Last Updated on April 6, 2021 by Michelle Ball
By Michelle Ball, California Education Attorney for Students since 1995
What actions will cause a mandatory recommendation for school expulsion, but NOT mandate that the student actually be expelled?
Mandated Recommendation for Expulsion
In California, a student MUST be recommended for an expulsion for the following per California Education Code section 48915(a):
1) Causing serious physical injury to another person, except in self defense;
2) Possession of a knife or other dangerous object of no reasonable use to the pupil.
3) Unlawful possession of any controlled substance…except for the first offense for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana (excluding concentrated cannabis), and possession of over-the-counter medication or medication prescribed to the student.
4) Robbery or extortion.
5) Assault or battery… upon any school employee.
Actual Expulsion Not Mandated
Although students must be recommended for school expulsion per this section, the school, school board and any expulsion hearing panel, do not have to expel them if: “ the principal or superintendent determines that expulsion should not be recommended under the circumstances or that an alternative means of correction would address the conduct.”
This language opens an opportunity for negotiation early on. These types of recommendations give the school or school district wiggle room. If a parent can convince the school or district that THIS student does not need to be expelled from school (for example as they are a first offender), the expulsion recommendation can end.
Other resolutions can then be pursued such as returning to school, transferring to another school, or other creative options may be worked out with the school or district.
Education Attorney for Students
LAW OFFICE OF MICHELLE BALL
717 K Street, Suite 228
Sacramento, CA 95814
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.