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Important details to know about school suspensions in California

The threat of school disciplinary measures affects every student differently. Some are willing to do whatever they can do avoid penalties like suspension while others may not see such actions as that problematic. However, it is crucial for parents and other adults to ensure that whatever discipline occurs at a school is both lawful and fair. 

For instance, did you know that there are strict rules for if and when public schools can discipline students in California with suspension?

Limits on suspension

According to California laws, school suspensions are prohibited unless a student commits a specific offense. These offenses include causing or threatening injuries to another person, possessing firearms or drugs, engaging in habitual vulgar acts and committing theft. A full list of grounds for suspension can be found here

There are also restrictions prohibiting suspension for certain offenses and for young students. 

How these limits protect students

Limits on suspension are crucial to preventing such measures from disproportionately affecting certain students. Research indicates suspensions typically affect poor, minority student more than white, affluent students, especially with regard to suspensions for subjective or insignificant violations.

While there is some debate regarding the long- and short-term impacts on suspension bans, there is general consensus that penalizing students by making them leave school can disrupt their education and make it easier for them to drop out. 

Addressing unfair suspensions and other disciplinary measures

If your child is facing discipline you feel is unfair or unjustified, then it can be important to stand up for your child and his or her educational future. Addressing these matters could be as straightforward as discussing a reduced penalty with a teacher, or it could be as complex as challenging the suspension at a hearing. 

In either case, parents can discuss their options and their legal rights with an attorney who is familiar with resolving discipline issues in California schools. 

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