1. Identify and explain the areas of school law implicated by the hypo;
2. Identify all applicable constitutional amendments, statutes, and caselaw implicated by the hypo; and
3.Arrive at the correct conclusion, as in, tell me whether the individual bringing the claim will be successful.
Grounds for Expulsion from School
The most probable claim that Franco can bring against the Principal of the School is that of unfair expulsion. This is based on the fact that the due process was not in any way followed in the expulsion process and as such, he is entitled to legal remedy by all standards given the fact that he was not given a chance for fair hearing and at the same time there was no substantive evidence that qualified for his expulsion from school. To begin with, there are certain conditions that must be met for one to be legally expelled from school and they are as follows.
The first condition or rather the ground that can lead to the expulsion of a student from school by either the school principal or the board is when the student has created danger to the safety, health or wellbeing of anyone such as by bringing weapons within the school environment. This is a very strong ground that can lead to the expulsion of any student if she or she does not provide strong defense for his or her actions. The health and safety of every student is the primary concern of every school and as such, any one of the learners who are out to compromise on this provision will thus be eligible for expulsion unconditionally. There are cases where weapons have been smuggled in school by the students such as guns something that has led to mass shootings previously hence the need for schools to make sure that they do not in any way allow their students to carry with them weapons in school. Based on the facts of the case, it is obvious that Franco did not bring with him any weapons within the learning environment. The knife that was found in his bag was well labeled as belonging to his art teacher. It was thus prudent for the principal of the school to launch serious investigations regarding this particular matter and establish whether the knife in deed belonged to the student in question or to the art teacher whom the student had mentioned. It was enough not to elect not to believe the student and have him expelled on the assumption that he was lying to the teacher. The fact that the principal expelled him without conducting any investigations on the matter violates the principals of natural justice by far and large as there was no objectivity in the action that was taken.
The second ground that has the capacity to lead to the expulsion of any student is where the victim is reported to have used violence against other persons. In this regard, this is also related to the issue of health and safety though it is treated as an independent point given the fact that such violence is not limited to the learners along but also to the people outside the learning environment. In this particular case, there was no evidence to the effect that Franco was involved in a case of using or rather applying violence against other persons whether within or without the school’s environment. The fact that he wore clothes that resembled the uniform of the notorious gang does not in any way link him to any reported violent crimes by all standards. The facts are very clear that he wore clothes that resemble the uniform of the gang and not that he was the very uniform used by that gang. Whichever the case, it was still prudent for the principal of the school to initiate investigations into the matter and establish whether Franco was truly part of the notorious gang instead of expelling him on the face of it. Objective investigations could have been the only way out since this could have been the best approach into establishing whether there was any existing link between Franco and the dreaded gang in question and also find out whether Franco had been involved in any violent crimes based on his affiliation to the gang under consideration. The principal thus erred in expelling Franco from school by all standards since such a summary decision lacked the objectivity that is required of it.
Understanding the Hypothetical Case of Unfair Expulsion
The next ground upon which a student can be expelled is that of having been engaged in serious damage of property. This is equally a serious offense since every person within the learning environment including both the teaching and non-teaching staffs have the cardinal responsibility of making sure that the property such as the learning equipment and the buildings are well preserved and protected from all forms of damage. Nobody is thus allowed to engage in practices that lead to the destruction of property since this is a criminal offense on the face of it may it be under the bylaws of the school as well as the penal code. It is was thus important for the principal to have also made inquiries into whether Franco had been involved into any activities that might have led to the destruction of the property of the learning institution since this could have provided perfect grounds for his expulsion from the learning institution without the need for further convictions or grounds. This is more of the reason why there ought to be thorough investigations into the conduct and activities of the students before actually expelling them from school
The next reason why students can be expelled from school legally is when they are involved in stealing or helping others to steal. This is a serious crime that has the capacity to have the student caught in such activities expelled without further questions. Stealing or helping others to steal is not only unethical but also criminal and this makes it very much possible for such students involved in such activities to be summarily expelled from the institutions without having any defense that can work in their favor. It is impossible to keep a student who is involved in acts of stealing or aiding other students to steal since this may endanger the very existence of the institution. This is also the reason why it was much necessary for the principal not to rush into the decision of expelling Franco but rather initiate investigations that could have provided better grounds that support the expulsion of the victim under consideration. It is not possible for one to be expelled from school based on rumors as well as some unsubstantiated allegations hence the need for schools to make sure that the principles of natural justice are allowed to take their course before any student is subjected to expulsion.
Furthermore, for one to be expelled from school, then it must be established that he or she was involved in drugs such as selling them or smuggling them to school. This is equally a serious offense given the fact that the menace of drugs in schools has become so real to the extent that most of the learners are now doing drugs something that continues to have a negative impact on their academic performance. As such, schools are under a legal obligation and authority to make sure that the students involved in such a malpractice are to be expelled and even arrested by the law enforcers as juvenile offenders. It could thus have been better if the principal could have investigated Franco to establish whether he was doing drugs or smuggling them into the school compound and selling them to the other students. There was no such evidence to link Franco into the practice of doing drugs by any standard hence making it virtually impossible for him to be expelled from school by all standards.
Violation of the Principles of Natural Justice
Moreover, a student is supposed to be expelled if it is established that he or she had disobeyed clear and reasonable instructions from the teachers, school staff or from the principal. This is also subject to investigation since such instructions that have been allegedly disobeyed must by all standards be objective and with the capacity to put the student on expulsion. Based on the facts of the case, it is not clear whether Franco had violated any of the instructions from either the principal, the staff member of the school or even from the teachers given the fact that there were no investigations that were conducted to this effect. The fact that he had denied a transgender student from the boy’s locker room was a mere allegation that was to be subject to further investigation to establish the truth in this particular matter. At the same time, there was no place in the facts of this case where rules regarding how transgender students should be handled in school were in place to make it possible for Franco to be incriminated in this respect. Carrying the knife was also not an issue since there were no investigations to believe that the knife did not belong to the art teacher and as such, Franco did not intend to use it as a weapon of any sort within or without the learning environment for any criminal activities.
Based on the facts of the case as provided above, it is evident that Franco can bring the claim of unfair expulsion from school. This is based on the major fact that there was no any evidence that he had violated any of the above-mentioned factors that are supposed to form the grounds upon which students are supposed to be expelled from school. The school principal acted on this own volition and did not in any way permit the principles of natural justice to take their cause and allow proper investigations into all the allegations leveled against the student to be conducted in the best way possible for the truth to be established. Expulsion from school may it public or private is a very serious matter that should be a matter of investigation. It thus suffices to say that now that Franco had been expelled and he is no longer the student or member of the school, he may successfully sue the principal of the school for this act that did not follow the due process. There was no anyone point where the student was allowed to defend himself over all the allegations leveled against him.
It is also clear from the facts of the case study that the art teacher Michael Robison can comfortably sue the school principal for unfair dismissal. This is to the effect that he was summarily dismissed on the grounds that he incited the students to go against the established dress code of the school by wearing uniforms that resembled those of the dreaded gang members something that was a clear show of protest to their fellow expelled student. In as much as this may be seen as a classic case of incitement, it was important for the principal to have allowed the art teacher to be subjected to further investigation and established the truth of the matter including the motive behind such an action. This could have been in line with the principal of natural justice that demands for fair hearing before anyone is fired or expelled from work. The principal could have allowed the teacher to face the necessary disciplinary tribunal or committee of the school to explain himself or rather defend his actions since this is an integral part of the justice process that cannot be dispensed with by any standard. There was no point for the principal go ahead and sack the art teacher without allowing the due process to follow since the actions of the teacher on Twitter did not amount to any gross misconduct that needed such urgent action of being dismissed from work on the face of it. It thus suffices to aver that Michael Robinson may successfully lodge a claim of unfair dismissal against the school’s principal since the due process was not followed to have him relieved of his duties by all standards since this is a requirement of the law that cannot be dispensed with.
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