Can You Challenge a School Expulsion?

As parents, our role is to support our children’s growth and education. But what do you do when that education is threatened by expulsion? Today, we want to provide some guidance and hope for those facing this difficult situation. The key takeaway? Yes, you can challenge expulsion.

Understanding Expulsion

First, it is important to understand what expulsion means. Expulsion is a disciplinary action taken by a school that removes a student’s right to attend that school for a specific period of time. This could range from a semester to one year in public schools K-12, and permanently from private schools and higher education. The reasons for expulsion vary and can include repeated misconduct, severe behavioral issues, or actions that pose a threat to the safety and welfare of others at the school.

Your Rights in the Expulsion Process

Expulsion is not a simple decision that a school can take lightly. It is a serious action that requires a formal process. In this process, you and your child have rights. One of the most important rights is the right to due process. This means that before your child can be expelled, the school must notify you, explain the reasons for the potential expulsion, and provide an opportunity for you and your child to present your side of the story in an expulsion hearing.

How to Challenge Expulsion

Challenging an expulsion begins with preparation. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Understand the school’s policies and state law: The California Education Code outlines the rules and process for expulsion from public schools.  Private schools and higher education institutions have a code of conduct or policy handbook. This document outlines what is considered misconduct and the consequences, including expulsion. Understand these laws and policies and ensure the school has followed them.
  • Gather evidence. Collect any relevant evidence that supports your child’s case. This might include witness statements, emails, or other relevant documents.
  • Seek legal counsel. While you may represent your child at the expulsion hearing, having a knowledgeable attorney can significantly enhance your chances of a successful outcome. Especially when it comes to public schools K-12, there are often procedural and substantive violations the school commits that may be grounds to avoid or overturn an expulsion. At Moore Law for Children, we can provide the legal guidance and support needed during these proceedings.
  • Prepare for the hearing. During the hearing, you will have the opportunity to present your case. You can question witnesses, present evidence, and argue against the expulsion. Preparation is key here.
  • Appeal an adverse ruling. You will have the right to appeal on certain grounds. Make sure to understand your rights to appeal and take advantage of the appeal process.

The Role of Moore Law for Children

Facing an expulsion can be a stressful and intimidating process. Being expelled can have lasting and damaging consequences for your child’s present and future education, which can then affect career opportunities. The Education Lawyers at Moore Law for Children understand the toll this can take on both you and your child. That is why we are here to help. Our experienced and compassionate team can assist in understanding the complexities of the expulsion process, preparing for the expulsion hearing, and advocating for your child’s rights.