The answer is no.

Under Illinois law, school districts have great discretion in expelling students. But this discretion is not unlimited. A court may overturn a school district’s decision if it is arbitrary, unreasonable, capricious or oppressive.

If the district expels your child and the decision seems especially unfair, you may be able to appeal the decision in court. In reviewing the school’s actions, the court will consider: (1) the egregiousness of the student’s conduct; (2) the history or record of the student’s past conduct; (3) the likelihood that such conduct will affect the delivery of educational services to other children; (4) the severity of the punishment; and (5) the interests of the child.

Under these factors, an otherwise good student who got into a little bit of trouble may be able to return to school.

If your child is charged with a disciplinary offense, you should contact an experienced school law attorney immediately. An attorney can help review your child’s options. Generally, you have a very short window to request a hearing. An attorney can help lay the foundation for any appeal by presenting your child’s case in its best possible light. Note that an appellate court will not look at any evidence unless it was first presented at the original hearing.

If you have questions about expulsion, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email

See: Brown v. Plainfield Community School District 202.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)