Expulsion from Public School

Tex. Educ. Code § 37.007 governs the rules for expulsion from the public school system for serious offenses. A student can be expelled from a school if the student, on school property or while attending a school-sponsored or school-related activity on or off of school property, engages in conduct that constitutes a criminal offense, makes terroristic threat, bomb threat, or false alarm or report, possesses a firearm, or sells drugs or alcohol on or near the school grounds.

Most of these provisions apply to a child who at least 10 years old because children who are 9 years old or younger may not be expelled for engaging in conduct described in this article with a few exceptions. As a result of the Texas Safe Schools Act in 1995, all public school districts in Texas are required to provide disciplinary alternative education programs (DAEPs). An alternative education setting, DAEPs serve students temporarily removed for disciplinary purposes from their regular instructional settings.

If your child is facing juvenile charges in juvenile court and/or a hearing with the school district for possible expulsion because of disciplinary reasons, then contact an experienced juvenile defense attorney in Fort Worth, TX, at Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy. Call the attorneys at Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy in Fort Worth, TX, to find out ways to help keep your child out of the disciplinary alternative education program or find other alternatives.

Attorney for School District Expulsion Hearings in Tarrant County, TX

Our attorneys represent juveniles charged with a crime in juvenile court in Tarrant County and the surrounding counties. Our lawyers also help the child resolve the disciplinary hearing with the school concerning expulsion or change of placement in the school system in Tarrant County including:

  • Azle Independent School District
  • Birdville Independent School District
  • Burleson Independent School District
  • Carroll Independent School District
  • Castleberry Independent School District
  • Crowley Independent School District
  • Eagle Mountain-Saginaw Independent School District
  • Everman Independent School District
  • Fort Worth Independent School District
  • Godley Independent School District
  • Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District
  • Keller Independent School District
  • Lake Worth Independent School District
  • Northwest Independent School District
  • White Settlement Independent School District

The attorneys at Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy represent students in Arlington five independent school districts including Arlington ISD, Mansfield ISD, Grand Prairie ISD, Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD, and Kennedale ISD.

If you received a letter or notice that your child is suspended and subject to being expelled from school, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy in Fort Worth, TX, for any case in Tarrant County or the surrounding areas.


Reasons a Juvenile Can Be Expelled From the Public Schools in Texas

A student can be expelled from a school if the student, on school property or while attending a school-sponsored or school-related activity on or off of school property engages in conduct that constitutes a criminal offense by:

  • engaging in conduct that contains the elements of the offense of unlawfully carrying weapons under Section 46.02, Penal Code, or elements of an offense relating to prohibited weapons under Section 46.05, Penal Code;
  • engaging in conduct that contains the elements of the offense of:
    • aggravated assault under Section 22.02, Penal Code;
    • sexual assault under Section 22.011, Penal Code;
    • aggravated sexual assault under Section 22.021, Penal Code;
    • arson under Section 28.02, Penal Code;
    • murder under Section 19.02, Penal Code;
    • capital murder under Section 19.03, Penal Code;
    • criminal attempt, under Section 15.01, Penal Code, to commit murder or capital murder;
    • indecency with a child under Section 21.11, Penal Code;
    • aggravated kidnapping under Section 20.04, Penal Code;
    • aggravated robbery under Section 29.03, Penal Code;
    • manslaughter under Section 19.04, Penal Code;
    • criminally negligent homicide under Section 19.05, Penal Code; or
    • continuous sexual abuse of young child or children under Section 21.02, Penal Code; or
  • engages in conduct specified by Section 37.006(a)(2)(C) or (D), if the conduct is punishable as a felony.

A student may be expelled if the student engages in conduct involving a public school that contains the elements of the offense of false alarm or report under Section 42.06, Penal Code, or terroristic threat under Section 22.07, Penal Code. 

A student may be expelled if the student while on or within 300 feet of school property, as measured from any point on the school's real property boundary line, or while attending a school-sponsored or school-related activity on or off of school property:

  • sells, gives, or delivers to another person or possesses, uses, or is under the influence of any amount of:
    • marihuana or a controlled substance, as defined by Chapter 481, Health and Safety Code, or by 21 U.S.C. Section 801 et seq.;
    • a dangerous drug, as defined by Chapter 483, Health and Safety Code; or
    • an alcoholic beverage, as defined by Section 1.04, Alcoholic Beverage Code;

A student can also be expelled if the student while on or within 300 feet of school property, as measured from any point on the school's real property boundary line, or while attending a school-sponsored or school-related activity on or off of school property:

  • engages in conduct that contains the elements of an offense relating to an abusable volatile chemical under Sections 485.031 through 485.034, Health and Safety Code;
  • engages in conduct that contains the elements of an offense under Section 22.01(a)(1), Penal Code, against a school district employee or a volunteer as defined by Section 22.053; or
  • engages in conduct that contains the elements of the offense of deadly conduct under Section 22.05, Penal Code;

Subject to Subsection (d), while within 300 feet of school property, as measured from any point on the school's real property boundary line:

  • engages in conduct specified by Subsection (a); or
  • possesses a firearm, as defined by 18 U.S.C. Section 921;

Engages in conduct that contains the elements of any offense listed in Subsection (a)(2)(A) or (C) or the offense of aggravated robbery under Section 29.03, Penal Code, against another student, without regard to whether the conduct occurs on or off of school property or while attending a school-sponsored or school-related activity on or off of school property.

Engages in conduct that contains the elements of the offense of breach of computer security under Section 33.02, Penal Code, if:

  • the conduct involves accessing a computer, computer network, or computer system owned by or operated on behalf of a school district; and
  • the student knowingly:
    • alters, damages, or deletes school district property or information; or
    • commits a breach of any other computer, computer network, or computer system.
  • A student may be expelled if the student, while placed in a disciplinary alternative education program, engages in documented serious misbehavior while on the program campus despite documented behavioral interventions. For purposes of this subsection, “serious misbehavior” means:
    • deliberate violent behavior that poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others;
    • extortion, meaning the gaining of money or other property by force or threat;
    • conduct that constitutes coercion, as defined by Section 1.07, Penal Code; or
    • conduct that constitutes the offense of:
      • public lewdness under Section 21.07, Penal Code;
      • indecent exposure under Section 21.08, Penal Code;
      • criminal mischief under Section 28.03, Penal Code;
      • personal hazing under Section 37.152; or
      • harassment under Section 42.07(a)(1), Penal Code, of a student or district employee.

A student shall be expelled if the student engages in conduct that contains the elements of any offense listed in Subsection (a), and may be expelled if the student engages in conduct that contains the elements of any offense listed in Subsection (b)(2)(C), against any employee or volunteer in retaliation for or as a result of the person's employment or association with a school district, without regard to whether the conduct occurs on or off of school property or while attending a school-sponsored or school-related activity on or off of school property.

In accordance with 20 U.S.C. Section 7151, a local educational agency, including a school district, home-rule school district, or open-enrollment charter school, shall expel a student who brings a firearm, as defined by 18 U.S.C. Section 921, to school. The student must be expelled from the student's regular campus for a period of at least one year, except that:

  • the superintendent or other chief administrative officer of the school district or of the other local educational agency, as defined by 20 U. S.C. Section 7801, may modify the length of the expulsion in the case of an individual student;
  • the district or other local educational agency shall provide educational services to an expelled student in a disciplinary alternative education program as provided by Section 37.008 if the student is younger than 10 years of age on the date of expulsion; and
  • the district or other local educational agency may provide educational services to an expelled student who is 10 years of age or older in a disciplinary alternative education program as provided in Section 37.008.

A student who engages in conduct that contains the elements of the offense of criminal mischief under Section 28.03, Penal Code, may be expelled at the district's discretion if the conduct is punishable as a felony under that section. The student shall be referred to the authorized officer of the juvenile court regardless of whether the student is expelled.

In addition to any notice required under Article 15.27, Code of Criminal Procedure, a school district shall inform each educator who has responsibility for, or is under the direction and supervision of an educator who has responsibility for, the instruction of a student who has engaged in any violation listed in this section of the student's misconduct.

Each teacher and educator is required to keep the information received under this subsection confidential from any person not entitled to the information under this subsection, except that the educator may share the information with the student's parent or guardian as provided for by state or federal law. The State Board for Educator Certification may revoke or suspend the certification of an educator who intentionally violates this subsection.

A student who engages in conduct described by Subsection (a) may be expelled from school by the district in which the student attends school if the student engages in that conduct:

  • on school property of another district in this state; or
  • while attending a school-sponsored or school-related activity of a school in another district in this state.

A student may not be expelled solely on the basis of the student's use, exhibition, or possession of a firearm that occurs:

  • at an approved target range facility that is not located on a school campus; and
  • while participating in or preparing for a school-sponsored shooting sports competition or a shooting sports educational activity that is sponsored or supported by the Parks and Wildlife Department or a shooting sports sanctioning organization working with the department.

Additional Resources

Disciplinary Alternative Education Program in Texas - Find a report by the Texas Education Agency about practices and procedures in the disciplinary alternative education settings including a policy history, a summary of statutory requirements related to DAEPs, and statewide statistics on DAEP assignments. The report was published in August of 2007 by the Division of Accountability Research and the Department of Assessment, Accountability, and Data Quality. Find information why all Texas public school districts must provide disciplinary alternative education programs (DAEPs) that serve as alternative education settings for students temporarily removed for disciplinary purposes from their regular schools and classrooms.


This article was last updated on Monday, April 3, 2017.

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