5. Attend the hearing

If you don’t reach a settlement, you will have an expulsion hearing. Most hearings take place at the school board’s main office and last about 1 to 3 hours.

Each school board can decide on its own hearing process. But they must give you a copy of their procedures and information about their process before your hearing. Review these carefully.

The people at the appeal hearing include:

  • you, the student
  • your parent(s), unless you have withdrawn from parental control or you are over 18 years old
  • your lawyer or your parent’s lawyer (if you have one)
  • the principal
  • the principal’s lawyer (if they have one)
  • at least 3 trustees
  • the trustees’ lawyer

If you would like someone other than a lawyer to come to the hearing with you as a support, ask the school board if that is allowed. This person could be a friend or counsellor.

The trustees are in charge of the hearing. Sometimes they will also let you or the principal bring witnesses to the hearing if it is helpful.

The process

The trustees will want to hear your side of the story and the principal’s. Usually, they will ask the principal to speak first.

You can ask the principal questions after they have finished speaking. Your questions should show that the principal did not consider all of the relevant factors, or that they did not make a reasonable decision. See Step 2 for the relevant factors. The trustees may also ask questions.

You will also be allowed to make a statement to explain your side of the story. The trustees may ask you questions so that they can understand what you are saying.

Once you and the principal are both finished, the trustees will meet in private to discuss the situation and make their decision.

The possible outcomes

There are 4 possible outcomes to an expulsion hearing:

  1. You are not expelled, and the initial suspension is cancelled and removed from your record.
  2. You are not expelled, but your original suspension is confirmed for up to 20 days.
  3. You are expelled from your school.
  4. You are expelled from all schools in the school board.

You will receive the decision in writing. If you are expelled, the decision must include reasons for the expulsion. If you are expelled from your school only, the school board will help you find a new school. If you are expelled from all schools in the school board, the school board will give you information about the expelled students program you will be attending.

Child and Family Services Review Board

If you do not agree with the outcome at your expulsion hearing, you can appeal to the Child and Family Services Review Board (CFSRB). The CFSRB is an independent body. Its members are appointed by the Ontario government.

You must file an Application to Appeal a School Board Expulsion Decision within 30 days of when the trustees make their decision. For more information on the appeal process, visit the CFSRB’s website.

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