I see your other contributor opted out; I will do my best to get you this information.
I am sorry to hear you and your child is having to deal with this.
The statute does allow for suspension for conduct occuring on school grounds provided the suspension is limited to 5 days if there is no recommendation of expulsion.
The statute also states:
(v) For a pupil subject to discipline under this section, a superintendent of the school district or principal may use his or her discretion to provide alternatives to suspension or expulsion that are age appropriate and designed to address and correct the pupil’s specific misbehavior as specified in Section 48900.5.
48900.5 states: Suspension shall be imposed only when other means of correction fail to bring about proper conduct. However, a pupil, including an individual with exceptional needs, as defined in Section 56026, may be suspended for any of the reasons enumerated in Section 48900 upon a first offense, if the principal or superintendent of schools determines that the pupil violated subdivision (a), (b), (c), (d), or (e) of Section 48900 or that the pupil’s presence causes a danger to persons or property or threatens to disrupt the instructional process.
Those subsections refer to issues such as personal injury, property damage, controlled substances, robbery.
But the catch all is the "or threatens to disrupt the instructional process" - which allows the principal to determine if the conduct was the type that would affect the learning process. The parent could argue that since school was out (it did not occur in the classroom) that it was not appropriate to not first attempt other disciplinary actions per the statute but school districts have successfully argued that misconduct that occurs outside the classroom carries over to inside the classroom (ie hostile environment, harassment, etc).
That would be a question of fact for the courts to determine if the parties are not able to reach an agreement at the local level. The principal or the board has the authority to vacate the suspension and impose conditional community service, and once that is completed removing the suspension from the student's record.
I certainly hope this helps!
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