Last Updated on August 14, 2023 by Michelle Ball
By Michelle Ball, Sacramento California Expulsion, Special Education, sports/CIF, College, Education and School Attorney/Lawyer for Students since 1995
There are many things students and parents should avoid in schools. If students and parents don’t do the items below, their chances of school survival may be increased.
Things Students and Parents Should Try Not to Do
1) Students should NOT throw a pocket knife in their clothing on the weekend and throw on those pants Monday morning, wearing them to school. They may then be caught with the knife. This has happened to many boy scouts returning to school after a weekend camping or scout activity. Can you say “expulsion recommendation?”
2) Similarly, school backpacks should be for school stuff only, to avoid the problem above. Inevitably, things like air soft guns, pellet guns, items that could be construed as weapons, etc. can get forgotten and brought to school. Only bad things happen after that. School backpacks should ONLY be used for school stuff.
3) Students should never communicate threats while at school, on the way to or from school, on a school website, or at a school event. School staff, even teachers, must report students to the police for homicidal communications. Expulsions can also result. This restriction can extend to student speech on the weekends or while at home, if it substantially disrupts the school environment, targets a particular student, or meets other legal requirements.
4) Never count on the schools to “do the right thing.” Never presume an expulsion panel will be reasonable or have compassion for a student. With schools, it is often best to expect the worst and prepare well for any student expulsion hearing, meeting, or other school hearing.
5) Do NOT NOT NOT trust the school to be the sole educator of a student. California schools are some of the worst in our nation. Parents need to pick up a lot of slack, or the student may get left behind in their education. Students not educated well may even be labelled “learning disabled” or put on special education due to being behind simply due to cruddy instruction. Don’t put a student’s education on auto pilot.
6) Never take the school’s word for anything. Question them. Get second opinions. School staff are not the end-all be-all for all knowledge. For example, if pressured to label a student as mentally ill or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), research all sides of the issue. Do not label a student with a disability just because the school is punishing them over and over or because they say the student is disabled as they can’t sit still. Have the matter looked into by someone outside the school district first, who you trust, and get help for the student.
7) If possible, never allow students to be interviewed about a bad thing they are alleged to have done at school. Anything a student says showing they did something wrong WILL be used against them by a school. Parents need to work with their children so they know what to do when called in to be interviewed.
8) Do NOT let students get chummy with school personnel. No, a student’s teacher should not be taking a student for pizza, having a student over for movies, or otherwise having private communications with them. It is quite easy to have inappropriate communications with students with social media today.
9) Never get out of control in your communications with schools. The best way to deal with schools is firmly, with facts and manners.
Some Things TO DO at Schools
1) Parents need to know all options when it comes to student education. Explore placements other than just the public schools, such as charter schools, private schools, private home schools, independent study, parent-run home schools and other school options for students. Education is key to a student’s future success. Students are in school a short time. Be sure to make the most of their education.
2) Learn all the school rules and laws so these can be leveraged to keep the schools in line.
3) Be alert to school struggles and student issues.
4) Keep students safe. Students need their parents to protect them from all the garbage which goes on in the schools, period. Keep them safe from bullies, (both student and teacher bullies), sexual predators and bad influences if possible….
Be careful out there.
Lawyer for students Michelle Ball helps resolve student education issues across California, from her Sacramento attorney office, in Natomas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Elk Grove, Auburn, Roseville, Foresthill, Salinas, Fairfield, Suisun City, Galt, Lodi and all other California locations.
Originally published December 15, 2012