California Education Code Section 48918
Legal Research Home >
California Laws > Education Code > California Education Code Section 48918
48918. 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:
(a) 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.
Within 10 schooldays after the conclusion of the hearing, the
governing board 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 district governing board does not meet on a weekly basis, the
governing board 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, unless
the pupil requests in writing that the decision be postponed.
If compliance by the governing board 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 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 prior to 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.
(b) Written notice of the hearing shall be forwarded to the pupil
at least 10 calendar days prior to the date of the hearing. The
notice shall include all of the following:
(1) The date and place of the hearing.
(2) A statement of the specific facts and charges upon which the
proposed expulsion is based.
(3) A copy of the disciplinary rules of the district that relate
to the alleged violation.
(4) A notice of the parent, guardian, or pupil's obligation
pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 48915.1.
(5) Notice of the opportunity for the pupil or the pupil's parent
or guardian to appear in person or to be represented by legal counsel
or by a nonattorney adviser, to inspect and obtain copies of all
documents to be used at the hearing, to confront and question all
witnesses who testify at the hearing, to question all other evidence
presented, and to present oral and documentary evidence on the pupil'
s behalf, including witnesses. In a hearing in which a pupil is
alleged to have committed or attempted to commit a sexual assault as
specified in subdivision (n) of Section 48900 or committing a sexual
battery as defined in subdivision (n) of Section 48900, a complaining
witness shall be given five days' notice before being called to
testify, and shall be entitled to have up to two adult support
persons, including, but not limited to, a parent, guardian, or legal
counsel, present during their testimony. Before a complaining witness
testifies, support persons shall be admonished that the hearing is
confidential. Nothing in this subdivision shall preclude the person
presiding over an expulsion hearing from removing a support person
whom the presiding person finds is disrupting the hearing. If one or
both of the support persons is also a witness, the provisions of
Section 868.5 of the Penal Code shall be followed for the hearing.
This section does not require a pupil or the pupil's parent or
guardian to be represented by legal counsel or by a nonattorney
adviser at the hearing.
(A) For purposes of this section, "legal counsel" means an
attorney or lawyer who is admitted to the practice of law in
California and is an active member of the State Bar of California.
(B) For purposes of this section, "nonattorney advisor" means an
individual who is not an attorney or lawyer, but who is familiar with
the facts of the case, and has been selected by the pupil or pupil's
parent or guardian to provide assistance at the hearing.
(c) Notwithstanding Section 54593 of the Government Code and
Section 35145, the governing board shall conduct a hearing to
consider the expulsion of a pupil in a session closed to the public,
unless the pupil requests, in writing, at least five days before the
date of the hearing, that the hearing be conducted at a public
meeting. Regardless of whether the expulsion hearing is conducted in
a closed or public session, the governing board may meet in closed
session for the purpose of deliberating and determining whether the
pupil should be expelled.
If the governing board or the hearing officer or administrative
panel appointed under subdivision (d) to conduct the hearing admits
any other person to a closed deliberation session, the parent or
guardian of the pupil, the pupil, and the counsel of the pupil also
shall be allowed to attend the closed deliberations.
If the hearing is to be conducted at a public meeting, and there
is a charge of committing or attempting to commit a sexual assault as
defined in subdivision (n) of Section 48900 or committing a sexual
battery as defined in subdivision (n) of Section 48900, a complaining
witness shall have the right to have his or her testimony heard in a
session closed to the public when testifying at a public meeting
would threaten serious psychological harm to the complaining witness
and there are no alternative procedures to avoid the threatened harm,
including, but not limited to, videotaped deposition or
contemporaneous examination in another place communicated to the
hearing room by means of closed-circuit television.
(d) Instead of conducting an expulsion hearing itself, the
governing board may contract with the county hearing officer, or with
the Office of Administrative Hearings of the State of California
pursuant to Chapter 14 (commencing with Section 27720) of Part 3 of
Division 2 of Title 3 of the Government Code and Section 35207, for a
hearing officer to conduct the hearing. The governing board may also
appoint an impartial administrative panel of three or more
certificated persons, none of whom is a member of the board or
employed on the staff of the school in which the pupil is enrolled.
The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with all of the
procedures established under this section.
(e) Within three schooldays after the hearing, the hearing officer
or administrative panel shall determine whether to recommend the
expulsion of the pupil to the governing board. If the hearing officer
or administrative panel decides not to recommend expulsion, the
expulsion proceedings shall be terminated and the pupil immediately
shall be reinstated and permitted to return to a classroom
instructional program, any other instructional program, a
rehabilitation program, or any combination of these programs.
Placement in one or more of these programs shall be made by the
superintendent of schools or the superintendent's designee after
consultation with school district personnel, including the pupil's
teachers, and the pupil's parent or guardian. The decision not to
recommend expulsion shall be final.
(f) If the hearing officer or administrative panel recommends
expulsion, findings of fact in support of the recommendation shall be
prepared and submitted to the governing board. All findings of fact
and recommendations shall be based solely on the evidence adduced at
the hearing. If the governing board accepts the recommendation
calling for expulsion, acceptance shall be based either upon a review
of the findings of fact and recommendations submitted by the hearing
officer or panel or upon the results of any supplementary hearing
conducted pursuant to this section that the governing board may
The decision of the governing board to expel a pupil shall be
based upon substantial evidence relevant to the charges adduced at
the expulsion hearing or hearings. Except as provided in this
section, no evidence to expel shall be based solely upon hearsay
evidence. The governing board or the hearing officer or
administrative panel may, upon a finding that good cause exists,
determine that the disclosure of either the identity of a witness or
the testimony of that witness at the hearing, or both, would subject
the witness to an unreasonable risk of psychological or physical
harm. Upon this determination, the testimony of the witness may be
presented at the hearing in the form of sworn declarations which
shall be examined only by the governing board or the hearing officer
or administrative panel. Copies of these sworn declarations, edited
to delete the name and identity of the witness, shall be made
available to the pupil.
(g) A record of the hearing shall be made. The record may be
maintained by any means, including electronic recording, so long as a
reasonably accurate and complete written transcription of the
proceedings can be made.
(h) Technical rules of evidence shall not apply to the hearing,
but relevant evidence may be admitted and given probative effect only
if it is the kind of evidence upon which reasonable persons are
accustomed to rely in the conduct of serious affairs. A decision of
the governing board to expel shall be supported by substantial
evidence showing that the pupil committed any of the acts enumerated
in Section 48900.
In hearings which include an allegation of committing or
attempting to commit a sexual assault as defined in subdivision (n)
of Section 48900 or committing a sexual battery as defined in
subdivision (n) of Section 48900, evidence of specific instances, of
a complaining witness' prior sexual conduct is to be presumed
inadmissible and shall not be heard absent a determination by the
person conducting the hearing that extraordinary circumstances exist
requiring the evidence be heard. Before the person conducting the
hearing makes the determination on whether extraordinary
circumstances exist requiring that specific instances of a
complaining witness' prior sexual conduct be heard, the complaining
witness shall be provided notice and an opportunity to present
opposition to the introduction of the evidence. In the hearing on the
admissibility of the evidence, the complaining witness shall be
entitled to be represented by a parent, guardian, legal counsel, or
other support person. Reputation or opinion evidence regarding the
sexual behavior of the complaining witness is not admissible for any
(i) (1) Before the hearing has commenced, the governing board may
issue subpoenas at the request of either the superintendent of
schools or the superintendent's designee or the pupil, for the
personal appearance of percipient witnesses at the hearing. After the
hearing has commenced, the governing board or the hearing officer or
administrative panel may, upon request of either the county
superintendent of schools or the superintendent's designee or the
pupil, issue subpoenas. All subpoenas shall be issued in accordance
with Sections 1985, 1985.1, and 1985.2 of the Code of Civil
Procedure. Enforcement of subpoenas shall be done in accordance with
Section 11455.20 of the Government Code.
(2) Any objection raised by the superintendent of schools or the
superintendent's designee or the pupil to the issuance of subpoenas
may be considered by the governing board in closed session, or in
open session, if so requested by the pupil before the meeting. Any
decision by the governing board in response to an objection to the
issuance of subpoenas shall be final and binding.
(3) If the governing board, hearing officer, or administrative
panel determines, in accordance with subdivision (f), that a
percipient witness would be subject to an unreasonable risk of harm
by testifying at the hearing, a subpoena shall not be issued to
compel the personal attendance of that witness at the hearing.
However, that witness may be compelled to testify by means of a sworn
declaration as provided for in subdivision (f).
(4) Service of process shall be extended to all parts of the state
and shall be served in accordance with Section 1987 of the Code of
Civil Procedure. All witnesses appearing pursuant to subpoena, other
than the parties or officers or employees of the state or any
political subdivision thereof, shall receive fees, and all witnesses
appearing pursuant to subpoena, except the parties, shall receive
mileage in the same amount and under the same circumstances as
prescribed for witnesses in civil actions in a superior court. Fees
and mileage shall be paid by the party at whose request the witness
(j) Whether an expulsion hearing is conducted by the governing
board or before a hearing officer or administrative panel, final
action to expel a pupil shall be taken only by the governing board in
a public session. Written notice of any decision to expel or to
suspend the enforcement of an expulsion order during a period of
probation shall be sent by the superintendent of schools or his or
her designee to the pupil or the pupil's parent or guardian and shall
be accompanied by all of the following:
(1) Notice of the right to appeal the expulsion to the county
board of education.
(2) Notice of the education alternative placement to be provided
to the pupil during the time of expulsion.
(3) Notice of the obligation of the parent, guardian, or pupil
under subdivision (b) of Section 48915.1, upon the pupil's enrollment
in a new school district, to inform that district of the pupil's
(k) The governing board shall maintain a record of each expulsion,
including the cause therefor. Records of expulsions shall be a
nonprivileged, disclosable public record.
The expulsion order and the causes therefor shall be recorded in
the pupil's mandatory interim record and shall be forwarded to any
school in which the pupil subsequently enrolls upon receipt of a
request from the admitting school for the pupil's school records.
Last modified: March 17, 2014