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Grounds For Disciplinary Actions


(STATE EDUCATION CODE 48900, 48900.2, 48900.3, 48900.4 48900.7)

(As presented in the SFUSD “Student Handbook” 9/2009)


Suspension/Expulsion is the last form of disciplinary action and therefore should be imposed after other means of correction or interventions have failed. The exception is when the principal determines that the student's presence in school would constitute a threat to the welfare and safety of students or severely disrupt the educational process of the school.

No student shall be suspended or expelled from school unless the principal or designee of the school in which the student is enrolled determines that the student has violated one or more of the following:

a1. Caused, attempted to cause, or threatened to cause physical injury to another person.

a2. Willfully used force or violence upon the person of another, except in self-defense.

b. Possessed, sold, or otherwise furnished any firearm, knife, explosive, or other dangerous object, unless, in the case of possession of any object of this type, the pupil had obtained written permission to possess the item from a certificated school employee, which is concurred in by the principal or the designee of the principal.

c. Unlawfully possessed, used, sold, or otherwise furnished, or been under the influence of, any controlled substance, an alcoholic beverage, or an intoxicant of any kind.

d. Unlawfully offered, arranged, or negotiated to sell any controlled substance, an alcoholic beverage, or an intoxicant of any kind, and then either sold, delivered, or otherwise furnished to any person another liquid, substance, or material and represented the liquid, substance, or material as a controlled substance, alcoholic beverage, or intoxicant.

e. Committed or attempted to commit robbery or extortion.

f. Caused or attempted to cause damage to school property or private property.

g. Stolen or attempted to steal school property or private property.

h. Possessed or used tobacco, or any products containing tobacco or nicotine products, including, but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, miniature cigars, clove cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, snuff, chew packets, and betel. However, this section does not prohibit use or possession by a pupil of his or her own prescription products.

i. Committed an obscene act or engaged in habitual profanity or vulgarity.

j. Unlawfully possessed or unlawfully offered, arranged or negotiated to sell any drug paraphernalia.

k. 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.

l. Knowingly received stolen school property or private property.

m. Possessed an imitation firearm. As used in this section, “imitation firearm” means a replica of a firearm that is so substantially similar in physical properties to an existing firearm as to lead a reasonable person to conclude that the replica is a firearm.

n. Committed or attempted to commit a sexual assault or a sexual battery.

o. Harassed, threatened, or intimidated a pupil who is a complaining witness or witness in a school district disciplinary proceeding for the purpose of either preventing that pupil from being a witness or retaliating against that pupil for being a witness, or both.

p. Unlawfully offered, arranged to sell, negotiated to sell, or sold the prescription drug Soma.

q. Engaged in, or attempted to engage in, hazing.

s. Aided or abetted, as defined in Section 31 of the Penal Code, the infliction or attempted infliction of physical injury to another person. A student may be suspended, but not expelled, under this section, except for a student who has been adjudged by a juvenile court to have committed, as an aider and abettor, a crime of physical violence in which the victim suffered great bodily injury or serious bodily injury shall be subject to discipline pursuant to subdivision (a) of Education Code 48900.

.2. Committed sexual harassment. This section does not apply to pupils enrolled in kindergarten and grades 1 to 3, inclusive. (Education Code 48900.2)

.3. Caused, attempted to cause, threatened to cause, or participated in an act of hate violence. This section does not apply to pupils enrolled in kindergarten and grades 1 to 3, inclusive. (Education Code 48900.3)

.4. Intentionally engaged in harassment, threats, or intimidation, directed against a pupil or group of pupils, that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to have the actual and reasonably expected effect of materially disrupting classwork, creating substantial disorder, and invading the rights of that pupil or group of pupils by creating an intimidating or hostile educational environment. This section does not apply to pupils enrolled in kindergarten and grades 1 to 3, inclusive. (Education Code 48900.4)

.7. Made terroristic threats against school officials or school property, or both. (Education Code 48900.7)


Violations of sections (a) through (e) and (n) of Education Code 48900 on pages 80 and 81 may result in expulsion from the school district.

A student may also be expelled for violations of sections (f) through (m) of Education code 48900 and Education Code sections 48900.2, 48900.3, 48900.4 on page 64 if the District finds either:

1. That other means of correction are not feasible or have repeatedly failed to bring about proper conduct; or

2. That due to the nature of the violation, the presence of the pupil causes a continuing danger to the physical safety of the pupil or others.

3. A Superintendent or Principal may use his/her discretion to provide alternatives to suspension or expulsion, including, but not limited to, counseling and an anger management program, for a pupil subject to discipline under this section.


No pupil shall be suspended or expelled for any of the acts enumerated unless that act is related to school activity or school attendance occurring within a school under the jurisdiction of the superintendent or principal or occurring within any other school district. A pupil may be suspended or expelled for acts which are enumerated in State Education Code 48900 and related to school activity or attendance which occur at any time, including but not limited to, any of the following:

a. While on school grounds.

b. While going to or coming from school.

c. During the lunch period, whether on or off the campus.

d. During, or while going to or coming from, a school sponsored activity.


1. Principal or the principal’s designee shall hold a conference with the student.

A. Student shall first be informed of the reason for the disciplinary action and the evidence against him or her.

B. Student shall then be given the opportunity to present his or her version and evidence in his or her defense.

2. Emergency Situation: A student may be suspended without a conference if the principal or his or her designee determines that an emergency situation exists. Emergency situation means a situation determined by the principal, the principal’s designee, or the superintendent, to constitute a clear and present danger to the lives, safety or health of pupils or school personnel. If a pupil is suspended without a conference prior to suspension, both the parent/guardian/caregiver and the pupil shall be notified of the pupil’s right to such a conference, and the pupil’s right to return to school for the purpose of a conference. The conference shall be held within two school days, unless the pupil waives this right or is physically unable to attend for any reason including, but not limited to, incarceration or hospitalization. The conference shall then be held as soon as the pupil is physically able to return to school for the conference.