What Happens When a Student in Arizona is Expelled? | Student Expulsion
What happens when a student in Arizona is expelled from their school?
First, let’s talk about the school itself. The state law requires schools to implement policies and procedures for student discipline, including expulsion.
Disciplinary Hearing for an Expelled Student
When the school expels the student, 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 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 returns to the classroom or is expelled. And the governing board or the committee upholds that. When that happens, the student is not allowed back into the general classroom.
However, the school may be responsible for still providing an environment for the student. When that happens, the school may place the student in a separate school for behavior, such as a level D school which is more conducive to their behavior, discipline, and needs.
So, if that happens, they would be placed in a different school. An example would be a Level D school here in the state of Arizona.
Student Placement after an Expulsion
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.
At an annual review or at the request of a parent or guardian, the school would have to look at that discipline and decide if the student could return to the classroom. Or if they needed to stay in their placement if the expulsion remained.
Again, 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.
School’s Due Process Hearing Decision
There may be mitigating circumstances. Maybe the student has done some work since then. If there are any types of disabilities involved, perhaps the school would bring up special education or accommodations at that time.
But at that hearing, the school would decide if the student would remain expelled. After that’s settled, if the student is still expelled, they go to placement if the school places them in a level D school or a different preferable setting for that student.
Also, the parents or guardians have the right to ask for the student to be re-enrolled or annually.
Say a student is expelled. It’s anything related to physical harm to another student or equating to the level of a crime. I’m also speaking about weapons, firearms, and things brought into the school. If the school expels a student in those circumstances, the school will likely report that student to local authorities. There may be some 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.
Can Teachers Remove Students from Classrooms in Arizona?
Generally speaking, teachers in Arizona have the legal authority to remove students from their classrooms.
However, this does not mean they can do so without consequences. According to state law, there are only four specific instances in which a teacher can remove a student from their classroom:
- The student poses a physical threat to themselves or others
- The student is disruptive and prevents others from learning
- The student is engaging in illegal activity
- The student has been suspended or expelled from school
How Can a Student Return to School Following a Removal?
How can a student return to an Arizona classroom after being removed?
I will go through some scenarios where a teacher would remove a student and how the student can re-enter the classroom.
So, in a previous blog, I discussed how a teacher could remove a child from the classroom; when the teacher asks the child to go to the principal’s office.
Student’s Disruptive Behavior
Suppose the student’s behavior substantially affects other students’ ability to learn. In that case, the teacher may ask the student to go to the principal’s office, where they may receive a discipline that complies with the state’s guidelines. In that case, if the student is only going to the office, they can come back to the classroom after being removed that way.
Once their behavior has changed, they’re calm, ready to learn, and not going to be disruptive anymore; they can be escorted back to the classroom and proceed.
And then any discipline, as I said, can be handed down from either the teacher or the principal, depending on the school’s policy. But if they’re just in the office, calm, and not disruptive anymore, that behavior has stopped, and they’re aware of that, then the child could likely come back into the classroom.
So, that’s the first scenario. The student is just removed and brought to the principal’s office.
The next one would be suspension. Suspension means the student cannot come to the school premises for a specific period. It usually’s shorter than ten days. And they can come back to the classroom when the end of that suspension is over.
Or there are options for due process hearings surrounding discipline with the school governing board. If a parent requests one of those, if the school board decides that the suspension was inappropriate, the student can enter before the actual time of the suspension is up, or at the end of it, the student would re-enter the classroom. So, that’s the second scenario.
And then the third one is expulsion.
Expulsion means the student may not be allowed on school premises for at least a year or the rest of the school year.
They’re done, not able to come back. In this case, it’s serious. The school would likely hold a due process student discipline hearing before the school’s governing board, and they would make that choice.
If the student is rising to the level of expulsion, the behavior must be egregious. In that case, though, a student could still enter the classroom if, at that time, during the due process disciplinary hearing with the school’s governing board, they decide that this is not appropriate. The student may re-enter the classroom.
If the teacher consents, they may also enter the classroom. And there’s also usually a disciplinary committee that would make these choices.
Schools Policy on Expulsion and Discipline
And then I’m saying all of this. There’s also likely a school policy that addresses expulsion and discipline.
There may be additional options for parents and students to ask the school to reconsider so the student may enter the classroom. If all of that, the due process hearing, the school still upholds the expulsion, then yearly or at the reasonable request of a parent, they can hold another hearing with the disciplinary committee and the governing board for the school district.
And at that time, if they see and feel comfortable and the student and parent can show that the child has changed and they’re ready to re-enter the classroom, they can also re-enter. Again, removal to the principal’s office, suspension, or expulsion—there are ways for the child to be re-entered back into the classroom.
These can be very stressful times for parents, and it can be scary for students, so please reach out to us.
You might wonder whether your child can return to school after being removed. The answer to this question largely depends on why the school removed the student in the first place.
If the teacher removed the student because they posed a physical threat or committed illegal acts, they might not be allowed back on school property. In these cases, the student will likely be arrested and charged with a crime.
However, if the student was removed because they were disruptive or preventing others from learning, then they might be able to return to school after serving a suspension.
The length of the suspension will depend on the severity of the disruption and whether or not it’s the student’s first offense.
Chelle Law Attorneys Can Help
You should contact an attorney if your child’s rights have been violated. They can help you understand the law and protect your child’s rights. You must ensure that you correctly follow every step in the process so your child can succeed.
At Chelle Law, we have experience in handling student discipline cases. We know the law and how to protect your child’s rights. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. We will fight for your child and get them the best possible outcome.
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