulsion hearing is pending, even if a student moves out of state, or graduates, the expulsion hearing may still proceed. Schools have jurisdiction to expel a student if the student was attending that school and school district when they did the alleged expellable act (e.g. fighting, sexual battery, bullying, having weapon or knife, etc.)
Not going to the student expulsion hearing, or moving and not responding to expulsion notices, does not stop the expulsion hearing or its outcome (whether the student attends the hearing or not). Once they have jurisdiction, school districts may expel a student.
Student Discipline Records Follow Student Who Moves
Additionally, when a student is enrolled at a new school, such as a charter school, or just in a new school district, the student discipline records follow them.
As such, the student may be refused admission at the new school depending on the allegations and the school’s policies.
Trying to Hide a Pending Expulsion is Unwise
Trying to hide a pending student expulsion from a new school is also not wise, as the new school will find out there is a student expulsion pending as soon as they receive the student’s records.
I have seen parents who enrolled a student at a new school without revealing a pending expulsion. Later, the student was kicked out of the new school suddenly, after the pending expulsion was discovered.
It is the best policy when enrolling a student with a pending expulsion to be up front with the new school about the allegations and what is going on.
Negotiation Prior To Hearing Can Be Pursued
If a parent is committed to not returning a student with a pending expulsion hearing to the expelling school district or school, the best thing to do may be to use this to try to negotiate the expulsion outcome.
In other words, a parent can go to school district officials and try to negotiate a lesser punishment if they e.g. “don’t show their face around there again…” for a certain time period. This can help to resolve the school expulsion matter in a more positive way, pre-hearing.
Parents May Not Be Listened To
Be warned that a school district can still say: “Well, he could not come back anyway if he were expelled so you have to go to the expulsion hearing.” To overcome this, the very best persuasive case needs to be made by parents even during pre-hearing discussions.
Sadly, a parent’s pleas to strike an expulsion deal will often fall on deaf ears. They may be ignored as they are merely “the parent.” Regardless, it is always worth a shot to try to negotiate the best student expulsion deal.
Student expulsion lawyer Michelle Ball represents students in school expulsions, suspension appeals, records corrections, and many other education matters. Located in Sacramento California, attorney Michelle Ball assists students and parents throughout California, including in Roseville, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Hollywood, Berkeley, Vacaville, Auburn, Foresthill, Loomis, Folsom, and many other locations.
[originally published June 2, 2011]