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stevexo
stevexo, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1000
Experience:  30 years helping those with Family legal needs
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My 7 year old is about to get expelled from school for having

Customer Question

My 7 year old is about to get expelled from school for having a knife on the buss. I think the school just wants to get rid of him. Is there anything I can do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  stevexo replied 1 year ago.
31 years of family law litigation. Understanding of your concerns,and a good legal knowledge base. Yes there is something you can do. First of all, is there a reason that you believe that your Son having a knife at school would not have resulted in any disciplinary action, but for the real reason of "wanting to get rid of him". That would mean to me that similarly situated children who get caught with a knife at school, would not be disciplined. I have a hard time believing this. But you can prove me wrong by showing me that carrying a knife to school is not a violation. If that is the case, then I agree, they are just trying to get your Son out of school for no reason. But if this really is the policy, and it applies to all students, then it would have nothing to do with not liking your Son. Thus, if as you claim the only reason is they want to get rid of him, then that would mean that the carrying of the knife does not subject one to what your Son is going through. So if you are correct, you ask for an administrative hearing, and you would just show that the carrying of a knife is not against school policy, and thus they have no basis to expel your Son, but for the improper reason of not wanting him there. They cannot expel him just because they want to get rid of him, and that would include for this act, if you are correct it only is happening to him because they do not like him. So your remedy if you are correct, is to request an administrative hearing where you would show this is only happening not because of a violation, but because they desire not to have him there. Sincerely, Steve
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks Steve, I was hoping for something a little more about our legal rights. True that there is a stated policy in the handbook and that they have a legal right to expel a student for Education code 48900(b) Possessed...knifes... , of course kids are not not allowed to have weapons at school but the boys only 7. the other charges brought against him are 48900(a) (1) Caused or attempted to cause, or threatened to cause physical injury to another person and 48900(r)(a): Placing a reasonable pupil or pupils in fear of harm to that pupil's or those pupil's person or property, are just not founded and I need something that my wife can use to convince them that he is not a risk. My first assumption was that they wanted to get rid of him, 1. Because the principle wrote on Nates statement that Nate said "If you don't calm down I'm going to kill you" and made him sign it even though that was not part of Nates original statement. 2. they brought up every time Nate has defended himself in a fight since 2008 and 3.Included his grades and ethnicity in the legal documents that we received home as part of the determination process. I don't want Nate to go to the remedial school or have this on his record forever, which apparently it will be as evidenced by the school records produced from 2008. Please keep in mind that Nates only 7.


 

Expert:  stevexo replied 1 year ago.
The only information you gave me was "that he had a knife". You never mentioned these other allegations, so of course I gave you no advice on them, as I was unaware that they existed. The only legal advice any attorney could give you on your original question involving an expulsion for a knife, does not really involve much of an explanation of his legal rights as this is a very simple legal situation from a liability standpoint. What I mean by this is that there is no legal advice that can negate what has occurred, nor change the fact that this is a violation. Thus the best legal advice and the only viable legal advice is for you to get local counsel, and two you must ask for an administrative hearing or you loose your right to one.There is no legal advice I can give you that will negate the fact that he had a knife, and under the school policy they can expel him for this. Your defense is not legal, it is equitable. His age, not far to him, hopefully no prior problems, etc. They have no case against him on these new allegations, and any of them other than a possession of a knife you need to make them prove at a hearing. The child needs to make sure he pleads not guilty to the allegations, and perhaps because of his age, they might enter into some sort of stipulation with you where they agree not to expel him. The problem though, and it is like this where I live, is that the school has 0 tolerance for a child with a weapon irregardless of age. BotXXXXX XXXXXne is you need to if possible get an attorney who knows the school board and can evaluate the case properly.Honestly no one other then local counsel that has tried these type of cases their, could give you the type of detailed and accurate advice you would need to go further. I am able to give you the general principles, but only someone local knows the real world ramification of his actions. Good Luck, Steve
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks Steve, the peace of mind knowing that there really isn't a whole bunch we can do is worth it. I was contemplating getting an attorney but at this point and from what I've read online for our area you are correct that the no tolerance law will only work against us. The best thing we can do is plead with the powers that be to let him stay, if not then home schooling would be our only option as the remedial school would just be a really bad place for my son. Thanks for clarifying. Have a nice evening.

Expert:  stevexo replied 1 year ago.
Please wait a second. I in no way was indicating that an attorney would not help, or you should not get one. And I am not saying this just because I am an attorney. A local attorney who knows the people involved, perhaps will not win a trial on this, but that is not always what is needed. No matter what the policy, I have sen many times, (personally with my own daughter) that offenses can be downgraded to one that does not cause an expulsion, even though the true facts would establish the offense. I would advise someone local that deals with the school board, at least for you to speak to one for an hour just to see if they feel they can help. That way if they cannot, you are only out an hour of compensation, and if they can help, it might save you an expulsion irregardless of the facts. Sincerely, Steve
stevexo, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1000
Experience: 30 years helping those with Family legal needs
stevexo and 2 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Steve, Just a follow up to let you know how it went. so my wife went to the meeting and as you said we didn't have an attorney so to speak but we did have a police officer that knew us take the report and another person that was on the board the was sympathetic to us. They took the other two charges and just dropped them from the report which was a huge win for us and only kept the possessing a knife charge. Nate will most likely still be expelled but this makes it much easier to get him on home school rather than the Juvenal detention center. He will also be getting some counseling through the sheriff departments counseling center to help with his frustrated anger issues. So it was a win as far as I'm concerned and Nate will get a better one on one learning experience in the future. Thanks for the peace of mind, getting an attorney in my area would have been very, very difficult . Thanks again

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