Expulsions are serious matters and result in a permanent mark on the student's record which can arise later in life, such as during application to college and when attempting to get certain jobs (this even comes up when applying to be an attorney). Additionally, once expelled, a student cannot return to their school district for a set period of time and may have to attend school in a less savory environment, such as a continuation school. And, if an expelled student does not meet the "rehabilitation plan" terms in the expulsion, they may never return to that district.
Parents are also going up against folks who "do this for a living" who are ultimately familiar with the expulsion hearing rules and requirements e.g. for witnesses, for evidence, for procedure, and for winning. Parents are usually new to the whole expulsion process and this is a distinct disadvantage. Its a bit of a David and Goliath type of situation.
Parents also must not presume a district will "see reason" if they just hear their story. I have too many times heard from parents AFTER an expulsion hearing that they "trusted" the district to "do the right thing." Sadly, they did not and the child was expelled. Unfortunately, appeal rights can be limited and it is more difficult to fight an expulsion after the fact than prior to it occurring. This is not surprising as a parent must plead their child's case in front of a panel of individuals paid by the district as employees (who are usually disciplinarians). I would not bet my money that they would naturally have mercy on a student (they don't!).
Parents need leverage as the deck is stacked against them. Usually, the only leverage in expulsion matters is an attorney.
I recently received the following from a happy client who could not get anywhere in an expulsion matter before the expulsion panel, and even the school board, until I became involved:
[This communication may be considered a communication/solicitation for services]
Best of luck,