Parents of students attending public schools often feel helpless when they are facing a school expulsion hearing. After they receive notice of the hearing, they may have less than 10 days to prepare. It is usually a new experience and is confusing. As such, parents should be aware of their AUTOMATIC right to a postponement of any public school expulsion hearing in California.
Per California Education Code section 48918(a), a student is entitled to at least one postponement up to 30 calendar days no questions asked.
If a parent wants to get prepared or discuss the matter with an attorney, and time is tight, a postponement request can be made in writing to the school district. Parents may request a mutually agreeable date be provide for the new hearing and can even let the district know some good dates for the family. There is no guarantee the district will set the hearing on those dates, but it is worth a try.
Parents sometimes come to my office (Law Office of Michelle Ball, Sacramento California) after the expulsion hearing has been held stating that they thought the school would "do the right thing," and would "listen and change their mind." While we may all have hopes and dreams, it is not my experience that this will occur. Rather, the expulsion hearing is very important and should be approached with all your ducks in a row. If a simple postponement means the difference between being prepared or unprepared and/or seeking legal advice and/or representation, a parent might want to exercise their option to postpone. Their attorney, if they have one, may also request such a postponement.
If an attorney will be involved, the postponement is best coming from legal counsel.
Best of luck.
Education Law Attorney
LAW OFFICE OF MICHELLE BALL
717 K Street, Suite 228
Sacramento, CA 95814