School District 2 trustees expelled an elementary school student Monday, according to school board meeting minutes.
The student, whose age or school were not named in school board documents, is the seventh student expelled since 2006. Trustees most recently expelled a middle school student in 2017.
SD2 officials have consistently declined to provide specific details about incidents leading to expulsion hearings.
In this instance, the five attending school trustees voted unanimously to expel the student.
Trustees were trained on student disciplinary procedures before the public was barred from the meeting because of student privacy laws. SD2 attorneys have noted that expulsions have a lower burden of proof than criminal proceedings, requiring a preponderance of evidence.
An expulsion hearing is typically the last stop in a line of disciplinary actions meant to help students reform their behavior and become more productive members of the student body.
In an expulsion hearing, trustees examine the evidence against the student and can call witnesses. If the student or family chooses, they can argue in their own defense or elect to have legal representation at the hearing. Neither student nor their parents attended Monday's hearings.
The recommendation to expel comes from the superintendent and is then heard by the board. While school staff members and administrators have the authority to suspend students or take other disciplinary actions, only the school board can expel.
One reason expulsion cases are treated seriously is that children in Montana are promised access to public education by law.