Last Updated on August 5, 2022 by Michelle Ball
By Michelle Ball, California Education Attorney for Students since 1995
When does the law mandate an expulsion recommendation must be made by a school, BUT also says that a school does not have to expel the student? There are a few limited cases where this occurs.
Mandated Recommendation for Expulsion
1) Causing serious physical injury to another person, except in self defense;
2) Possession of a knife or other dangerous object of no reasonable use to the pupil.
3) Unlawful possession of any controlled substance…except for the first offense for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana (excluding concentrated cannabis), and possession of over-the-counter medication or medication prescribed to the student.
4) Robbery or extortion.
5) Assault or battery… upon any school employee.
Actual Expulsion Not Mandated
Although students must be recommended for school expulsion in these cases per California law, the school board does not have to expel them if:
the principal or superintendent determines that expulsion should not be recommended under the circumstances or that an alternative means of correction would address the conduct.
This language gives the school district a lot of discretion to resolve a pending expulsion without actually expelling the student.
This legal language opens an opportunity for negotiation early on. These types of mandated but no expulsion required recommendations give the schools and school districts wiggle room. If a parent can convince the school or district that THIS student does not need to be expelled from school (for example as they are a first offender), the expulsion recommendation can end.
Other resolutions can then be pursued such as the student returning to school, transferring to another school, or other creative options may be worked out with the school or district.
Student attorney Michelle Ball assists to defend school expulsions throughout California. Located in Sacramento California, Michelle can help in places such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chico, Fairfield, Auburn, Riverside, Fresno, Clovis, Loomis, San Diego, Elk Grove, Citrus Heights, Orangevale, Natomas, Roseville, Irvine, Davis, and many other locations.
Originally written February 14, 2011