Mandatory Expulsion

The California Education Code combined with the school district's own policies and regulations dictate when the school district can suspend or expel a student. However, there are certain violations that require a charge for a mandatory or required expulsion.

A mandatory expulsion means that the school district in recommending expulsion isn't required to consider facts such as whether other means of addressing behavior have failed to bring about a change in the behavior.

However, just because an expulsion is based on a mandatory expellable offense that doesn't mean that the rights to notification of the charges and the right to defend oneself with evidence and witnesses at a hearing are waived or unavailable. In other words, Leigh Law Group's expulsion attorneys have represented clients in mandatory expulsion matters and have provided a successful and strong defense. Each case has it's own unique facts and issues and so whether a student can overcome a mandatory expulsion is based on a case by case basis.

By hiring an attorney from the Leigh Law Group, we assist you in ensuring that your rights are preserved and that you are prepared to defend charges that mandate expulsion and removal from school.

The "Must Recommend Expulsion" violations

1. Firearm

a. Possessing firearm when a district employee verified firearm possession and when student did not have prior written permission from a certificated employee which is concurred with by the principal or designee.

b. Selling or otherwise furnishing a firearm.

2. Brandishing a knife at another person.

3. Unlawfully selling a controlled substance listed in Health and Safety Code Section 11053.

4. Committing or attempting to commit a sexual or committing a sexual battery.

5. Possession of an explosive.


The California Education Code Section 48915 (a) states generally that an expulsion for certain classes of violation of the Education Code shall be recommended for expulsion unless the principal or superintendent determines that expulsion should not be recommended or that an alternative means of correction would address the behavior in question.

This means that the school's administrator or the school district's superintendent or administrative designee shall recommend the student for expulsion. However, there are a few narrow exceptions to expulsion which can also form the basis of a defense in your child's expulsion matter.

The administrator or superintendent would consider a few factors such as prior behavior of either a similar or a different nature, various behavior interventions that have been tried or not tried, whether the behavior interventions have demonstrated that they positively impacted the student's behavior and whether the behavior is likely to occur again even if the student has been provided interventions. A review of the student's educational records along with input from parents, teachers and other educational providers can be considered.

The failure to consider these alternative means or other circumstances impacting whether to recommend an expulsion could be a violation of your child's rights.

If the administrator determines that expulsion is not recommended, then an expulsion hearing will not be required. However, if an expulsion is recommended, then you are entitled to notice of the specific facts upon which the charges are based, a copy in advance of a fair hearing of all documents upon which the school district is relying and the right to bring an attorney and present evidence and witnesses to present your case.

Shall Be Recommended For Expulsions Subject To Narrow Exceptions and Defenses:

1. Causing serious physical injury to another person, except in self-defense.

2. Possession of any knife, explosive, or other dangerous object of no reasonable use to the pupil.

3. Possession and/or use of any substance listed in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11053) of Division 10 of the Health and Safety Code (generally opiates), except for the first offense for possession of not more than one avoirdupois ounce of marijuana other than concentrated cannabis.

4. Robbery or extortion. EC Section 48915 (a)(4).

5. Assault or battery, or threat of, on a school employee.