Last Updated on August 3, 2022 by Michelle Ball
By Michelle Ball, Sacramento California Expulsion, Special Education, sports/CIF, College, Education and School Attorney/Lawyer for Students since 1995
After a student is suspended from school for a serious offense, sometimes parents are told they have to attend another meeting before the student can return to school. This initial meeting is usually a suspension extension or pre-expulsion meeting.
What Is This Meeting?
A suspension extension/pre-expulsion meeting is a meeting that has to be held if a school district may expel a student to keep the student out of school until the hearing.
It is usually held at the school district, while a student is still serving an initial 1-5 day suspension, and involves district and school personnel, the student (if a parent chooses to bring the student) and parents.
At this get-together, it will be decided if a student will be recommended for school expulsion based on the evidence gathered by the school so far. If expulsion will proceed, a decision as to whether the student’s suspension will continue until the expulsion hearing is also made.
This is not the final student expulsion hearing.
What Causes This Pre-Expulsion Meeting?
When a school principal, vice principal or school district personnel recommend a suspended student be placed up for expulsion, this meeting is scheduled if the school wants to make a student suspension continue until hearing.
When Does a Suspension Extension Meeting Happen?
A suspension extension/pre-expulsion meeting occurs during the initial student suspension, so the student does not return to school after their initial one-five day suspension. It thus must be held before a student’s first suspension ends.
What Should Happen at a the Suspension Extension Meeting?
Here is what should happen at a suspension extension meeting:
1) School district administrator, school representative and family meet to discuss the student’s situation and allegations.
2) The family is provided a school evidence packet.
3) The school district representative decides if the student’s matter will proceed to expulsion or if the student will be returned to school.
4) The District representative makes a determination as to whether the:
“Presence of the pupil at the school or in an alternative school placement would cause a danger to persons or property or a threat of disrupting the instructional process.” [California Education Code §48911(g)]
4a) If yes, the student’s suspension will be extended.
4b) If not, the student should go back to school while the expulsion hearing is pending.
It should be an objective and fair determination (but see below).
What Actually Occurs at a Pre-Expulsion Supsension Extension Meeting
Usually what occurs is the student and family are told by the district representative:
1) The student is up for school expulsion.
2) The student must stay home until the expulsion hearing.
3) The family is told the expulsion hearing will be scheduled.
4) No determination is made regarding the student’s dangerousness, at least not with the parents input.
5) The family may or may not be given a school evidence packet.
6) Sometimes the family is handed a stipulated (aka agreed) expulsion agreement and pressured to sign it for the student to avoid the expulsion hearing.
7) Sometimes arrangements are made for the student’s attendance at an alternative school program (continuation school).
Other Uses for the Suspension Extension Pre-Expulsion Meeting
The pre-expulsion meeting sounds bad, but it also presents an opportunity for savvy parents. As parents have the ear of the school district and the school, they can try to negotiate a more positive outcome than school expulsion.
What is negotiated will depend on the student wrong alleged and the people involved. It is often worth a shot as all the key school decisionmakers are present.
Expulsion and suspension student defense lawyer, Michelle Ball, can help parents in Sacramento, Roseville, Auburn, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Jose, Stockton, Yuba City, Chico, Fresno and other locations, with expulsion and other school legal problems.