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Article 1. Suspension or Expulsion - California Education Code Section 48918

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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) (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.
   (b) Written notice of the hearing shall be forwarded to the pupil
at least 10 calendar days before 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 school 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 to have committed 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 his or her testimony. Before a
complaining witness testifies, support persons shall be admonished
that the hearing is confidential. This subdivision shall not 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 adviser" 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) (1) Notwithstanding Section 35145, the governing board of the
school district 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 of the school district may meet in closed session
for the purpose of deliberating and determining whether the pupil
should be expelled.
   (2) If the governing board of the school district 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.
   (3) 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 to commit 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 of the school district may contract with the county
hearing officer, or with the Office of Administrative Hearings
pursuant to Chapter 14 (commencing with Section 27720) of Part 3 of
Division 2 of Title 3 of the Government Code and Section 35207 of
this code, for a hearing officer to conduct the hearing. The
governing board of the school district may also appoint an impartial
administrative panel of three or more certificated persons, none of
whom is a member of the governing board of the school district 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 of the school district.
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 the classroom instructional program from which the expulsion
referral was made, unless the parent, guardian, or responsible adult
of the pupil requests another school placement in writing. Before the
placement decision is made by the parent, guardian, or responsible
adult, the superintendent of schools or the superintendent's designee
shall consult with school district personnel, including the pupil's
teachers, and the parent, guardian, or responsible adult regarding
any other school placement options for the pupil in addition to the
option to return to his or her classroom instructional program from
which the expulsion referral was made. If the hearing officer or
administrative panel finds that the pupil committed any of the acts
specified in subdivision (c) of Section 48915, but does not recommend
expulsion, the pupil shall be immediately reinstated and may be
referred to his or her prior school or another comprehensive school,
or, pursuant to the procedures set forth in Section 48432.5, a
continuation school of the school district. The decision not to
recommend expulsion shall be final.
   (f) (1) 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 of the school
district. All findings of fact and recommendations shall be based
solely on the evidence adduced at the hearing. If the governing board
of the school district 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 of the school
district may order.
   (2) The decision of the governing board of the school district 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 of the school district 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 that shall be examined only by the governing
board of the school district 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) (1) 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 of the school district to expel shall
be supported by substantial evidence showing that the pupil
committed any of the acts enumerated in Section 48900.
   (2) In hearings that include an allegation of committing or
attempting to commit a sexual assault as defined in subdivision (n)
of Section 48900 or to commit 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
purpose.
   (i) (1) Before the hearing has commenced, the governing board of
the school district 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 of the
school district 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 of the school district in
closed session, or in open session, if so requested by the pupil
before the meeting. Any decision by the governing board of the school
district in response to an objection to the issuance of subpoenas
shall be final and binding.
   (3) If the governing board of the school district, 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 of the state, 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 is subpoenaed.
   (j) Whether an expulsion hearing is conducted by the governing
board of the school district or before a hearing officer or
administrative panel, final action to expel a pupil shall be taken
only by the governing board of the school district 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 school district of the
pupil's expulsion.
   (k) (1) The governing board of the school district shall maintain
a record of each expulsion, including the cause for the expulsion.
Records of expulsions shall be nonprivileged, disclosable public
records.
   (2) The expulsion order and the causes for the expulsion 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.
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Last modified: February 16, 2015