School is an extremely important part of a child's development, no matter how much he or she may dislike the process. From setting a stage for future education in college to teaching critical reasoning skills, it's no surprise that school attendance has a strong correlation to success in high school and beyond.
For troubled teens struggling with drug addiction, however, school may not seem so important. Attending classes, respecting teachers and peers, and paying attention to lessons can become an imposition rather than a beneficial opportunity, leading to unacceptable behaviors on school grounds. For teens who choose to use or sell drugs and alcohol at school, the punishment may be more serious than you realize: expulsion.
What Is Expulsion?
Simply put, expulsion is the permanent ejection from a school or school district. In general, expulsion is a worst-case scenario that only occurs due to extreme actions, like violence against students and teachers, drug use on campus, possession of a deadly weapon, or theft. Unlike suspension or detention, two lesser punishments handed out fairly regularly, expulsion is reserved for severe actions that cannot be addressed in any other way.
In some school districts, expulsion may have a term limit or can be overcome with remedial programs, while in others, expulsion has no recourse. Some districts leave all expulsions up to the Board of Education to decide, while others mandate expulsion under certain circumstances, like bringing a gun to school or the distribution of illegal drugs.
The Expulsion Process
Unlike detentions that can be given out at random, expulsion is a very weighty punishment that must be handled accordingly. Instead of just banishing a student and moving on, most districts require a hearing held by the Board of Education. This process often moves swiftly, with a hearing taking place as soon as possible. In some cases, retaining a lawyer may be recommended, although this will generally depend on the case at hand.
At the hearing, you and your teen will have a chance to explain your side, and the school will make its case for why your child should not be permitted to continue to attend classes. At the conclusion of the hearing, a determination will be made on your child's behalf. If the school's decision stands, your teen will no longer be able to attend his school any longer, either temporarily or permanently.
Expulsion is a scary reality, and it may seem like a horrifying turn of events that was never supposed to happen in your family. Unfortunately, over 130,000 students are expelled each year, so your teen is not alone in his struggles, no matter how frightened or isolated your family may feel.
For most teens, there is often a pattern of behavior leading up to expulsion. Many expelled students have faced years of detentions and suspensions, demonstrating a history of problematic or rebellious actions. Expulsion is not handed down lightly, and a grave offense usually accompanies this decision. As such, a big part of moving forward will entail a thorough examination into your teen's behavior.
If your teen was expelled for buying, selling, or using drugs on school property, a drug addiction is likely a contributing factor to their illegal behavior. While many teens experiment with substances – over 60% of teenagers use alcohol and over 20% smoke marijuana recreationally – a pattern of abuse is generally out of control when use carries over into school hours. These signs of addiction can be hard to face, and as a parent, it's easy to make excuses for your child. However, if your teen abuses illicit substances to the point that he has been expelled, it's time to seek help.
Options After Expulsion
Contrary to popular opinion, a teen's school career is not over after expulsion and there are numerous options for your family consider. In some circumstances, there may even be a chance that he can return to his existing school, depending on how much time has passed or the requirements of the district in question. However, in the intermediary, finding an appropriate alternative option should be a priority.
Online School or Homeschooling
If a traditional school isn't the right path for your child throughout his expulsion, online school or homeschooling can help your teen stay up on his studies in a close, convenient environment. Teens in need of extra monitoring can flourish in this environment, working one-on-one with parents and online modules to continue to learn and grow.
Public or Private School
Expulsion from one school doesn't necessarily mean the end of a classroom experience in all schools. Many public and some private schools will take students who have been previously expelled, giving your teen the opportunity to start over somewhere new.
Teens who were expelled due to drug or alcohol use on campus are likely facing complications that go beyond troubles in school. For those with addiction issues, an inpatient facility can make a significant difference.
Inpatient rehabilitation for teens goes beyond simple detox, providing a comprehensive atmosphere designed to help your child overcome his challenges with substance addiction while continuing their education. Many treatment centers for teens offer both traditional and vocational programs to keep students from falling behind, providing a beneficial experience for those who require a second chance.
Seeking Help for Your Teen
Drug and alcohol abuse is no laughing matter, especially for when a consequence like expulsion is on the table. If your child's use has progressed to the point of getting kicked out of school, an adolescent inpatient rehabilitation center is the best possible option. Designed specifically for teens dealing with stressful life situations including alcohol or drug addiction as well as co-occurring disorders, these centers are run by addiction professionals who know how to help adolescents reclaim sobriety in the most effective ways possible.
With a safe, secure environment designed to provide structure for your teen, a licensed, accredited facility can offer the support necessary to develop coping alternatives and redirect focus in healthy, positive ways.
If your teen is demonstrating signs of drug addiction or is facing expulsion for his substance abuse, the time to seek help is now. At Teen Treatment Center, we can provide post-expulsion education and drug rehabilitation to ensure your child remains on the path to a bright future. Contact us today at (844)319-5239 to speak with a member of our inpatient counseling team. All consultations are strictly confidential.