School Discipline

Youth in foster care are at greater risk of school suspension and expulsion than their peers. Excessive school discipline can also result in unexpected changes in foster home placements for foster youth, compounding an already keen sense of isolation and alienation. East Bay Children’s Law Office’s Education Advocacy Program provides direct legal representation for Alameda County foster youth in school expulsion and suspension proceedings with the goal of protecting school stability and strengthening school engagement.

School Discipline for Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities, including students with active IEPs or 504 plans, typically cannot be kept out of school for more than 10 days in a school year for disciplinary reasons if the underlying behavior was either directly and substantially related to the student’s disability or was the direct result of the school’s failure to implement the student’s IEP or 504 plan. These determinations are made at manifestation determination meetings. Attorneys for foster youth must be notified by the school of any manifestation determination meeting held for an act for which the school has the discretion to expel the student.

Key Resources

EBCLO’s School Discipline Toolkit

This document is a tool for understanding school discipline for foster and probation youth.

School Discipline Fact Sheet

This Fact Sheet discusses suspensions, expulsions, and other details related to school discipline.

Additional Links


EBCLO’s Education Advocacy Program works to help youth succeed in school.

Transitional Aged Youth (TAY)

EBCLO works with many TAY, and we’ve compiled tips for young people who are participating in extended foster care or want to return to extended foster care. 

Know Your Rights

It can be challenging for youth and young adults to know the rights that they have. This page is a great start.