Suspension or Expulsion for School Hate Violence

school hate violence punishment and discipline

Last Updated on July 28, 2022 by Michelle Ball

By Michelle Ball, Sacramento California Expulsion, Special Education, sports/CIF, College, Education and School Attorney/Lawyer for Students since 1995

Parents every day face suspensions of students for a myriad of reasons, some legitimate and some not so legitimate.  One section I see infrequently used by schools is California Education Code §48900.3, which allows suspension or expulsion for “hate violence.”  This could be good or bad depending on who you represent. 

Female students may be targeted with hate violence
Hate violence can occur if a student is targeted due to their sexual orientation.

Hate Violence Is Prohibited by Education Code Section 48900.3

Specifically Section 48900.3 allows punishment of a student if they:

attempted to cause, threatened to cause, or participated in an act of, hate violence…” 

Hate Crime is Defined in the California Penal Code

As Hate Violence is not defined in the Education Code, other codes must be researched to discern just what “hate violence” may be.

Under Penal Code 422.55:

Hate crime” means a criminal act committed, in whole or in part, because of one or more of the following actual or perceived characteristics of the victim:

(1) Disability.

(2) Gender.

(3) Nationality.

(4) Race or ethnicity.

(5) Religion.

(6) Sexual orientation.

(7) Association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. 

What is Hate VIOLENCE?

Is this student holding weapons to threaten potential hate violence?

There is not clear definition of “hate violence” in the Education Code. Instead, the legislature sends readers on a loop to Education Code 233 and then to penal code sections 422.6, 422.7, and 422.75.

What do these sections prohibit?

It seems these prohibit a student trying to interfere with someone’s exercise of their constitutional rights, based on inappropriate characteristics, such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc.

Hate Violence is Rarely Used in Schools to Punish

I rarely see students charged with hate violence by schools, or suspended or expelled for hate violence. However, that does not mean they cannot be.

Fourth Graders and Up Can Be Disciplined for Hate Violence

Students from fourth grade up can be suspended or expelled for hate violence.

This is no “out” for younger students, who can still be punished under other legal sections. For example, if a third grader pushes a student down due to their race or religion, they could still be charged with assault or threats.

What About Attempted Hate Violence?

Punishing students for attempted hate violence is even rarer than discipline for hate violence. I think schools just jump to everything being hate violence, if they charge this section at all.

Muslim student hate violence
If a Muslim student’s free speech was targeted due to them being Muslim, a student could potentially get punished.

Examples of Hate Violence?

Hate violence could be alleged if a student who was Muslim was making a school speech, and was hit by a water balloon which was thrown to stop the student from exercising their free speech rights because they are Muslim.

An attempt at hate violence could possibly be seen if the student throwing the balloon missed.

Do Schools Educate Students Not to Commit Hate Violence?

I wonder how much education goes on in schools about “hate violence” and breach of student’s “constitutional rights.” Probably students get just a single brief assembly in the beginning of the year which every student and school staff member promptly forgets. 

Just another in the long list of reasons students can be kicked out of school.

Student expulsion lawyer Michelle Ball helps with suspensions and many school discipline troubles. As a student rights attorney in California, she can help in Sacramento, Roseville, Folsom, Placerville, Cool, San Jose, Oakland, Sausalito, Burbank, Los Angeles, San Francisco and many other places.