My Child Has Been Expelled From School, Now What?
When a school or school district feels like they have exhausted all other disciplinary options when dealing with a problem student, the ultimate recourse is expulsion. Being expelled from a school (or the entire school district) can have a dramatic impact on a student’s life, both personally and academically.
In some situations, being expelled can limit or outright prevent a student’s ability to get a diploma and/or move on to higher education. If your child has been expelled from school, you have a limited amount of time act, so it’s essential to get involved as quickly as possible.
Appealing A School Expulsion
In California, a school expulsion can be appealed within 30 days. Your appeal must be submitted in writing within 30 days of the school’s decision to expel your child. If you fail to appeal within the allotted time, you lose the right to appeal permanently.
One important detail to keep in mind is that each county in California has a separate board of education that oversees each school district’s board. Therefore, each board may require different forms and documents in support of the appeal. This will likely include, but may not be limited to, documents such as:
- School records and transcripts
- Written evidence
- Additional supporting documentation
Because it is ultimately up to the student (or student’s parents) to gather the necessary documentation and present their case, some parents find it helpful to hire an attorney.
Grounds For Appealing An Expulsion
You are only allowed to appeal a school expulsion for a handful of reasons:
1) Whether the governing board acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction.
2) Whether there was a fair hearing before the governing board.
3) Whether there was a prejudicial abuse of discretion in the hearing. An abuse of discretion includes:
- If school officials have not met the procedural requirements of this article.
- If the decision to expel a pupil is not supported by the findings prescribed by Section 48915.
- If the findings are not supported by the evidence.
4) Whether there is relevant and material evidence which, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, could not have been produced or which was improperly excluded at the hearing before the governing board.
All Decisions Are Final
If you decide to appeal your child’s expulsion, an administrative officer or panel with the county board of education will hear your appeal. Within three school days, the officer or panel must prepare a recommended decision to present to the board of education. Within ten school days, the county board must notify you of its decision.
There are generally only three possible outcomes to your appeal:
- The expulsion is reversed
- The expulsion is upheld
- The case is sent back to the school board for reconsideration
Once a decision has been made, it is final. If you don’t like the outcome, you are not allowed to file another appeal. Because you only get one chance to appeal your child’s expulsion, consider hiring an experienced attorney to help guide you through the process.
To learn more or to request a free consultation, please contact our office today.
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