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School systems impose zero tolerance standards to remove the burden of having to make actual decisions. If they had to make decisions on a case by case basis, I suppose that would require too much effort. Heavens knows we shouldn't burden our public school system with having to focus on an individual child's issues.
You need a lawyer. You must realize that their decision has likely already been made... and they are likely going to hide behind their "policy". There will be an administrative appeal available, but in my experience they are rarely successful. You will want your lawyer to be present during all of your meetings with school officials and also during the administrative appeal process. Normally you can then file with your local court to review the school's decision. Your lawyer will describe the specific process for your area.
You are facing an uphill battle. Schools impose these zero tolerance standards so they can sit with you and say things like "I sure wish I could do something ... but my hands are tied."
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