Superior Court Denies Writ of Mandamus in Threatened School Shooting

Haight prevailed over a combined legal team from Morrison & Foerster, LLP, and Legal Services for Children, Inc. to uphold a school District expulsion decision. In an occurrence that is becoming all too commonplace in the age of Columbine, a student used social media to threaten a school shooting and suicide. School staff and local law enforcement responded immediately, however, the parents, students, staff and community were justifiably fearful. Haight counsel represented the District at a contentious expulsion hearing, and ultimately demonstrated that the expulsion was justified under several Education Code sections, including ยง48900.7 (terrorist threat). However, the student’s legal team raised several issues concerning notice, secondary findings, the hearing transcript and the bias of the hearing panel. The Student appealed the District’s decision to the County Board of Education who remanded the matter back to the District for additional findings. Ultimately, the Student filed a Writ of Mandamus Superior Court against the District and County Board. As the District representatives (Real Party in Interest), Haight presented briefing and oral argument that persuaded the Court that the conduct justified expulsion, the hearing was fair and any procedural errors were non-prejudicial.