Monday, February 14, 2011

When Must a Student Expulsion Be Recommended (But Maybe not Issued)?

By Michelle Ball, California Education Attorney for Students since 1995

I earlier blogged regarding the Big 5 mandatory expulsion categories, for which a student must be both recommended and expelled should allegations be proven correct [http://edlaw4students.blogspot.com/2011/01/when-is-school-expulsion-mandatory-in.html].  THIS blog covers the list of bad acts for which expulsion must be recommended, but for which an expulsion may not HAVE TO be issued.  I am not including the "Big 5" covered in the other blog in my list below.

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...ounce of marijuana other than concentrated cannabis.
4)  Robbery or extortion.
5)  Assault or battery... upon any school employee."

However, a mere recommendation for student expulsion under these sections does NOT mean the student must be expelled.  Rather, the expulsion panel and/or school board has discretion to expel or not to expel the student.

There is also some wiggle room even with these types of offenses on the "mandatory" nature of a recommendation.  Per the same Education Code section, for any of the above offenses, schools may decide NOT TO RECOMMEND EXPULSION IF the principal or superintendent "finds that expulsion is inappropriate, due to the particular circumstance."  This opens a window for attack early on, if a parent can argue that THIS situation, student, etc. is different and and an expulsion recommendation should not be pursued.  The principal and/or district may then choose not to put the student up for expulsion depending on the particular circumstances.


Best,
Michelle Ball
Education Law Attorney
LAW OFFICE OF MICHELLE BALL
717 K Street, Suite 228
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-444-9064
Fax: 916-444-1209
Website: http://www.edlaw4students.com/
Please see my disclaimer on the bottom of my blog page [http://edlaw4students.blogspot.com/]. 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.

1 comment:

  1. 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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