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 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

Does a parent really need an education attorney to help them resolve a school expulsion?  Does a minor student really need attorney representation?  Are the educational and other consequences severe for expelled students?  Yes, yes and yes!

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

Student sad after expulsion
School expulsion can be difficult for students and attorneys may be needed to defend their rights

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. 

expulsion impacts the whole family

Expulsion attorneys can help families get through very difficult times

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:

“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 experienced help.
[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]