Can I be expelled from school?

3. Prepare for the hearing

An expulsion hearing is like a mini trial. You and the principal will be the parties at the hearing. A committee of at least 3 school board trustees will be in charge of the hearing.

Get legal help

A lawyer can represent you at an expulsion hearing. You can get help finding a lawyer who understands education law by calling Justice for Children and Youth at 1-866-999-5329.

If you have been charged with a crime for the same situation, it is even more important to get a lawyer.

Prepare questions, a statement, and evidence

If you don't have a lawyer, you should prepare these things:

  1. Questions to ask the principal: These questions should help show that the principal did not properly consider or apply all of the factors listed in Step 2. For example:

    1. You agree that I have never been in trouble at school before? So using progressive discipline you could have started with a less serious punishment than expulsion?
    2. You know that I have a learning disability that makes it difficult for me to keep up with my work? You know that being expelled will make it even more difficult for me?
    3. You know that my classmate has been bullying me and threatening to hurt me? Even though I asked to switch classes, you didn't let me?
       
  2. A statement: You will be allowed to make a statement to the trustees to explain your side of the story. You can tell the trustees about the parts of the story that the principal did not properly consider. You can also tell them things about you and your experiences at school that help to support your side of the story.  If you have been charged criminally for the same incident, you should talk to a lawyer before making a statement.
     
  3. Evidence: You can bring documents, photos, videos, or other evidence to support what you are saying. For example, if you were being bullied online, you can print out examples of how you were being bullied.

If the situation happened because you have a learning disability that the school has not helped you with, you can bring documents that explain the disability.

20-day deadline

The school board must make a decision about your expulsion within 20 school days after your suspension began. After 20 days, they cannot legally expel you unless you agree to extend the deadline. Some parents say that they have been pressured into extending the deadline. You should not agree to extend the deadline without first speaking to a lawyer.

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