Maura Thompson
Briana Collier
Court Case 4
2/18/11
DIXON
V.
ALABAMA STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION
United States Court of Appeals
August 4, 1961
Background:
Six students, attendees of the Alabama State College, were expelled from school after attending a sit in demonstration for Civil rights during the period of segregation, on and off the college campus. Although the President of the college testified that the students were expelled for their demonstration actions, the Governor attested that the State Board of Education voted to expel the students to prevent situations that could discredit the college or bring violence and disruption to other students of the college. Although the students were officially notified of being expelled, they were not entitled to a proper hearing prior to being expelled from the school, nor were they given reason as to why they were being expelled.
Decision/ Rationale:
The document that was sent to the students being expelled did not contain any reason behind why they were being expelled other than “this problem.” The Board of Education had no valuable evidence against the Plaintiffs as to why they were being expelled, but they did admit that no hearing was offered to the students. The court ruled in favor of the students stating that the college was violating their Fourth Amendment right to Due Process of the law. It was ruled that in the action of being expelled students should be properly notified with a statement of the charges against him/her, and a proper hearing should be held for the student to defend their side of the story.
Impact on Teaching:
This case is important to educators because it demonstrates that if a student is being expelled then they have to be given Due Process of the law. Meaning that a student that has been expelled has to be properly notified with a statement of the charges against him/her and a proper hearing should be held for that student. As educators, we have to give the student in question a right to tell their side of the story and defend themselves from being expelled.
Applicable Quiz Question:
Before a student is expelled, they have the right to what two things?
- Proper notification with a statement of the charges against him/her
- Proper hearing for student to defend themselves before expulsion