Last Updated on July 27, 2022 by Michelle Ball
By Michelle Ball, Sacramento California Expulsion, Special Education, sports/CIF, College, Education and School Attorney/Lawyer for Students since 1995
Was your child recommended for school expulsion prior to being sent home indefinitely due to Coronavirus aka COVID-19? Do they have this issue now hanging over their head indefinitely due to school shut downs? Now may be a great dimt to try to resolve that pending school discipline matter.
Everything has been in turmoil at schools since the Coronavirus hit, and this also includes school discipline. One positive thinking that could come out of this is that there may be months with o students being suspended or expelled and thus great school discipline records for millions of students. Clean school discipline records are good for college applications and for students themselves, as a clean school discipline record gives a positive impression. This IS a bright side to the current Coronavirus trauma going on.
If you have a student with a pending discipline matter, like a school expulsion, it is likely your formal expulsion hearing has been pushed back, maybe indefinitely.
There are heavy legal questions surrounding this postponement/delay, as school expulsion hearings legally must be held within 30 schooldays and cannot be postponed even during summer vacations.
Per California Education Code 48925(c):
The current situation with kids at home trying to access on line opportunities is similar to summer vacation, yet it is also similar to a regular school day, as on the one hand students are receiving education (schoolday) and on the other they are out of school (like summer). What rights do parents and students have in this situation?
The California Education Code does not have a mass emergency medical disaster section with regard to expulsion time limits, so we have to look to current codes. If the days students are at home are considered “schooldays” they count toward the legal time limits for pursuing discipline, and students technically should get their expulsion hearings within 30 schooldays, even during this situation.
Regardless, if a student has a pending expulsion, and the hearing was pushed back, due to this uncertainty, now may be a great time to try to resolve any pending school discipline and negotiate a more positive expulsion outcome.
The first hurdle will be to get a hold of the people in charge. School district administrators are presumably very burdened right now with all that is going on.
However, once they are reached, reasonable outcomes in light of the Coronavirus situation can be attempted. Parents can try to negotiate a total dropping of the school discipline matter or a reduction in the sentence. Starting any discipline now could be positive as students are at home anyway. Regardless, they are still entitled to an education during expulsion and could opt to attend online options, enroll in a charter school, or their parent could even file to become their own private school during the time of the discipline (easier than you may think).
Regardless, parents can try to turn this ugly situation into a winning one, and try to resolve their pending discipline matters due to the current uncertainty. There may be nothing to lose for the student, who could have a much more positive school discipline record in the end.