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Education for Expelled Students

by Samantha Hanly, studioD

In "Expelled to Nowhere," published by the Boston College Third World Law Journal, Melanie Riccobene Jarboe points out the dire social problem of expelling students and leaving them with no alternative but to end their education. While schools must be able to discipline students, this necessity should be balanced with alternatives to ensure that more children become educated. Fortunately, many school districts find ways to offer educational opportunities to expelled and suspended students.

State Responsibility

The U.S. Department of Education leaves the responsibility of determining who must be expelled from school and providing alternate educational opportunities to expelled students up to each state's department of education. Some states allow each individual school district to make these determinations and provisions. There is no federal requirement for the public school system to provide educational opportunities for expelled students, but the USDOE does encourage it by offering grant opportunities for implementing alternative programs. Many school districts choose to offer alternatives for expelled students. Therefore, types of educational opportunities for expelled students may vary among school districts. For specific information, interested parties should contact their local school district's supervisory union or their state's department of education.

Alternative Schools

Some areas have alternative public schools specifically designed for children who are expelled or suspended. The Michigan Department of Education has an exhaustive list of alternative schools that continue to educate children who may no longer attend public schools. These schools have normal school hours and classes are often taught by specially trained professionals.

Alternative Classes

Some districts offer alternative classes for expelled students that take place outside of regular school hours. These classes may be taught by the public school teachers, but not on the school grounds. Depending upon the district, the teacher and expelled students may meet in the afternoon in a community center or in the supervisory union's office. The state of Nebraska requires that each school district provide alternative classes but states that the classes may meet anywhere, including in the student's home.


Nebraska's DOE also mentions tutoring as a viable option for expelled students. Sometimes one-on-one tutoring is the best option for a suspended or expelled student, especially in smaller towns with lower populations. Depending upon the state and the program, tutoring may happen for just a couple of hours per day. The student receives academic credit and grades for the work done with his tutor.

About the Author

Samantha Hanly is an organic vegetable gardener, greenhouse gardener and home canner. She grows a substantial portion of her family's food every year. After receiving her bachelor's degree, Hanly embarked on a career teaching dramatic arts, arts and crafts, and languages. She became a professional writer in 2000, writing curricula for use in classrooms and libraries.

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