School expulsion is a serious matter for a student and parents. The disciplinary action does not end the child’s access to education permanently. But parents need to take a strategic approach to deal with the situation. It is crucial to understand the severity of the circumstances in the first place because expulsion is a grave disciplinary action that keeps your child away from school and classes for the long haul. The duration of expulsion is much longer than suspension, so you need to worry a lot more. You must take early action to advocate for your child and provide ongoing support to help them deal with the situation. You have the option to appeal against the action, but awareness is essential. Here are some facts you must know about school expulsion.
Understand the potential causes
Expulsion is the severest disciplinary action a school takes, so it is often the last resort punishment they reserve for the most serious behaviours. The grounds of the action are often extremely serious. For example, schools often expel students who bring a gun because of the perils they entail. Likewise, using and selling drugs on campus may lead to expulsion. Other possible actions leading to expulsion include defying rules and policies, committing a crime on school premises, and putting other pupils in danger. Private schools may even have their own rules relating to disciplinary action against behaviours like bullying and fighting. They have to list these rules in the student handbook so that parents and students are aware beforehand.
Get both sides of the story
It is shocking to receive the first message about the impending expulsion of your child. The school will expect you to come to the school for a meeting and hear the reason for the action. Maintain your composure during the meeting and listen carefully. Ask questions to get the school’s side of the story. They will probably have evidence to support the story, such as a video or statements by teachers or other students. Have an honest discussion with your child to hear their version of the story. Take a neutral approach at this stage because impulsive decisions can only worsen the situation.
Contact an attorney before the school expulsion
As a parent, you must move fast when you learn that your kid is facing expulsion. You may have some time until the completion of the process, so use it wisely. The daunting part of the situation is that many of the behaviours leading to expulsion may result in criminal charges. The best thing is to contact a criminal defense attorney sooner than later. They can offer guidance throughout the process and create a viable defense plan to save your child from legal penalty. But be sure about the involvement of criminal charges in the school proceedings.
Consider an appeal
Knowing the laws is crucial, whether you can foresee a criminal case or only an expulsion. Your attorney can guide you in this context, while you can do some research to dig deeper into the laws. At the same time, you must consider the option to appeal against expulsion. You will have to contact the governing body and ask for reconsideration. As a parent, you may ask for a review of the case by an Independent Review Panel (IRP). There are chances of getting your child out of the mess with a reinstatement.
Seek support for your child
Most parents overlook the mental well-being of their kids facing expulsion as they focus too much on the legal aspects. But the behaviour leading to the expulsion should be a concern. It indicates that your child needs help for an emotional or behavioural issue. Getting caught with a gun or drugs in school is a serious concern, and parents must do their best to help the child. Seeking counseling support for emotional and behavioral treatment is crucial. Also, the worst way to handle the problem is by treating your child like a criminal. Be there to help them through the crisis and rebuild their life.
The expulsion process is stressful for kids and parents, whether you accept the decision or appeal against it. Both may experience negative emotions like apprehension, disappointment, hopelessness, and frustration. But you must not see it as the end of the road. You can help your child to recover from the aftermath of school expulsion. Support the child on the road to recovery by helping them address their behavioural and emotional concerns. The student can go back to school eventually. But parents should be there through the emotionally draining phase.