To The Point Blog

Should Schools Copy Expulsion Notices to a Student's Permanent Record?

Aug 02, 2016

Copying an expulsion notice into a student’s file as soon as it is issued may seem like a good idea, but based on a recent appellate court ruling, schools might consider adopting a policy that expulsion notices should not be copied into a student’s permanent record until the expulsion is being served.

In Burton v. Cleveland Hts.-University Hts., the Eighth District Court of Appeals recently dismissed the expulsion appeal of a high school graduate when no further controversy existed for the court to review: He had graduated, and the expulsion did not appear in his permanent record.

The district had suspended and expelled Burton for attacking two younger students who were walking home from school. However, “as long as Burton complied with an educational placement plan,” the expulsion was held in abeyance. Burton complied, but at the same time, he appealed the expulsion to the common pleas court and Eighth District Court of Appeals. He also graduated.

The court ruled that the appeal was moot because Burton had graduated, and he had not demonstrated that the expulsion was noted in his school record. However, had the expulsion been copied into the student’s record, the court likely would have heard the appeal.

By maintaining the policy of not copying an expulsion notice into a student’s permanent file, when an expulsion is held in abeyance, schools could potentially avoid facing student appeals in cases where the student ends up graduating.

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