Last Updated on August 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
Education Attorneys Help Navigate the Complex School Expulsion Process
The school expulsion process is quite tricky and has a lot of moving parts. Parents can become quickly overwhelmed trying to learn what to do, how to get documents, how to defend the student, how to educate the student while expulsion is pending, and who to believe. Parents are not experienced in dealing with school expulsion, while the school personnel expel students for a living. Families need guidance and help to navigate the complex process so it resolves in their child’s best interests.
Schools are very familiar with the expulsion hearing rules and requirements e.g. for witnesses, for evidence, for procedures, and for winning. Parents love for their children, which can cause them to be less objective. This plus unfamiliarity with the school expulsion process can be their doom. Inexperience is a distinct disadvantage and without good legal intervention the student may pay the price.
School Expulsion Negatively Impacts Students
Expulsions are serious matters and result in a permanent mark on the student’s record. The black mark of expulsion may come up later in life, such as when applying to college, when applying for professional degrees (such as applying to become an attorney), or even when attempting to get certain jobs.
Unless otherwise agreed (e.g. in the expulsion paperwork), once expelled, a student cannot return to their school or school district for a set period of time and may have to attend school in a less savory environment, such as a continuation school.
And, if an expelled student does not meet the “rehabilitation plan” terms outlined in the expulsion document, they may never return to that district.
Schools Don’t See Reason
Parents also must not presume a school district will “see reason” if they just hear the student’s explanations or that they will ensure that the student and parents rights are met. I have too many times heard from parents AFTER an expulsion hearing that they “trusted” the district to “do the right thing.” Sadly, the school did not and the student was expelled.
Appeals May Not Work After the Expulsion
Expulsion appeal rights can be limited to certain categories that are usually procedural. As such, appeal should not be relied on as an easy out. It is often more difficult to fight an expulsion on appeal than prior to the student expulsion occurring.
Expulsions Are Rigged
The difficulties with fighting a student expulsion are not surprising. Is it fair that a parent must plead their child’s case in front of a panel of individuals paid by the district as employees (who are often disciplinarians)? No.
I would not bet my child’s future on the mercy of a panel so stacked against the student. For this reason, and many others, school expulsion hearings are definitely not “fair” and parents need all the leverage they can get.
Education Attorneys Provide Leverage, Attention, and Strategies
An education attorney can provide a student leverage, attention, and a strategy to resolve the expulsion even before it is issued. Often, the only leverage for students facing expulsion matters is an education attorney.
I received the following from a happy client who could not get anywhere in an expulsion matter before the expulsion hearing panel, and even the school board, until I became involved:
Education Attorney for Students
LAW OFFICE OF MICHELLE BALL
717 K Street, Suite 228
Sacramento, CA 95814
Please see my disclaimer. This is legal information, not legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is formed by this posting. This blog may not be reproduced without permission from the author and proper attribution of authorship. This blog may not reflect the current state of the law.