Appealing a School Expulsion in California
Expulsion from school and entire school district is the ultimate punishment that any school can impose on a student. It is a drastic measure that is intended only for the most severe of discipline problems because it can affect the rest of the student’s life. If your child is in grade school, high school, or college, an expulsion will limit your son or daughter’s ability to get a diploma, or move on to a higher education program. The loss of the chance at higher education can be a barrier to getting a degree and moving onto the workforce in the field of your or your child’s choice.
If you or your child has been expelled from school, you generally can appeal the decision within a limited time frame. Here is what you need to know about your rights to appeal a school discipline decision.
Short Time to Act
California Education Code Section 48919 gives you a limited window in which to act following an expulsion decision. From the date of the decision, you have only 30 days to file your written appeal. This includes decisions in which the school has suspended the expulsion, or placed the student on probation. If you fail to appeal within that time frame, you will lose your right to appeal.
Keep in mind that each county has its own board of education that oversees each school district’s board, and therefore each board may require different forms and documents in support of the appeal. Ultimately, the student appealing the decision is responsible for getting the record together, including transcripts, written evidence, and other supporting documentation. That is why it is important to hire an experienced school expulsion appeal attorney to help you with your case, because if the appeal is filed incorrectly or without proper supporting documentation, it may be rejected with little time to correct the errors.
On What Grounds Can I Appeal an Expulsion?
Appeals can only filed for limited reasons. Those reasons all stem from the same constitutional right: the right to due process, meaning notice of a hearing and the opportunity to be fairly heard. California Education Code Section 48922 limits those reasons to the following:
- Whether the school board acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction;
- Whether there was a fair hearing before the school board;
- Whether there was a prejudicial abuse of discretion in the hearing, which includes:
- School officials not meeting the procedural requirements;
- The decision to expel the student is not supported by the findings prescribed by Education Code Section 48915; or
iii. The findings are not supported by the evidence; and
- The school board improperly excluded relevant material evidence; or there was evidence that could not have been found and produced after a reasonable search at the time of the hearing.
The County’s Decision Is Final
If you appeal a school board’s decision to expel, 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 for presentation to the board of education. Within ten school days, the county board must render its decision.
An expulsion appeal generally will have only three outcomes.
The county board will:
- reverse the decision,
- uphold the decision; or
- send the case back to the school board for reconsideration.
Once the county has decided, the decision is final, and cannot be appealed again.
Contact the Education Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich For Help With Your Appeal
The stakes for an appeal of an expulsion decision are high. If your child is facing expulsion, now is the time to contact an experienced education defense attorney. At Wallin & Klarich, we have over 40 years of experience in helping parents like you fight for their child’s right to an education. We are dedicated to using all of our legal knowledge and skill to help our clients achieve the best possible outcome to their cases. Let our skilled attorneys and legal professionals help you, too.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, San Diego, West Covina, Torrance, and Victorville, there is an experienced and skilled Wallin & Klarich education defense attorney available to help you no matter where you are located.
Contact our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free, no-obligation phone consultation. We will get through this together.