Last Updated on September 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
Have you ever wondered if a student can escape expulsion if he or she does something wrong just before school summer vacation? Maybe the student can skate by and the discipline will be forgotten? Maybe, maybe not, but if school districts do not provide timely expulsion hearings over the summer, that may be good news for the student due to breach of mandatory expulsion timelines.
Summertime does not mean schools are off the hook for legal timelines.
Expulsion Hearings Must Still Be Held Over the Summer Break
Most parents probably think that if a student does something expellable 5 days before a school year ends that any student expulsion hearing does not have to be held until the fall semester, months later. Not so, at least not if the expulsion hearing will be legal.
Schooldays Count During Summer Break for Expulsion Hearings
But aren’t there no student “schooldays” during the summer? Good question.
(c) “Schoolday” means a day upon which the schools of the district are in session or weekdays during the summer recess. [emphasis added]
What this means is, although school may end in May, the “schooldays” for purposes of expulsion hearing timelines are still running Monday- Friday during the summer. This schoolday count would likely exclude any major holidays such as July Fourth.
School districts must proceed with expulsion hearings regardless if school is out for summer
Schools Cannot Delay Expulsion Hearings Over the Summer Break
So, no school expulsion hearing can wait until the fall semester if the act occurred the prior school year.
The only exceptions would be if the parent signs a waiver or the student is in a year round school.
Summer Expulsion Timelines Are Positive for Students
These mandatory timelines can be positive for a student, as school Districts can miss summer timelines and be forced to drop a student expulsion recommendation if they mess up on timelines over the summer.
School district administrators also may be more willing to make a deal with a parent regarding the discipline, so they don’t have to pull staff from their summer breaks for a student expulsion hearing.
Parents Need to Be Alert to Expulsion Timelines and Challenge Any Missed Timelines
Alert district administrators may be aware of the summer timeline issues. However, if a parent is also alert, and calculates the time, the parent may discover that the expulsion hearing was not scheduled or convened timely (e.g. the student’s expulsion hearing was convened after 30 “schooldays”).
The alert parent may then stop the student’s expulsion hearing from proceeding.
Students have due process rights to timely hearings, and summer is no excuse
Right to Appeal if Expulsion Hearing Proceeds in Breach of Timelines
If the school district moves forward with a student expulsion hearing regardless of messing up due to summer “schooldays” being ignored or not counted, this error could give a parent the right to appeal to the county board of education.
The County Board of Education can overturn any discipline that resulted from the untimely expulsion hearing.
Attack the Expulsion Hearing if Untimely
So, if a student did something at the end of the last schoolyear and is facing an expulsion hearing in the fall, or late summer, parents may want to check calendars. Once the days are counted as per the law, it may just be that the expulsion was improper and can be attacked or even reversed.
California student attorney Michelle Ball helps students with expulsion hearings and suspensions, expulsion appeals, suspensions, challenging suspensions and other discipline issues. As a student lawyer in Sacramento, Michelle Ball helps across California in Redding, Roseville, Los Angeles, Paradise, Ventura, Elk Grove, South San Francisco, Daly City and beyond.
Education Attorney for Students
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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.