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What do you do if your child is expelled for the rest of the year...

What do you do if your child is expelled for the rest of the year …what activities should he do besides giving chores and groundings …how does he get educated in the meantime?


This is a real hot topic: what to do with kids who are expelled. Unfortunately, short of home schooling or alternative school – not much can be done given the current system that pervades most U.S. schools.

The debate seems to go as follows:

Reasons To Agree With Expulsion—

I don't believe school is the right place for many of these students. Children without these massive problems have a right to learn, and are often harmed by the violent and disruptive behavior of these students. We need to protect other students and still having them onsite does not do this. But more places are needed which cater for these kids, throwing them out is not to answer. But a non-school based place is needed.

I believe school is there for learning and if the student is intent on disruption then it is not the place for them. Expelling is fine by me as ultimately the parents have a responsibility to do something for the failing child by seeking external help. The school teacher has 20 or 25 others to teach and this should be the teacher's role - disruptive / bad behaved kids should be expelled. There are counselors/private tuition/psychologists in the community where the difficult pupil can get help.

Education is a privilege, treat it as such, unruly and badly behaved children affect all other children at the school. They should be removed. If you are worried about denying them an education, why don't you change their perception of its value

Cause and effect:

Children with extreme "special needs" should be channeled OUT of schools into an appropriate environment where they will not impede the learning of more fortunate children.

Schools should be allowed to expel students. At work if you are repeatedly late or show up drunk or stoned etc then you'd get fired! Instant dismissal in my job... why not school... why should teachers waste their time teaching people who don't want to learn.

Reasons To Disagree With Expulsion—

I don't think we should be able to expel students. Shunting them out of the school system or onto other schools passes the buck and does not examine or deal with the problems the student has. Difficult children have their reasons (whether they know it or not). Sometimes the fault lies with the school and not the child at all. Sometimes it is the child's family. I was a difficult child myself once, but went on to get several degrees and post-graduate degrees. I KNOW the importance of having faith that difficult children can grow up to be interesting, contributing adults.

Outside of the main cities, many towns do not have a second high school within a 15 minute drive. What are you to do with the expelled students, send them to another school who doesn't want them either? Or just forget about them completely? Schools in many towns are the only local government institution. If you expel a child, then the government and society is giving up their responsibility for that child. No wonder expelled children end up unemployed and in jail within a few years. Society needs to fix the problems it has, it's cheaper to deal with it earlier than building more prisons.

I think they need to look at things the student is struggling to do and work round them it is known that we all learn differently and have different interest, some things shouldn't be compulsory.

Naughty kids need an education too, it will help them become a meaningful part of their community one day.

Reasons for Remain Neutral—

No child left behind means all children fall behind. if individuals choose not to engage in the school system, then they should choose another school (changes required) or go to a special school that suits their interests. The problem here is mandating that students attend the school that is most convenient for the government to fund.

Here’s an email from parents whose child was expelled:

Our story is posted on this blog to open the eyes of the community of what is going on in our schools. We have experienced what school expulsion has done to our family. As parents, you hurt when you child hurts. You want to protect your child. You teach them respect for authority. You teach them right from wrong. To know the loss he has experienced over this is unimaginable unless you have been through it yourself. To know that the school that you had so much faith and pride in turned there back to you and essentially fired you for doing what you believed was the right thing is devastating. There is no compensation for that. We have felt the support of relatives, friend’s co-workers and even our son’s teacher. Those who know our son know he didn’t do this. What we don’t know is why he is going through this? Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

As we have been on this journey we wondered if there have been any studies done on the students that have been through expulsions. What happens to these students that are expelled? Indiana unlike other states does not offer alternative schools for expelled kids. Kids that are at high risk may lose the only structured environment they have. Students feel more frustrated when isolated from others and gradually develop a sense of hostility towards the society, because to be expelled means a situation of being abandoned and segregated. Expulsion removes students from school and reduces their instruction and learning time. Additionally, it forces the student to have to catch up on missing work, and this is very difficult to do when a student has missed more than a few days of school. Naturally, expulsion disrupts the learning process. According to the Commission for Positive Change of Oakland, California, students who are expelled are more likely to suffer from lowered sense of self-esteem, feelings of being unwanted at school, and alienation from peers, which results in a higher chance of receiving failing grades because many times, and expulsions on records hurt the student’s ability to get a job or get into college, which may increase the risk of juvenile delinquency among these students. Altogether, these factors contribute to a much higher chance that the expelled student will drop out of school entirely, or will be pushed out of school. How does this help the student? Well, it doesn’t. A senior high school principal in Oakland, California says of expulsions, “There are no benefits to the kids. They get nothing. It’s for the school. Suspension is a short-term release valve for the school. Imagine what may happen if a student with special needs gets expelled. Students with disabilities, especially if it is a learning or behavior disability, need extra time and need to put in extra effort to do there work as it is, and if they are expelled, then all of the above factors can be multiplied and will only hurt the student even more.

Best of luck,

Mark Hutten, M.A.


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Anonymous said...

My thirteen year old is on the honor roll and has a 3.5 gpa. He has applied to one of the best highschools. But he is very defiant. Only with me (mom). He flinches like I am going to hit him. He will not talk to me about anything. Its like he has built a wall against me. He says he loves me but he wont let me in. Its only on his terms that I get to hug him. What happend to the sweet boy I had?

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caleb said...

Hey, I'm having a issue with attendance. I've been late 19 times and missed 15 exused days and 12 unexcused days. Do you think you could explain what might happen? They told me I would be expelled if I missed or was late 2 more times. I missed 1 day and was late another. Would I still be able to get a job if I got expelled? Like a few weeks after the expulsion. Do I have any other alternative options for schooling like online school? Id appreciate the response

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