Friday, January 7, 2011

When is School Expulsion Mandatory in California Public Schools?

By Michelle Ball, California Education Attorney for Students since 1995

School expulsion is NOT something any parent wants their child to endure.  To be removed entirely from a school district to have to attend school elsewhere (continuation school, other district, etc.) is not a fun process and a permanent mark is placed on the student's record which may come up later in life (college, job applications, etc.).  As such, it is good to know WHEN an expulsion is MANDATORY for a school district.  In other words, when does a school district have no choice but to recommend expulsion and thereafter expel a student?

In California there are only five cases where a public school student MUST be expelled.  Please see Education Code section 48915(c) for more specifics []:

1)  Possessing, selling or furnishing a firearm.
2)  Brandishing a knife at another person.
3)  Unlawfully selling a controlled substance.
4)  Committing or attempting to commit a sexual assault or committing a sexual battery.
5)  Possession of an explosive.

These are the big 5.  IF the district can prove at their hearing that one of these occurred they are legally obligated to expel a student.  Additionally, per California Education Code 48916, an expulsion under any of these five areas will not have a readmission review date until a full calendar year after the date the governing board votes to expel.  The governing board, however, may set an earlier date on a case-by-case basis.

Please see my disclaimer on the bottom of my blog page []. This is legal information, not legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is formed by this posting, etc. etc.!  This blog may not be reproduced without permission from the author and proper attribution of authorship.

Michelle Ball
Education Law Attorney
717 K Street, Suite 228
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-444-9064
Fax: 916-444-1209

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