School Expulsions Overview

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What the Child and Family Services Review Board Does
What the Child and Family Services Review Board Can Do For You


Was your child recently expelled from school? Parents who want to appeal a school board decision to expel their child may do so through the Child and Family Services Review Board. (CFSRB). The information in this section explains how the review board holds hearings when parents want to appeal a school board decision to expel their child. It aims to help parents understand the appeal process and how to make an appeal if their child has been expelled.  It is not meant to be used as legal advice for a specific legal problem. 

You do not need a lawyer to appeal to the CFSRB, but if your situation is complicated or difficult to explain, you may want to see a lawyer before you begin your appeal.  

What the Child and Family Services Review Board Does

The CFSRB hears appeals from people who do not agree with a school board’s decision to expel a student.

The review board will decide:

  • Whether an expulsion decision was legal, i.e., did the principal and school board follow all steps listed in the Education Act
  • Whether the student was unfairly expelled
  • Whether there are other considerations that, despite the circumstances,  should have been a reason to avoid expulsion

For example: The review board will question whether the school board considered the factors raised in the Education Act, such as:

  • Any issues with how the student's individual education plan (IEP) was written or carried out
  • The student’s inability to control or foresee and understand the outcomes of his or her actions
  • The potential impact of expulsion on the student’s further education, or
  • Any of a number of other factors listed in the Education Act under “factors that make suspension/expulsion more or less likely:” [s. 311.1(4), Reg 427/07 ss 2,3]

The wording used here is not exactly how it is written in the Education Act. More detail is in the law section on this topic.  

This review board usually serves:

  • A parent or guardian of a student who is under 18 and who was recently expelled
  • A student 18 years old and over who was recently expelled
  • A student who is 16 or 17 years old, who has withdrawn from parental control, and was recently expelled

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What the Child and Family Services Review Board Can Do for You:

Going to the CFSRB can help you in four main ways:

  • If a student was unfairly expelled, it can force the school board to allow the student back into school.
  • It can give you more information about why an expulsion occurred.
  • It can offer you a chance to tell your story.
  • It can bring attention to the circumstance and situation that led to expulsion.

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