Last Updated on December 13, 2021 by Michelle Ball
By Michelle Ball, Sacramento California Expulsion, Special Education, sports/CIF, College, Education and School Attorney/Lawyer for Students since 1995
Suspensions are problematic for students. They push a student out of school for an extended time, may result in missed work, and can be a negative mark on a student’s record with an unpredictable impact in the future. Can a student suspension be appealed or removed in a private school? Maybe, but as usual, it depends.
Suspension Removal Depends on the Policies
In public schools, there is no legal right to appeal a suspension, but sometimes school districts set up appeal procedures or may consider removal if certain issues exist. In private schools, similarly, there is no legal obligation to remove, alter, expunge, or otherwise change a student suspension unless the school has a suspension appeal or suspension challenge process. If there is such a process, parents may follow it, arguing that the suspension was unsupported and should be removed.
No Suspension Appeal Policy? Make Your Own Appeal
If there is no policy in the private school allowing students or parents to appeal a student suspension, parents can still try to contact the Dean, Principal, or whomever may be in charge of the school, to try to appeal a student suspension.
Facts showing the suspension offense did not occur, was not exactly as the school thought, or that the truth has been discovered (e.g. some other student did it) may be brought forward to try to challenge the suspension.
Contact Must Be Professional
Any approach made to private school staff on a suspension must be professional, courteous, and respectful. Private school staff often have a lot of power over students, their punishment and their continued enrollment. As such, parents should always tread lightly when approaching private school staff on a suspension appeal or any other matter. This is because often in the private school contract is a provision that a student may be terminated if their parents act poorly. As such, private school staff should be approached with caution and composure, not overemotional pleas.
If a Suspension Cannot Be Removed Now, Maybe Later?
If a private school will not agree to remove a student suspension now, parents can try to negotiate removal in the future, if certain conditions exist. Conditions could surround a student getting no additional suspensions, doing certain actions, or just reaching a certain milestone (attending for 2 more years). It is all negotiable if the school is open to it.
Private school student lawyer Michelle Ball helps students of all ages throughout California with suspensions, expulsions, and other school problems. As a student attorney in Sacramento, Michelle can assist throughout the state, in places such as Redding, Los Angeles, Santa Rosa, Mission Viejo, Roseville, Vacaville, and many other locations.