Law Office of Michelle Ball 48915,discipline,expulsion When Must a Student Expulsion Be Recommended But Is Not Mandatory?

When Must a Student Expulsion Be Recommended But Is Not Mandatory?


Student up for school expulsion

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.

Parent negotiating outcome of expulsion
Parents can call school officials to try to negotiate expulsions

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.”

Negotiation Opportunities

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.

1 thought on “When Must a Student Expulsion Be Recommended But Is Not Mandatory?”

  1. selina says:

    i got in to a fight in school nnd the other girl didnt want to fight though but i still faught her so now im suspended for 5 days nd i am getting recommended for expultion but this is the first time i ever got in a fight and this is the first time i got suspend in this school year will i gett expeled?

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