Complete List Of Expellable Student Offenses In California


expulsion or suspension school

Last Updated on October 20, 2021 by Michelle Ball

By Michelle Ball, Sacramento California Expulsion, Special Education, sports/CIF, College, Education and School Attorney/Lawyer for Students since 1995

Ever wondered everything a student can be suspended or expelled for in California public schools (see Cal Education Codes 48900-48915)?

Here is a complete list of the reasons a public elementary, junior high or high school can legally expel or suspend students for, per state code.

Fighting at school can end in expulsion
Fighting at school can lead to suspension or expulsion

Suspension or Expulsion for Fighting and Physical Harm

Schools can expel or suspend students for fighting, aka mutual combat or violence, including:

Caused or attempted to cause physical injury

Willfully used force or violence upon the person of another

Assault or battery on a school employee

Aiding or abetting physical injury (but no expulsion)

Suspension or Expulsion for Weapons

Schools can expel or suspend students for weapons:

Possessed, sold, or furnished a firearm (gun), knife, explosive or dangerous object

Brandishing a knife

Possessed an imitation firearm

Suspension or Expulsion for Controlled Substances (drugs, alcohol, intoxicants)

Schools can expel or suspend students for drugs, alcohol, marijuana/pot, and even fake drugs or alcohol.

Possessed, used, sold or furnished a controlled substance, alcoholic beverage or intoxicant, including marijuana and prescription medication

Offered, arranged, or negotiated to sell a controlled substance, alcoholic beverage or intoxicant and sold, delivered or furnished something and represented it as a controlled substance, alcoholic beverage or intoxicant

Unlawfully offered, arranged to sell, negotiated to sell, or sold the prescription drug Soma.

suspension or expulsion school for drugs
Drugs can lead to suspension or expulsion from school

Suspension or Expulsion for Drug Paraphernalia

Schools finding drug paraphernalia can expel or suspend students:

Unlawfully possessed, offered, negotiated to sell or sold drug paraphernalia

Suspension or Expulsion for Tobacco

Schools can even expel or suspend for tobacco:

Possessed or used tobacco or products containing tobacco or nicotine products, including, but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, miniature cigars, clove cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, snuff, chew packets, and betel

Suspension or Expulsion for Theft/Property

Property crimes, such as stealing or involvement with stolen property, can end in schools expelling or suspending a student:

Committed or attempted to commit a robbery

Stole or attempted to steal school or private property

Knowingly received stolen school property or private property.

Caused or attempted to cause damage to school property or private property

Committed or attempted to commit extortion

pexels-cottonbro-4858872-1
Sexual battery, assault or harassment are suspendable or expellable offenses

Suspension or Expulsion for Sexual or Obscene Conduct

Students may be expelled or suspended for sexual wrongs:

Committed an obscene act

Commiting or attempting to commit a sexual assault

Sexual battery

Sexual harassment (fourth grade and up only)

Engaged in habitual profanity or vulgarity

Suspension or Expulsion for Bullying/Harassment

Being expelled or suspended for bullying is not uncommon:

Harassed or intimidated a student pupil witness

Hazing

Bullying

Cyber Sexual Bullying

Caused, attempted, threatened to cause or participated in Hate Violence (grades 4-12 only)

Suspension or Expulsion for Threats

Schools may expel or suspend for threats or threatening language:

Threatened to cause physical injury

Threatened a student witness

Terroristic threats

Student threats
Threats can land students in discipline trouble.

Harassment, threats, or intimidation, directed against school district personnel or pupils

Severe harassment, threats, intimidation which materially disrupts classwork, creates substantial disorder, invades rights by creating hostile environment

Can Schools Expel For Disruption or Defiance?

School disruption or defiance can end in a suspension if a student is in a certain grade, but schools cannot expel.

Disrupted school activities (suspension only if in grades 9th-12th, and no expulsion)

Willfully defied the valid authority of supervisors, teachers, administrators, school officials, or other school personnel engaged in the performance of their duties (suspension only if in 9th-12th, and no expulsion)

If Its Not in the Law Schools Cannot Expel For It

Above is everything listed in Education Code sections 48900-48915. If an offense is not listed there, a student cannot be suspended or expelled for it.

Sometimes school administrators think they can suspend or expel for whatever they want, or can squeeze a matter into a legal category that does not fit. Innocent students are punished. I have fought suspensions for things not in the law before.

If a student is up for punishment and it does not fit in the Education Code parameters, parents may be able to challenge a school expulsion or suspension on that basis alone.


Attorney Michelle Ball helps families fight suspensions and expulsions throughout California. With her office in Sacramento, education lawyer Michelle Ball can represent students in all California cities, including Roseville, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Bernardino, Anaheim, Folsom, Stockton, Marysville, Elk Grove, Santa Rosa, Hanford, Santa Ana, and many other locations.