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District Expulsion Procedure

Expulsion is San Diego Unified School District's most serious discipline approach, requiring approval from the Board of Education. For up to two semesters, expelled students may not participate in any district- or school-sponsored activity, including regular classes, dances, athletics, and performing arts events. Instead, these students must attend a community day school or alternative education program.

Reasons for Expulsion

If a student's behavior falls under any of the outlined reasons for suspension, he or she may also be recommended for expulsion by a principal or designee. In addition, any violation of the district's Zero Tolerance Policy will automatically lead to a recommendation for expulsion for middle, junior high and high school students. These acts include:

  • Use, possession or sale of any weapon
    This includes guns, knives, explosives or other dangerous objects. Any object used in a dangerous manner is considered a weapon.
  • Brandishing a knife at another person
    This refers to waving a knife at someone in a threatening manner. Knife refers to any type of folding knife, razor (with unguarded blades), or any dirk, dagger, or weapon with a fixed, sharpened blade fitted primarily for stabbing.
  • Dangerous Behavior
    Repeated incidents of fighting, violence or otherwise causing serious injury to another.
  • Sexual Misconduct
    Attempting to commit or committing a sexual assault or committing a sexual battery.
  • Use, distribution, or possession of controlled substances
    Selling or providing someone a controlled substance, excluding tobacco, or possessing an amount for more than personal use. This includes prescription medications. A student found in possession of tobacco will be recommended for expulsion on the fourth offense.

For more detailed information, consult Procedure 6295, Expulsion or California Education Code 48900.

All students receive a Notice of Zero Tolerance Policy, available in English and Spanish , at the beginning of every school year, and are asked to read and sign it along with a parent or guardian, and return it to school.

Authority to Expel

Only the Board of Education can actually order a student expelled. This does not occur without a recommendation from an Expulsion Review Panel, which conducts a hearing to consider any recommendation from a school site to expel a student. The panel decides whether to recommend to the Board of Education that it expel a student.