After much debate, officials of the Fullerton School District have decided not to create a panel to conduct student expulsion hearings.
Having such a panel would have kept students out of school longer and taken up more administrative time to prepare expulsion arguments, district officials said.
At a special board meeting Monday, administrators discussed the pros and cons of creating the panel, which would have made recommendations to the board, the final arbiter on expulsion.
The panel would have been made up of three administrators--two principals and the district’s coordinator of pupil personnel services. Under the proposal, members of the panel would have heard cases and made recommendations to the school board, which in turn would have heard appeals from parents and students, then made its decision later.
Instead, the school board voted to keep the current system, under which the board holds expulsion hearings and makes a decision the same day.
“I think that we’ve got a fair system in place at this point, and it’s very impressive for parents and students to come directly before the school board for their expulsion hearings,” said Konnie Gault, coordinator of pupil personnel services.
She said a panel would be more advantageous to school districts that hold more expulsion hearings than Fullerton, which had only 24 last year.
“We’re not talking humongous numbers,” she said, pointing out that the Santa Ana Unified School District had 600 expulsion hearings last year.
“If the numbers ever get too large in our district, than a review panel would make sense,” she said, because it would reduce the amount of school board time spent hearing the cases.