Last Updated on July 27, 2022 by Michelle Ball
By Michelle Ball, Sacramento California Expulsion, Special Education, sports/CIF, College, Education and School Attorney/Lawyer for Students since 1995
Did an elementary, junior or high school expulsion recommendation just get sprung on a student? Or is the expulsion hearing fast approaching and there is not enough time to prepare the student’s defense? Not to worry- parents can push back a student’s expulsion hearing, up to 30 calendar days, with no questions asked.
Expulsion Hearings Can Come as a Shock
Parents often feel helpless when they are facing a student expulsion hearing. When they finally receive a hearing date, they may have less than 10 days to prepare.
Meanwhile, parents are still recovering from the shock that their child is UP FOR EXPULSION (!), dealing with the student’s new presence at home, and preparing for a school expulsion hearing with evidence and witnesses.
Why postpone? Parents sometimes have not even received the expulsion hearing documents from the school when they get the hearing date.
Or, if parents did get the student expulsion packet, it can be full of falsehoods parents don’t know how to address. Preparation also takes time.
It can all be very trying and time consuming. Postponement of the student’s expulsion hearing can help.
One Postponement Allowed With No Questions Asked
Per California Education Code section 48918(a), a student is entitled to at least one postponement of the expulsion hearing. The expulsion postponement can go up to a maximum of 30 calendar days.
Expulsion Postponement Requests Should Be In Writing
To obtain an expulsion hearing postponement, the request should be put in writing, with verified receipt by the school district.
A parent should also follow up to ensure the original expulsion hearing date is OFF CALENDAR. If the school district did not receive the request, it was stuck in spam, or a school secretary did not pass it on, a parent needs to catch this quick. Otherwise, the student expulsion hearing can proceed without the student and family present.
Picking a New Expulsion Hearing Date
In the request for a new expulsion hearing date, a parent can list suggested dates for the new hearing. School districts don’t always coordinate a new date, but coordination of the new student hearing date is usually possible.
Waivers Due to Postponement?
There are wrinkles in this, as if there is a procedural issue and a postponement is requested, the issue could potentially be waived. Parents may attempt to reserve issues when they request postponement.
Should the Hearing Be Postponed?
Whether an expulsion hearing postponement is advisable or not, is an individual decision. It may depend on the student’s facts and the parent’s preparation.
If a postponement means the difference between being prepared or unprepared for a student expulsion hearing, it may be wise to consider requesting one.
Student expulsion lawyer Michelle Ball helps parents and students navigate the confusing school expulsion process smoothly. She helps families across California as an education attorney for students, in Clovis, Lodi, Daly City, Hanford, Ceres, Truckee, Sacramento, Roseville, Granite Bay, Auburn, Elk Grove, and many other locations in the state.
[Originally published 1/10/11]