Public schools can expel students under specific circumstances. Unfortunately, school officials are expelling students for a wide variety of behaviors (occurring at school or on the way to or from school). Often the behaviors resulting in expulsion are things which in years past would have been handled with after-school detention or, worst case scenario, a suspension. Shockingly, even students with very minor or no discipline records can be referred for expulsion at the discretion of school officials. Students can be referred for expulsion regardless of whether the student also received a citation for juvenile delinquency court for the exact same behavior. If your student is facing expulsion, having an attorney such as Marcie Gardner represent your student may make all the difference.
How Marcie Can Help You
If your child is facing expulsion, an experienced expulsion attorney such as Marcie Gardner can help you in several ways.
First, Marcie can make sure that the district has complied with the many procedural protections given to students by the California Education Code. Schools and districts must comply with strict requirements in suspending and expelling students. If schools or districts skip steps, an expulsion could be overturned.
Second, Marcie can help make a much more persuasive presentation during the hearing. It is critical that the student put forth all relevant evidence at the panel hearing, as you do not get two bites at the apple. In almost every case, any review of the hearing by a Board of Education will be limited to what happened at the hearing. Marcie can help you decide what written evidence or live testimony should be presented. It is difficult for an attorney to appeal an expulsion decision faced with an incomplete record, although Marcie has had some success when faced with these challenging circumstances.
Third, Marcie can make appropriate arguments about why the California Education Code does not justify an expulsion. Just because a student is referred for expulsion does not mean that an expulsion is permitted, even if the student actually engaged in the conduct complained of by the school. Some expulsions are discretionary, not mandatory, and Marcie can artfully explain why a student should not be expelled. And for most offenses, a student can only be expelled if one of two factors is proven: first, the student poses a danger to his/herself or others; or second, that no other “corrective measures” are available to get the student to comply with school rules. Making a record about these factors is critical, and understanding the law is a must.
You can help prepare for this hearing by getting copies of any awards or honors your child has received, making a list of available character references for your student, and making a list of any possible witnesses to the alleged incident.
When working with Marcie, your initial consultation is always free of charge. No fee whatsoever. To contact San Bernardino expulsion attorney Marcie Gardner, please call 909.635.2047.