Law Office of Michelle Ball continuation school,school discipline Do Parents Need An Education Attorney For A School Expulsion?

Do Parents Need An Education Attorney For A School Expulsion?


school expulsion hearing room

Last Updated on November 17, 2021 by Michelle Ball

By Michelle Ball, Sacramento California Expulsion, Special Education, sports/CIF, College, Education and School Attorney/Lawyer for Students since 1995

Do parents facing school expulsion really need a specialized education attorney to help their child? Is a student important enough to hire a student-focused lawyer? Are the school and life consequences severe for expelled students?  Yes, yes and yes!

School expulsion attorney/lawyer can help students
Student expulsion recommendations can be shocking for families.

Expulsion Lawyers Help Parents Navigate

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, learning expulsion evidence rules, how to get documents, how to defend the student, how to get an education while the expulsion is pending, and who to believe. 

Parents are usually not experienced in dealing with school expulsion, while school personnel running expulsion proceedings expel students weekly as their profession.  School staff are very familiar with expulsion rules and requirements and know how to win against inexperienced parents.  

Parents are also not objective due to their strong involvement in the situation and love for their children. This lack of objectivity plus unfamiliarity with the school expulsion process can be a student’s doom.  Inexperience is a distinct disadvantage.  

Students and families need quality legal guidance to navigate the school expulsion process, so it resolves in the student’s best interests.

School Expulsion Negatively Impacts Students

Student sad after expulsion
The school expulsion process can be tough for parents with little experience fighting a student expulsion.

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 the student applies 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 student and parents rights are met.  As an attorney focusing only on education law for students, I have too many times heard from parents AFTER an expulsion hearing that they “trusted” the school district to “do the right thing.”  

Sadly, the school did not, and the student was expelled.  

Appeals May Not Work After the Expulsion

Expulsion appeals can reverse an expulsion for many students. However, most students just don’t have arguments than can result in a reversal on appeal so appeal cannot be counted on to save the day.

student expulsions are tough on parents
It may be too late if parents go through an expulsion and then try to appeal

This is because expulsion appeal arguments are limited to certain categories that are usually procedural. If a school handled the discipline procedure properly, there may be no appeal arguments available.  As such, an expulsion appeal should not be relied on as an easy out. 

The best place to win a student expulsion is before the discipline hearing, with good negotiation. If that fails, the next best place is at the expulsion hearing itself.

A specialized education and student expulsion attorney knows these ins and outs and can help families get through the student expulsion process and come out the other side with the least damaging result possible in an expulsion situation.

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 legal 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 a specialized student lawyer.

I received the following from a happy client who could not get anywhere in an expulsion matter before an expulsion hearing panel, and even the school board, until I became involved:

expulsion impacts the whole family
Student expulsion lawyers can help parents get through tough discipline matters.

“My son was expelled from the Elk Grove Unified School District for one semester. Elk Grove High recommended two semesters expulsion. I recommended dismissal based on lack of evidence and parent notification violations. I lost the case. The Expulsion Panel recommended one semester expulsion. I quickly appealed the case to the Elk Grove Board of Education. I was also allowed to appeal the two home suspensions to the school principal. During this time I hired Education Attorney Michelle Ball for legal advice. What I liked about Michelle is that I could pay for half hour and one hour sessions, which made it affordable. I would have my questions ready and she would provide legal answers and information on the education codes. She was a wealth of knowledge.”- RC

It is not wise to enter the school expulsion gauntlet without a specialized student lawyer.


Student lawyer Michelle Ball has helped families with pending expulsions, expulsion hearings and appeals for decades. As an expulsion defense attorney in Sacramento, California, she can assist statewide, including in Roseville, Auburn, Vacaville, Galt, Modesto, Lodi, Yuba City, Chico, Fairfield, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Fresno, and many other locales.

[These testimonials or endorsements do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of a legal matter.  This post may be seen as a solicitation or advertisement for services]