Last Updated on July 16, 2022 by Michelle Ball
By Michelle Ball, Sacramento California Expulsion, Special Education, sports/CIF, College, Education and School Attorney/Lawyer for Students since 1995
[A] decision to expel a pupil for any of those acts shall be based on a finding of one or both of the following:
(1) Other means of correction are not feasible or have repeatedly failed to bring about proper conduct.
(2) Due to the nature of the act, the presence of the pupil causes a continuing danger to the physical safety of the pupil or others.
Other means of correction could be something like the following:
1) Behavior contract
4) Service at school or in the community
5) Suspension itself
6) A sit-down lecture/talk
…or practically anything within legal bounds to address the alleged student offense.
If a school says correction has already been tried by the school but repeatedly failed, that can be attacked at the student expulsion hearing. For example, if a student is in trouble for theft- did he have prior corrective actions related to theft or not? Were the prior school corrective actions adequate?
With the physically dangerous question, the student’s act must be analyzed. Does the action truly make the student physically dangerous to others were the student to return to school?
If the student is accused of something more minor, such as receiving stolen items, smoking, swearing habitually, or other act which shows no future physical threat, a parent can argue the student will not present a continuing danger were the student to return to school and can defeat an expulsion recommendation.
What if the School Does Not Prove Other Means or Dangerousness?
I frequently see these requirements ignored by schools with no proof of anything at an expulsion hearing on “other means” or dangerousness. There may merely be a summary statement in the school documents.
However, these are legal requirements. If one of these cannot be proven regarding the student, even if the underlying expulsion offense can be, the student cannot be expelled (in the non-mandatory expulsion categories).
Arguments on these matters should be made at the hearing, and may need to be made on appeal to the county board of education. Often these questions are glossed over and really not proven at a school expulsion hearing. This failure of proof opens a door for parents to use this to the student’s advantage and to try to reverse the expulsion.
Just one more weapon for parents to use in the student expulsion war.
Student lawyer Michelle Ball helps elementary, middle, secondary school and college students address expulsions, suspensions and other discipline. As a lawyer based in Sacramento, Michelle Ball can assist students throughout California, in places such as Long Beach, Chico, Irvine, Santa Barbara, Goleta, Davis, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Folsom and many other areas.