State law provides comprehensive assurances of due process for students facing disciplinary action.
California Education Code 48918 Suspension or Expulsion
The governing board of each school district shall establish rules and regulations governing procedures for the expulsion of pupils. These procedures shall include, but are not necessarily limited to, all of the following:
- (1) The pupil shall be entitled to a hearing to determine whether the pupil should be expelled. An expulsion hearing shall be held within 30 schooldays after the date the principal or the superintendent of schools determines that the pupil has committed any of the acts enumerated in Section 48900, unless the pupil requests, in writing, that the hearing be postponed. The adopted rules and regulations shall specify that the pupil is entitled to at least one postponement of an expulsion hearing, for a period of not more than 30 calendar days. Any additional postponement may be granted at the discretion of the governing board of the school district.
- (2) Within 10 schooldays after the conclusion of the hearing, the governing board of the school district shall decide whether to expel the pupil, unless the pupil requests in writing that the decision be postponed. If the hearing is held by a hearing officer or an administrative panel, or if the governing board of the school district does not meet on a weekly basis, the governing board of the school district shall decide whether to expel the pupil within 40 schooldays after the date of the pupil’s removal from his or her school of attendance for the incident for which the recommendation for expulsion is made by the principal or the superintendent of schools, unless the pupil requests in writing that the decision be postponed.
- (3) If compliance by the governing board of the school district with the time requirements for the conducting of an expulsion hearing under this subdivision is impracticable during the regular school year, the superintendent of schools or the superintendent’s designee may, for good cause, extend the time period for the holding of the expulsion hearing for an additional five schooldays. If compliance by the governing board of the school district with the time requirements for the conducting of an expulsion hearing under this subdivision is impractical due to a summer recess of governing board meetings of more than two weeks, the days during the recess period shall not be counted as schooldays in meeting the time requirements. The days not counted as schooldays in meeting the time requirements for an expulsion hearing because of a summer recess of governing board meetings shall not exceed 20 schooldays, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 48925, and unless the pupil requests in writing that the expulsion hearing be postponed, the hearing shall be held not later than 20 calendar days before the first day of school for the school year. Reasons for the extension of the time for the hearing shall be included as a part of the record at the time the expulsion hearing is conducted. Upon the commencement of the hearing, all matters shall be pursued and conducted with reasonable diligence and shall be concluded without any unnecessary delay.
California Education Code 48919. Appeal of expulsion to county board
If a pupil is expelled from school, the pupil or the pupil’s parent or guardian may, within 30 days following the decision of the governing board to expel, file an appeal to the county board of education which shall hold a hearing thereon and render its decision. The county board of education, or in a class 1 or class 2 county a hearing officer or impartial administrative panel, shall hold the hearing within 20 schooldays following the filing of a formal request under this section. If the county board of education hears the appeal without a hearing conducted pursuant to Section 48919.5, then the board shall render a decision within three schooldays of the hearing conducted pursuant to Section 48920, unless the pupil requests a postponement.
The period within which an appeal is to be filed shall be determined from the date a governing board votes to expel even if enforcement of the expulsion action is suspended and the pupil is placed on probation pursuant to Section 48917. A pupil who fails to appeal the original action of the board within the prescribed time may not subsequently appeal a decision of the board to revoke probation and impose the original order of expulsion.
The county board of education shall adopt rules and regulations establishing procedures for expulsion appeals conducted under this section. If the county board of education in a class 1 or class 2 county elects to use the procedures in Section 48919.5, then the board shall adopt rules and regulations establishing procedures for expulsion appeals conducted under Section 48919.5. The adopted rules and regulations shall include, but need not be limited to, the requirements for filing a notice of appeal, the setting of a hearing date, the furnishing of notice to the pupil and the governing board regarding the appeal, the furnishing of a copy of the expulsion hearing record to the county board of education, procedures for the conduct of the hearing, and the preservation of the record of the appeal.
The pupil shall submit a written request for a copy of the written transcripts and supporting documents from the school district simultaneously with the filing of the notice of appeal with the county board of education. The school district shall provide the pupil with the transcriptions, supporting documents, and records within 10 schooldays following the pupil’s written request. Upon receipt of the records, the pupil shall immediately file suitable copies of these records with the county board of education.