General Education and Expulsion

Students who display inappropriate behavior at school may face a recommendation of expulsion. Expulsion is the removal of a student from the immediate supervision and control, or the general supervision, of school personnel.

A student may be expelled for acts related to a school activity or school attendance and applies:

  • While on school grounds;
  • While going to or coming from school;
  • During the lunch period, whether on or off the school campus; and
  • During, going to, or coming from a school-sponsored activity.

Expulsion is a serious matter and should not be taken lightly. This is a general overview of expulsion. There are many procedural aspects of the law that I am unable to go into in one blog. If you have specific questions feel free to contact me directly.

Discretionary Expulsion:

A student may be recommended for expulsion and expelled for various types of conduct. These categories include:

  1. Inflicted physical injury, unless in self-defense
  2. Possessed dangerous objects
  3. Possessed drugs or alcohol   (policy determines which offense)
  4. Sold look alike substance representing drugs or alcohol
  5. Committed robbery/extortion
  6. Caused damage to property, including electronic files and databases
  7. Committed theft
  8. Used tobacco (policy determines which offense)
  9. Committed obscenity/profanity/vulgarity
  10. Possessed or sold drug paraphernalia
  11. Disrupted or defied school staff
  12. Received stolen property
  13. Possessed imitation firearm
  14. Committed sexual harassment
  15. Harassed, threatened or intimidated a student witness
  16. Sold prescription drug Soma
  17. Committed hazing
  18. Engaged in an act of bullying, including, but not limited to, bullying committed by means of an electronic act, as defined in subdivisions (f) and (g) of Section 32261, directed specifically toward a pupil or school personnel.

Please note that this is an abbreviated version of violations set forth in the California Education Code.

The school shall determine whether other means of correction are feasible to bring about proper conduct.  Other means may include, but are not limited to, implementation of behavioral contracts, anger management or self-esteem workshops, and requiring the student to perform community service.

If other means have been implemented and failed then expulsion will likely be recommended. Expulsion will also be recommended if the school determines the presence of the student causes a continuing danger to the physical safety of the pupil or others.

Mandatory Expulsion:

There are times when a school has no choice but to recommend expulsion and thereafter expel a student. They are:

1)  Possessing, selling or furnishing a firearm.
2)  Brandishing a knife at another person.
3)  Unlawfully selling a controlled substance.
4)  Committing or attempting to commit a sexual assault or committing a sexual battery.
5)  Possession of an explosive.

A one-year expulsion is required for a student expelled for any of the above reasons, although the governing board may set an earlier date on a case-by-case basis.

Student’s Right to Expulsion Hearing/Decision:

The student is entitled to a hearing to determine whether the student should be expelled. The hearing shall be held within 30 school days after the principal or superintendent determines that one of the acts listed as grounds for expulsion has occurred.  Once the hearing starts, all matters must be pursued with reasonable diligence and concluded without unnecessary delay. The Board’s decision on whether to expel a student shall be made within ten (10) school days after the conclusion of the hearing, unless they don’t meet weekly then they have forty (40) days. A student facing expulsion is entitled to a written notice of the decision to expel the student.

Decision Not to Enforce:

In certain circumstances, the Board may decide whether to suspend the enforcement of an expulsion, taking into consideration:

  • The student’s pattern of behavior;
  • The seriousness of the misconduct; and
  • The student’s attitude towards the misconduct and willingness to following a rehabilitation plan.

Right to Appeal:

The student is entitled to file an appeal of the expulsion decision with the County Board. The appeal must be filed within 30 days of the Board’s decision to expel, even if the expulsion action is suspended or the student is placed on probation.

If your child has been suspended or recommended for expulsion, call Kristin at (925) 551-1041.

(Note: This Blog/Web Site is made available for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. The website has been designed to be a resource for information on matters that might be of interest to current or potential clients but does not establish that relationship. For further information visit my Disclaimer page-




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