Tuesday, July 5, 2011

What Happens After A School Expels a Student? Can They Still Attend Some School?

By Michelle Ball, California Education Attorney for Students since 1995

No one likes to think about school expulsions or their child getting kicked out of school.  But what if the very worst happens?  What if an expulsion from the school district actually issues?

A child who is expelled, unless an exception is made in the expulsion decision and/or agreement, may not attend any school within the district from which they were expelled.  But, they still are entitled to an education.  Per California Education Code section 48915(d), a student who is expelled shall be referred to a program of study which meets the following conditions:

(1)  Is appropriately prepared to accommodate pupils 
who exhibit discipline problems.
(2)  Is not provided at a comprehensive middle, junior, or senior 
high school, or at any elementary school.
(3)  Is not housed at the schoolsite attended by the pupil
 at the time of suspension.

What this translates to in the real world post-expulsion, is usually a move to a continuation school.  If the school district has their own continuation school set up, the student is shuffled there.  If the district does not, the students are usually referred to the county continuation school.  These are not the places most parents usually want their child to attend, but they do work for some students in the right circumstances.  The reason they may be perceived as unsavory is, ironically, the fact that all the expelled (aka "bad") students attend these schools. Most parents do not envision their children as one of "those kids" even after they are expelled.

One good thing- usually the attendance at the assigned school is not mandatory (verify with your district), so a parent may attempt to enroll their child in another district, a charter school, a private school, or an on-line school.  Often an on-line school may be the only option, but the others may be worth a shot as well.  When applying, a parent must tell the new school they are trying to enter of the expulsion.  However, they can still attempt to persuade the school to admit the student.  A letter of their own and/or authored by their legal counsel explaining the situation, how it was flawed, etc. may be helpful.

Rather than take a shot at the expulsion hearing, and risk such a placement, it is strongly recommended that parents involve an attorney specialized in education law prior to the expulsion hearing so a more positive outcome may be sought. Expulsions are a big deal- don't chance it.

Michelle Ball
Education Law Attorney
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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