As a previous post here discussed, special needs students in Mobile, Alabama, are often on the receiving end of significant school discipline, sometimes for reasons that are not their fault or, at worst, are the result of a lot of factors. Families could be faced with the real possibility that a student will be expelled from school for some form of misconduct.
It is important for parents, particularly if the children receive services under the special education laws, to understand what their students’ rights are if the student faces an expulsion proceeding. While these rights are not the same as what a student may have in a court case, they are also based on the Constitution of the United States.
A school must offer a hearing to a student who is facing expulsion or even a lengthy suspension from school, that is, one that will last more than 10 days. At that hearing, a student must have the right to have a lawyer’s assistance.
Additionally, the student must be allowed to challenge the school’s evidence via cross-examination and must also be allowed to present evidence showing that the punishment is not warranted. The student may also be able to argue that the school did not follow its own procedures in imposing the punishment or acted in violation of some other law.
Expulsion is a serious punishment that can actually affect a student adversely for a long time, even into adulthood. Students do have rights when facing expulsion from a public school, and they may want to get more information about their options to protect these rights.