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School Expulsions: Who Has the Final Say?

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Expulsions in schools are complex and have a lot of moving parts. However, when can an expulsion become official? The decision to suspend a student or not lies with the school board. As a parent, you might be wondering if you can prevent the education board from voting to expel your child. But if you think your child has been unfairly suspended, you should hire an education lawyer to help you try to overturn the decision. 

High school student dismissals have several stages including the expulsion recommendation, student hearing, and the Board of Education review. Thus, an expulsion can only be imposed when the Board officially approves it. The Board will have to make the expulsion official in a board meeting. 

What’s the Role of the Expulsion Panel?

The expulsion panel in high schools will hear the student’s case and make an expulsion recommendation. However, their authority is limited to hearing evidence that both parties in the case may present and making a recommendation to the school board. Often, school boards impose the recommendation of the panel, but they have to vote for it in a session and publicly announce the decision. 

What Parents Can Do

Parents of high school students should know that they can influence the school board as they review the recommendation of an expulsion panel regarding student expulsion. There have been many instances when the Board rejects a panel’s recommendation because of a parent’s plea and members of a community rallying behind the student. 

Before an expulsion becomes official, parents must ask when the expulsion of their child will be reviewed by the Board. Also, they must let the school board secretary know that they will be at the closed session and speak with the Board. Parents must know that they have the right to be present during the review. But parents who are happy with the expulsion panel’s recommendation do not have to attend the session. 

What to Expect at the Closed Session

When parents are present at the Board expulsion review, they may be allowed to make a final plea before the Board rules on the expulsion. While the Board will not accept new evidence, they often allow a lawyer or parent to speak. The plea’s effect on the review is not determined; however, if the panel made an unfavorable recommendation, parents may want to improve the outcome by making a sincere plea to the Board not to expel their child. 

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