FOD(LEGAL) - STUDENT DISCIPLINE: EXPULSION
Students Younger Than Ten
A student younger than ten years of age shall not be expelled but shall be placed in a disciplinary alternative education program (DAEP). Education Code 37.007(e)(2), (h)
A person who is 21 years of age or older and is admitted by a district for the purpose of completing the requirements for a diploma is not eligible for placement in a juvenile justice alternative education program (JJAEP) if the person engages in conduct that would require or authorize such placement for a student under the age of 21. If the student engages in such conduct, a district shall revoke the student's admission. Education Code 25.001(b-1)
A student shall be expelled if the student, on school property or while attending a school-sponsored or school-related activity on or off of school property:
- Engages in conduct that contains the elements of the offense of unlawfully carrying weapons under Penal Code 46.02 or elements of an offense relating to prohibited weapons under Penal Code 46.05 [see FNCG];
- Engages in conduct that contains the elements of the offense of aggravated assault, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, arson, murder, capital murder, criminal attempt to commit murder or capital murder, indecency with a child, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, or continuous sexual abuse of a young child or disabled individual, as those offenses are defined in the Penal Code; or
- Commits a drug- or alcohol-related offense described at Education Code 37.006(a)(2)(C) or (D), if that conduct is punishable as a felony.
Education Code 37.007(a)
A student may not be expelled solely on the basis of the student's use, exhibition, or possession of a firearm that occurs:
- At an approved target range facility that is not located on a school campus; and
- While participating in or preparing for a school-sponsored shooting sports competition or a shooting sports educational activity that is sponsored or supported by the Parks and Wildlife Department or a shooting sports sanctioning organization working with the department.
This section does not authorize a student to bring a firearm on school property to participate in or prepare for a school-sponsored shooting sports competition or a shooting sports educational activity.
Education Code 37.007(k), (l)
A district shall expel a student who engages in conduct that contains the elements of any offense listed above against any district employee or volunteer in retaliation for or as a result of the person's employment or association with a district, without regard to whether the conduct occurs on or off school property or while attending a school-sponsored or school-related activity on or off of school property. Education Code 37.007(d)
Federal Firearms Offense
In accordance with the Gun-Free Schools Act, a district shall expel a student who brings a firearm, as defined by federal law, to school. The student must be expelled from the student's regular campus for a period of at least one year, except that the superintendent may modify in writing the length of expulsion in the case of an individual student.
This provision shall not apply to a firearm that is lawfully stored inside a locked vehicle on school property, or if it is for activities approved and authorized by the district and the district adopts appropriate safeguards to ensure student safety. [See also GKA].
Provision of Educational Services
A district or other local educational agency shall provide educational services to an expelled student in a DAEP if the student is younger than ten years of age on the date of expulsion. A district or other local educational agency may provide educational services to an expelled student who is ten years of age or older in a DAEP.
20 U.S.C. 7961; Education Code 37.007(e)
For purposes of this provision:
"School" means any setting that is under the control and supervision of a district for the purpose of student activities approved and authorized by the district. 20 U.S.C. 7961(f)
- Any weapon (including a starter gun), which will or is designed to or which may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive;
- The frame or receiver of any such weapon;
- Any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or
- Any destructive device. "Destructive device" means any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas bomb, grenade, rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces, missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce, mine, or device similar to any of the preceding described devices. It also means any type of weapon (other than a shotgun shell or a shotgun that is generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes) by whatever name known which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, and which has any barrel with a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter; and any combination of parts either designed or intended for use in converting any device into a destructive device as described in this item, and from which a destructive device may be readily assembled.
18 U.S.C. 921, 20 U.S.C. 7961(b)(3)
A student may be expelled if the student engages in conduct involving a public school that contains the elements of the offense of false alarm or report under Penal Code 42.06, or terroristic threat under Penal Code 22.07.
A student may be expelled if the student, while on or within 300 feet of school property, as measured from any point on the school's real property boundary line, or while attending a school-sponsored or school-related activity on or off of school property:
- Sells, gives, or delivers to another person, or possesses, uses, or is under the influence of any amount of:
- Marijuana or a controlled substance, as defined by Chapter 481, Health and Safety Code, or by 21 U.S.C. section 801 et seq.; or
- A dangerous drug, as defined by Chapter 483, Health and Safety Code; or
- An alcoholic beverage, as defined by Section 1.04, Alcoholic Beverage Code.
- Engages in conduct that contains the elements of an offense relating to an abusable volatile chemical under Health and Safety Code 485.031–485.034.
- Engages in conduct that contains the elements of an offense under Penal Code 22.01(a)(1) against a school district employee, or a volunteer as defined by Education Code 22.053.
- Engages in conduct that contains the elements of the offense of deadly conduct under Penal Code 22.05.
Education Code 37.007(b)(1)–(2)
Conduct Within 300 Feet of School
Subject to the mandatory expulsion requirement for retaliation, a student may be expelled if the student, while within 300 feet of school property, as measured from any point on the school's real property boundary line, engages in the following conduct:
- Any conduct for which expulsion would have been mandatory under Education Code 37.007(a) [see Mandatory Expulsion—School Related, above]; or
- Possession of a firearm, as defined by 18 U.S.C. sec. 921 [see Federal Firearm Provision, above].
Education Code 37.007(b)(3)
Retaliation Against School Employee or Volunteer
A student may be expelled if the student engages in an assault, under Penal Code 22.01(a)(1), on an employee or volunteer in retaliation for or as a result of the person's employment or association with a district, without regard to whether the conduct occurs on or off school property or while attending a school-sponsored or school-related activity on or off school property. Education Code 37.007(d)
Conduct Against Another Student
A student may be expelled if the student engages in conduct against another student that contains the elements of the offenses of aggravated assault, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, arson, murder, capital murder, criminal attempt to commit capital murder, or aggravated robbery, without regard to whether the conduct occurs on or off of school property or while attending a school-sponsored or school-related activity on or off of school property. Education Code 37.007(b)(4)
A student may be removed from class and expelled if the student:
- Engages in bullying that encourages a student to commit or attempt to commit suicide;
- Incites violence against a student through group bullying; or
- Releases or threatens to release intimate visual material of a minor or student who is 18 years of age or older without the student's consent.
Nothing in this provision exempts a school from reporting a finding of intimate visual material of a minor.
"Bullying" has the meaning assigned by Education Code 37.0832. [See FFI]
Intimate Visual Material
"Intimate visual material" has the meaning assigned by Civil Practice and Remedies Code 98B.001.
Education Code 37.0052
A district may use its discretion to expel a student who has engaged in conduct that contains the elements of criminal mischief, as defined in the Penal Code, if the conduct is punishable as a felony. Regardless of whether the student is expelled, a district shall refer the student to the authorized officer of the juvenile court. Education Code 37.007(f)
Breach of Computer Security
A student may be expelled if the student engages in conduct that contains the elements of the offense of breach of computer security under Penal Code 33.02 if:
- The conduct involves accessing a computer, computer network, or computer system owned by or operated on behalf of a school district; and
- The student knowingly alters, damages, or deletes school district property or information; or commits a breach of any other computer, computer network, or computer system.
Education Code 37.007(b)(5)
Serious Misbehavior in DAEP
A student placed in a DAEP who engages in documented serious misbehavior while on the DAEP campus despite documented behavioral interventions may be removed from class and expelled.
"Serious misbehavior" means:
- Deliberate violent behavior that poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others;
- Extortion, meaning the gaining of money or other property by force or threat;
- Conduct that constitutes coercion, as defined by Penal Code 1.07; or
- Conduct that constitutes the offense of:
- Public lewdness under Penal Code 21.07;
- Indecent exposure under Penal Code 21.08;
- Criminal mischief under Penal Code 28.03;
- Personal hazing under Education Code 37.152; or
- Harassment, under Penal Code 42.07(a)(1), of a student or district employee.
If the student is expelled, a board or its designee shall refer the student to the authorized officer of the juvenile court for appropriate proceedings under Family Code Title 3 (Juvenile Justice Code).
Education Code 37.007(c), .010(b)
Property or Activities of Another District
A district may expel a student who attends school in the district if:
- The student engages in conduct for which expulsion would have been mandatory if the conduct had occurred on district property or while attending a district-sponsored or district-related activity; and
- The student engages in that conduct on the property of another district or while attending a school-sponsored or school-related activity of another district in this state.
Education Code 37.007(i)
Before a student may be expelled, a board or its designee shall provide the student a hearing at which the student is afforded appropriate due process as required by the federal constitution and which the student's parent or guardian is invited, in writing, to attend. Education Code 37.009(f)
The minimum procedural requirements necessary to satisfy due process depend upon the circumstances and the interests of the parties involved. Federal due process requires notice and some opportunity for hearing.
The notice should contain a statement of the specific charges and grounds that, if proven, would justify expulsion. In some cases, the student should be given the names of the witnesses against him or her and an oral or written report on the facts to which each witness testifies.
The rights of the student may properly be determined upon the hearsay evidence of school administrators who investigate disciplinary infractions.
[See also Brewer v. Austin Indep. Sch. Dist., 779 F.2d 260 (5th Cir. 1985); Keough v. Tate County Bd. of Educ., 748 F.2d 1077 (5th Cir. 1984); McClain v. Lafayette County Sch. Bd. of Educ., 673 F.2d 106 (5th Cir. 1982); Tasby v. Estes, 643 F.2d 1103 (5th Cir. 1981); Boykins v. Fairfield Bd. of Educ., 492 F.2d 697 (5th Cir. 1974), cert. denied, 420 US 962 (1975); Dixon v. Alabama State Bd. of Educ., 294 F.2d 150 (5th Cir. 1961), cert. denied, 368 U.S. 930 (1961)]
At the hearing, the student is entitled to be represented by the student's parent, guardian, or another adult who can provide guidance to the student and who is not an employee of the district. If a district makes a good-faith effort to inform the student and the student's parent or guardian of the time and place of the hearing, the district may hold the hearing regardless of whether the student, the student's parent or guardian, or another adult representing the student attends.
Before ordering the expulsion of a student, the board or the board's designee must consider whether the student acted in self-defense, the intent or lack of intent at the time the student engaged in the conduct, the student's disciplinary history, and whether the student has a disability that substantially impairs the student's capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of the student's conduct, regardless of whether the decision of the board concerns a mandatory or discretionary action. [See Student Code of Conduct, item 4, at FO(LEGAL) for mitigating factors.]
If the decision to expel a student is made by the board's designee, the decision may be appealed to the board. The decision of the board may be appealed by trial de novo to a district court of the county in which the district's central administrative office is located.
Education Code 37.009(f)
Term of Expulsion
If the period of expulsion is inconsistent with the guidelines on length of expulsion in the Student Code of Conduct, the order must give notice of the inconsistency.
Beyond One Year
The period of expulsion may not exceed one year unless a district determines that:
- The student is a threat to the safety of other students or to district employees; or
- Extended placement is in the best interest of the student.
Education Code 37.009(h)
Notice of Expulsion Order
To Parent or Guardian
A board or its designee shall deliver a copy of the order expelling the student to the student and the student's parent or guardian. After such notification, the parent or guardian shall provide adequate supervision for the student during the period of expulsion. Education Code 37.009(g)–(h)
Not later than the second business day after the date an expulsion hearing is held, a board or its designee shall deliver a copy of the expulsion order and any information required under Family Code 52.04 to the authorized officer of the juvenile court in the county in which the student resides.
Family Code 52.04 requires the following information from a referring entity that is not a law enforcement agency or has not taken the child into custody:
- All information in a district's possession pertaining to the identity of the child and the child's address; the name and address of the child's parent, guardian, or custodian; the names and addresses of any witnesses; and the child's present whereabouts; and
- A complete statement of the circumstances of the alleged delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision.
Education Code 37.010(a); Family Code 52.04(a), .041(a)–(b)
To Juvenile Board
In a county that operates a JJAEP [see FODA], no student shall be expelled without written notification by a board or its designee to the juvenile board's designated representative. The notification shall be made not later than two business days following a board's determination that the student is to be expelled. Failure to timely notify the designated representative shall result in the child's duty to continue attending a district's educational program, which shall be provided to that child until such time as the notification to the designated representative is properly made. Family Code 52.041
In addition to providing any notice required under Code of Criminal Procedure 15.27 [see GRA], a district shall inform each educator who has responsibility for, or is under the direction and supervision of an educator who has responsibility for, the instruction of a student who has engaged in expellable conduct.
Each educator shall keep the information confidential from any person not entitled to the information, except that the educator may share the information with the student's parent or guardian as provided by state or federal law. An educator's certificate may be suspended or revoked for intentional failure to keep such information confidential.
Education Code 37.007(g)
Completion of Proceeding Upon Withdrawal
If a student withdraws from a district before an order for expulsion is entered, the principal or board, as appropriate, may complete the proceedings and enter an order. If the student subsequently enrolls in the district during the same or subsequent school year, the district may enforce the order at that time except for any period of the expulsion that has been served by the student in another district that honored the order. If the principal or board fails to enter an order after the student withdraws, the next district in which the student enrolls may complete the proceedings and enter an order. Education Code 37.009(i)
If, during the term of expulsion, a student engages in additional conduct for which placement in a DAEP or expulsion is required or permitted, additional proceedings may be conducted and the principal or board, as appropriate, may enter an additional order. Education Code 37.009(j)
A decision by a board's designee to expel a student may be appealed to the board. If the hearing is not before the board directly, the results and findings of the hearing should be presented in a report open to the student's inspection. Education Code 37.009(f); Dixon v. Alabama State Bd. of Educ., 294 F.2d 150 (5th Cir. 1961), cert. denied, 368 U.S. 930 (1961)
Restrictions on Court Orders
A court may not order an expelled student to attend a regular classroom, a regular campus, or a district DAEP as a condition of probation.
A court may order a student to attend a regular classroom, a regular campus, or a district DAEP if the district has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the juvenile board for the county in which the district's central administrative office is located, concerning the juvenile probation department's role in supervising and providing other support services for students in DAEPs.
Education Code 37.010(c)
District Responsibility for Expelled Student
Students Not Eligible for Existing JJAEP
In a county that operates a JJAEP, a district is responsible for providing an immediate educational program to a student who engages in behavior for which expulsion is permitted but not required under Education Code 37.007, but who is not eligible for admission into the JJAEP in accordance with an MOU. [See FODA]
Contracting for Services
A district may provide the program, or the district may contract with a county juvenile board, a private provider, or one or more other school districts to provide the program.
Education Code 37.011(l)
This provision applies to a district located in a county considered to be a county with a population of 125,000 or less because it has a population of more than 200,000 and less than 220,000; has five or more school districts located wholly within the county's boundaries; and has located in the county a JJAEP that, on May 1, 2011, served fewer than 15 students. A qualifying district shall provide educational services to a student who is expelled from school. The district is entitled to count the student in the district's average daily attendance for purposes of receipt of state funds under the Foundation School Program. An educational placement under this section may include:
- The district's DAEP.
- A contracted placement with another school district, an open-enrollment charter school, an institution of higher education, an adult literacy council, or a community organization that can provide an educational program that allows the student to complete the credits required for high school graduation.
An educational placement other than a district's DAEP is subject to the educational and certification requirements applicable to an open-enrollment charter school under Education Code Chapter 12, Subchapter D.
Education Code 37.011(a-3)–(a-5)
Return to Class
Early / Permissive
On the recommendation of the placement review committee, or on its own initiative, a district may readmit an expelled student while the student is completing any court disposition requirements.
After an expelled student has successfully completed any court disposition requirements, including conditions of a deferred prosecution, or conditions required by the prosecutor or probation department, a district may not refuse to admit the student if the student meets the requirements for admission. [See FD] A district may place the student in a DAEP.
The student may not be returned to the classroom of the teacher under whose supervision the offense occurred without that teacher's consent. The teacher may not be coerced to consent.
Education Code 37.010(f)
Expelled from Another District
If a student has been expelled from another school district, the expelling district shall provide to a district in which the student enrolls a copy of the expulsion order and the referral to the authorized officer of the juvenile court. A district in which the student enrolls may continue the expulsion under the terms of the order, may place the student in a DAEP for the period specified by the expulsion order, or may allow the student to attend regular classes without completing the period of expulsion.
A district may take any of the above actions if the student was expelled by a district in another state if:
- The out-of-state district provides a copy of the expulsion order; and
- The grounds for the expulsion are also grounds for expulsion in the district in which the student is enrolling.
Education Code 37.010(g)
If the student was expelled for more than one year and the enrolling district continues the expulsion or places the student in a DAEP, the aggregate period of expulsion or placement may not exceed one year unless the district determines that:
- The student is a threat to the safety of other students or to district employees; or
- Extended placement is in the best interest of the student.
Education Code 37.010(g-1)
Note: See FOF for provisions concerning expulsion of students with disabilities.