Thursday, June 2, 2011

Can A Parent Withdraw a Student or Move Away To Avoid A Pending School Expulsion Hearing?

By Michelle Ball, California Education Attorney for Students since 1995

As a California expulsion lawyer, I frequently meet with parents regarding pending school expulsions.  One of the questions which often comes up is whether, if the parent removed the student from the school or district prior to the expulsion hearing, the school district would still have jurisdiction to expel?  Yes.  A school expulsion hearing cannot be avoided by running or disappearing.

Once an expellable act is alleged to have occurred and an expulsion hearing is pending, even if a student moves out of state, the expulsion hearing may still proceed.  Not going to the hearing does not avoid the consequences no matter how much we wish that were so.  Additionally, when the student is enrolled somewhere else, their discipline records will follow them and they may be refused admission.

If a parent has committed to not returning a student with a pending expulsion hearing to a school district, the best thing to do is usually to try to negotiate the outcome.  In other words, a parent can go to district officials and try to negotiate a lesser punishment if they e.g. "don't show their face around there again..." for a certain time period.  This can help to resolve the school expulsion matter pre-hearing.

Be warned that a district can still say: "Well, he could not come back anyway if he were expelled so you have to go to hearing."  To overcome this, the best persuasive case needs to be made by parents even during pre-hearing discussions.

Sadly, a parent's pleas to strike a deal will often fall on deaf ears unless they involve a school expulsion attorney.  A large amount of my expulsion matters are resolved pre-hearing via negotiation as this is often the cheapest and most efficient way to handle the situation.  I have observed, however, that when a parent presents the same sort of offer I do to a district, they may be ignored as they are merely "the parent."

Regardless, it is always worth a shot to try to negotiate the best outcome if possible and with the strongest leverage a parent may have.  Often, as a school expulsion matter can be stacked against a student, the only potential leverage is involving an expulsion attorney specializing in education law.

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.

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