What Happens When a Student in Arizona is Expelled?
What happens when a student in Arizona is expelled from their school? First, let’s talk about the school itself. They are required by state law to put in place policies and procedures for student discipline, including expulsion. When a student is expelled, first, there is a disciplinary hearing with the school’s governing board or the disciplinary committee if the governing school board has constructed one of those. So, it’s either-or. But at that time, the student, parent or guardian, or their legal representation can really sort of plead their case to the school and show that expulsion is not considered misconduct, and the school should not expel that student.
Then at that point, either the student is returned to the classroom, or the student is expelled, and the governing board or the committee upholds that. When that happens, the student is not allowed back in the general classroom. However, the school may have a responsibility to still provide an environment for the student. When that happens, the student may be placed in a separate school for behavior such as a level D school which is more conducive to their behavior and what’s needed for their discipline, and to meet their needs. So, if that happens, then again, they would be placed in a different school. An example would be a Level D school here in the state of Arizona.
Now, after the student is expelled, as I said, there may be a different placement for that student, but they’re not allowed to go back into the general classroom during the expulsion. Then either at an annual review or at the request of a parent or guardian, the school would then have to look at that discipline and decide if the student was able to return to the classroom or not, or if they needed to stay in their placement if the expulsion remained. Again, just to summarize, once a student is expelled, there will be a due process hearing with the school’s governing board or disciplinary committee where parents and students may plead their case.
Maybe there are mitigating circumstances, maybe the student has done some work since then. If there are any types of disabilities involved, maybe special education or accommodations would be brought up at that time. But at that hearing, the school would then decide if the student would remain expelled. After that’s decided, if the student is still expelled, then they go to placement, if they’re placed in a level D school or if there’s a different preferable setting for that student. And then also, again, the parents or guardians have the right to ask for the student to be re-enrolled or on an annual basis. Also, if a student is expelled and it has anything having to do with physical harm to another student, anything that would equate to the level of a crime, really, I’m also speaking with weapons, firearms, things like that being brought into the school.
If a student is expelled around those circumstances, it’s likely that the school is also going to report that student to local authorities. There may be some sort of investigation from the local police department as well. So, that’s what happens when a student in Arizona is expelled. It’s a stressful time for everyone. And like I said, parents do have a lot of rights. They can ask for those hearings; they can plead their case. They can show all the circumstances around the situation so that the student is in the best placement possible. And if that’s in the general education classroom, then that’s what it should be.
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