In California, there exists a process known as the “school to prison pipeline,” which essentially depicts the fallout of a school suspension and the effects such a disciplinary action can have on a young student. After an expulsion, a student may have difficulty getting a job or accepted into a new school, and statistics show these challenges may lead to the individual resorting to criminal activity and eventually prison. Even on a lesser scale, a child can be expelled from an entire district, forcing a longer commute to a new, unfamiliar school. To make things more difficult, California schools employ a “zero tolerance” policy, allowing school officials to suspend or expel a student for rather minor infractions.

Violations of the California Education Code, Section 48900 include the following:

  • Caused, attempted to cause, or threatened to cause physical injury to another person.
  • Willfully used force or violence upon the person of another, except in self-defense.
  • Possessed, sold, or otherwise furnished a firearm, knife, explosive, or other dangerous object.
  • Unlawfully possessed, used, sold, offered, arranged, negotiated to sell, or been under the influence of, a controlled substance, an alcoholic beverage, or an intoxicant of any kind.
  • Committed or attempted to commit robbery, extortion or to cause damage to school/private property.
  • Stole or attempted to steal school property or private property, or knowingly received stolen property.
  • Possessed or used tobacco, or products containing tobacco or nicotine products.
  • Committed an obscene act or engaged in habitual profanity or vulgarity.
  • Disrupted school activities or otherwise willfully defied the valid authority of supervisors, teachers, administrators, school officials, or other school personnel engaged in the performance of their duties.
  • Possessed an imitation firearm (replica so similar as to lead a reasonable person to believe it to be real).
  • Committed or attempted to commit a sexual assault or committed a sexual.
  • Engaged in, or attempted to engage in, hazing.
  • Engaged in an act of bullying

This long list of possible violations can lead to expulsion for a young student, which can have a large impact on the rest of his or her life. Some of these violations have a low threshold and/or are left to the discretion of the school board, making crucial the need for legal representation at a hearing.

If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges, or their professional license is at risk, contact Attorney Miranda McCroskey for an immediate consultation at (833) 865-6253 or email her at

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