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Before a pupil may be expelled from school an expulsion hearing must be held. The hearing may be held by the school board, a hearing panel or a hearing officer. Before and expulsion hearing is held, the school district must send the pupil a Notice of Expulsion Hearing. If the pupil is a minor, the notice must also be sent to the pupil’s parent or guardian. The notice must be in writing an must be given at least 5 days before the hearing. The law requires that the notice of expulsion hearing include certain information.

The notice must include the following information:

  • the reasons for the expulsion, including the specific conduct for which the pupil is being expelled;
  • the time and place of the hearing;
  • that the hearing may result in the pupil’s expulsion;
  • that, at the request of the pupil and, if the pupil is a minor, the parent or guardian, the hearing will be closed to the public;
  • that the pupil or pupil’s parent or guardian may be represented by an attorney (this does not mean the pupil, parent or guardian has a right to an appointed attorney);
  • that written minutes of the hearing will be kept;
  • that if the pupil is expelled a copy of the order will be sent to the pupil and the pupil’s parent or guardian;
  • that if the pupil is expelled the expulsion may be appealed to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and DPI will decide the appeal within 60 days;
  • that the school board’s decision will be enforced while DPI reviews it;
  • that an appeal from DPI’s decision may be made to the circuit court within 30 days;
  • and that the state pupil expulsion statutes are ss. 119.25 and 120.13(1).

If the hearing will be before a hearing panel or a hearing officer, the notice of expulsion hearing must also state the following:

  • the hearing officer or panel will keep a full record of the hearing, and upon request will direct that a transcript be prepared and that a copy be given to the pupil and, if the pupil is a minor, the parent or guardian;
  • that within 30 days of the hearing officer or hearing panel’s issuance of an expulsion order the school board will review the order and approve, review or modify the order;
  • that if the pupil is expelled by the hearing officer or panel, the expulsion order will be enforced while the school board reviews the order.

Pupils, parents and guardians who receive a notice of expulsion hearing should review it carefully to make sure it includes all the information required by law. An expulsion can be reversed on appeal if the notice of expulsion hearing does include all the information required by law.

For more information about expulsion, please read School Discipline - Removal From Class, Suspensions and Expulsions and Public School Discipline & Children with Disabilities.

The above is intended to provide general information only and is not a substitute for thorough and specific advice on an individual case. Depending on the complexity of your legal problem you may need to consult an attorney for advice or representation.

This was prepared by the staff of Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. on behalf of low-income clients and was funded by the Legal Services Corporation, Washington, D.C. 20005 and by the Dane County Bar Association Pro Bono Trust Fund. Any opinions contained herein are those of the authors and should not be construed as those of the Legal Services Corporation or the Dane County Bar Association.

Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. does not discriminate on the basis of disability in the provision of services or in employment. If you need printed material interpreted or in a different form, or if you need assistance in using our services, please inform us. Deaf, hearing-impaired or speech-impaired callers may reach us through the Wisconsin Telecommunication Relay System (1-800-947-3529).

Updated April 2002

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