Focused 100% on education law matters

Can a student be expelled from school for online posts? A school expulsion lawyer answers.

On Behalf of | Apr 3, 2018

Social media platforms like Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram are some of the most popular ways students communicate. What happens if something posted on social media is reported to a school? Can a student be expelled from school for an online post? Read on for the answer from a school expulsion lawyer.

What kind of online posts can get a student expelled?

Any time a student is expelled from school, it is because a violation of the code of conduct occurred. Social media posts that make threats, either general or specific, can cause a student to be expelled from school.

What is classified as a threat in a social media post?

Statements that either directly talk about hurting another student or teacher or suggest that you want to, or will hurt someone can lead to expulsion from school. Also, online posts that contain direct or implied threats about bringing a knife or gun, bomb, or other weapon to school will cause a student to get expelled from school.

What if a student did not realize that the social media post was considered a threat?

From the school’s standpoint, it doesn’t matter. If the online post contains content that falls into a disciplinary category that calls for an expulsion, the student will still face the potential consequence of being expelled from school.

Can a student still be expelled if they did not post the threat while at school?

The answer is yes. Threats directed at anyone who works in the school or attends the school are enough for the school to take action. Anything that “disrupts” the operation of the school is enough for students to be disciplined, even if it was not posted while on school grounds.

What if the student deleted the post but another student took a screenshot to the principal or school administration?

Even though the post may no longer exist on a student’s social media page, if a copy exists, the screenshot can be used as evidence against the student.

Can I fight the expulsion from school for a social media post?

Yes. All schools have an expulsion hearing and appeal process. It is very time sensitive and deadlines must be met to challenge the expulsion. If you miss a deadline, the expulsion will go into effect.

What happens at a school expulsion hearing?

School expulsion hearings are held with district administration. At the hearing, school administration like the principal or vice principal will also be in attendance. School administration will bring evidence that they believe supports the expulsion. It is your job to argue against the evidence and give solid reasons why the student should not be expelled.

What happens if I lose the school expulsion hearing?

There is always an appeal option. It is the final chance a student has at fighting a school expulsion. The appeals are typically written submissions and have only a few categories that a student can argue. These categories include policy violations or new evidence. Appeals are tough to win, so they must be clearly written and well organized to get your points across.

Can I bring a school expulsion lawyer to a hearing or to write my expulsion appeal?

Yes. Schools allow the attendance of a lawyer at an expulsion hearing, and written appeals can also be written by a lawyer. Using a school expulsion attorney gives student’s an edge on fighting a school expulsion. Getting an attorney involved early on in the process has several benefits. An experienced school expulsion lawyer will work hard before the hearing to obtain evidence against the student, lists of possible witnesses, prepare a defense presentation, and be prepared to argue policy and procedure violations on behalf of the student. A school expulsion attorney can fight the charges and work to reduce or eliminate the expulsion.

Call me today for a free consultation. Remember – the school expulsion process is time limited meaning you only have a few days to build your defense. Act quickly to avoid being expelled from school. (855) 338-5299

Richard Asselta is an award-winning school expulsion attorney with experience defending students in pre-expulsion hearings and appealing school expulsions. Click here to read about our school suspension and expulsion practice area. Click here to read what clients are saying about Richard on AVVO, a lawyer review website.