Expulsion is the most serious punishment available within the school system and it can have long-lasting consequences for expelled students both for their education and for their lives more generally. Although Board’s deny it, most expelled students have some identifiable characteristics. They are more often racialized, have special education needs, are socially awkward – nerds, geeks and such, have been in the care of a children’s aid society or a combination of those. In short, they are the most vulnerable students. But, none of these are good reasons to expel a student. Alternatively, principals want kids out of their school if there is even a hint of sexual impropriety, which raises lots of questions about injecting school discipline into student social dynamics, especially amongst teenagers.
While it may be possible to expel private school students for anything, things are very different for public school students. The student must have misbehaved at school, at a school-related activity or in a way that has impacted many students at the school. In addition, there are only eleven types of misbehaviour for which a school board can expel a student. If the student did not commit one of those types of acts at one of the required places, the student cannot be expelled. And, there are some special circumstances where even if a student did one of those types of behaviour, they still cannot be expelled. If the school is trying to expel a student improperly, the student and parents should fight that expulsion. There are procedures for doing that and for appealing expulsions.
In this Podcast, Education Lawyer, John Schuman explains what students can be expelled for – and what they can’t. Many Ontario students are expelled improperly. When that happens, they should not let the expulsions stand. A child’s education is far too important.
For more information, check out www.DevryLaw.ca.
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