Expulsion from school is an extreme punitive measure conducted by the governing board of a school district as a response to a particular student’s violation of the school’s rules and policies. However, a just hearing must occur where the school needs to prove that a student is eligible for expulsion. It is a significant rule that students’ rights are upheld by a qualified advocate during the hearing. This paper aims to update the county’s format for student expulsion hearings from the perspective of a newly appointed school lawyer, explaining what the school system must prove and what rights are afforded to students.
As stated, the expulsion hearing must take place, at which both sides can argue and prove their position. The school must provide clear evidence that the student’s actions fall under the following categories. The student is guilty of the wrongdoing they are accused of, and the referred mischief refers to school attendance or a specific school activity (California Legislative Information, 2020). Furthermore, all of the required procedures were implemented, and particular secondary findings were demonstrated to the governing board. The latter refers to other means of behavior correction that are non-attainable or did not bring the preferred results; the student’s further presence on school grounds can cause physical danger to other students or employee staff. If the school fails to prove the secondary findings, the student cannot be expelled from the facility.
Accordingly, the student has particular rights concerning the expulsion hearings. The student has the right to a timely hearing – the expulsion hearing must be conducted within thirty school days. However, a student is eligible to postpone it, which must be applied for in writing within no more than thirty calendar days (California Legislative Information, 2020). The right to a written notice at least ten days before the hearing is also given to a student and must include the date, place, the expulsion charges, and a copy of the disciplinary rules. The right to translation or an interpreter is provided to students and their parents who need help speaking English fluently during the hearing. Also, the right to an impartial decision-maker guarantees that the administrative panel will not include any school board staff members.
Moreover, the attorney or other advocate’s right to representation allows the student and their parents to get professional help during the expulsion hearing process. The right to inspect and present evidence is given to the student to ensure that they obtain and read copies of all documents used by school representatives during the hearing (California Legislative Information, 2020). The right to a timely resolution gives the student the guarantee that the expulsion decision will be made within forty school days. The right to notice of expulsion order must be sent to the student in the written form and include information about other schooling opportunities and the notice of the right to appeal. The latter ensures that the student can argue the expulsion decision within thirty days after it was made by the governing board. Finally, the right to a record guarantees to provide a written transcription of the expulsion proceedings (California Legislative Information, 2020).
To conclude, the school that is intended to expel a student must engage in the process of an expulsion hearing and prove that this student committed school-related wrongdoing, all the requirements were met, and, most importantly, the student poses a physical danger to fellow students and school employees. The student, for their part, needs to be aware of particular rights presented to them in order to defend themselves and their position during the hearing and ensure its proper conduct. Once both sides understand and accept their requests and requirements, the expulsion process will be lawfully organized, and the governing board will be able to make a fair, weighted decision.
California Legislative Information. (2020). Education code – EDC. Web.