Is reptilian murder an expellable offense?

A kid in California decapitated a lizard on school property.  The court does not tell us why the lizard was on school property, or what he/she was doing to deserve capital punishment.  But we are told that the 9th grader murdered the reptile and then showed off his bloody hands to the teacher and other kids.  The kid also informed various people that he was a reader of The Anarchist’s Cookbook and that he did not feel bad about killing the lizard because he was “a psychopath.” That’s not a real cookbook. It’s about building explosives and manufacturing drugs.

They expelled him.  The case ended up in court because the lizard killer was in special education and the California district skipped over a few legal niceties. Like an IEP Team meeting and a manifestation determination. They did not do that. Not surprisingly, the court held that the district illegally changed the kid’s placement without going through proper procedures.  The district based its argument on the fact that the student was already on probation, and the probationary agreement stated that he would be expelled for any violation of the Code of Conduct, without any procedural hoohah.  The court pointed out that none of that excused the district from complying with federal law.  It’s been that way for a long time. If it was not clear before the Civil War, it has been ever since.

The case is Jay F. v. William S. Hart Union High School District. It was decided by the federal court for the Central District of California on August 2, 2017. We found it at 70 IDELR 156