Could Cyberbullying Lead to School Expulsion? (Education Code 48900)
Anyone who has ever attended school knows that bullying takes place among students. When you think of a bully, you probably think of someone who physically harasses others or forces other students to do his or her homework. However, there is a much different form of bullying that takes place in modern times: cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying is bullying that is committed using electronic communication. Since students are using their own private methods to cyberbully others, they believe they are not subject to any consequences. Is this true? Is cyberbullying subject to school expulsion or suspension?
What is Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is bullying using electronic forms of communication, which could include social media posts or messages, text messages, emails, videos and websites. Some examples of cyberbullying are:
- Making a fake profile of someone on Facebook and using it to impersonate that person
- Creating tweets that threaten to hurt someone
- Sharing edited videos or images of someone designed to make fun of that person
There are several reasons why cyberbullying has risen in popularity. Of course, advancements in technology have made it easier for cyberbullying to occur. However, many students cyberbully others because it can be done anonymously. Often, it can be very difficult to trace the source of an online message or post.
Additionally, cyberbullying can take place anywhere and at any time. For that reason, many students don’t realize that cyberbullying could lead to consequences from their school.
Cyberbullying Could Lead to School Expulsion (Education Code 48900)
One of the most common reasons students are suspended and then recommended for expulsion from school is due to allegations that they made a threat against another person, either online or in person. Cyberbullying is specifically subject to school expulsion under Education Code 48900.7 and Education Code 48900(r).
School administrators are given wide discretion when it comes to suspending students and then making recommendations for expulsion. When the school is deciding whether to suspend a student or recommend that the student be expelled, they will look to the underlining conduct as well as any prior disciplinary record the student has within the school district.
What Happens if My Child is Suspected of Cyberbullying?
If your child’s school suspects that he or she has committed cyberbullying, the first thing that should happen is an investigation into the incident. The school has a duty to first investigate the incident in question and obtain statements from your child, the student who is the alleged victim of cyberbullying and other relevant witnesses.
Unfortunately, this is not done in the correct manner in most cases. School administrators will often question students without either of their parents present. Rarely, if ever, will students suspected of bullying or cyberbullying be given an opportunity to call their parents or a lawyer. This could lead to false confessions or incidents where a student feels pressured into lying about the incident.
If you are a parent, the best thing you could do is make your child aware that he or she has a right to have you or an attorney present if he or she is questioned about an incident at school. You should also consider hiring an experienced school expulsion attorney right away to help protect your child’s reputation and record.
Contact the Experienced School Expulsion Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
If your child is in danger of being expelled, you should contact a skilled and knowledgeable school expulsion attorney immediately. At Wallin & Klarich, our school expulsion attorneys are well versed in representing clients in school expulsion matters. You have a right to fight your school expulsion, and it is best to exercise that right with the help of an experienced lawyer.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, Los Angeles, West Covina, Torrance and San Diego, our skilled school expulsion attorneys are available to help you no matter where you work or live.
Contact our office at (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.