Expelled from School—Getting Back on the Track
Discovering the root cause and finding hope.
While having a child expelled from school can initially feel like life has flown off the tracks, eventually you will be able to look back and see God’s guiding hand shaping the situation for you and your child’s joy, hope, and restoration. Just like when God brought Israel back from exile, His promises remain: “Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy” (Isaiah 61:7).
This article is Part 3 of a three-part series on processing and responding to a child being expelled from school.
- Part 1: How to deal with your own emotions about your child being expelled from school.
- Part 2: How to help your child work through his or her emotions about being expelled.
- Part 3: How to discover the source of the problem and get your child back on the tracks in his or her education.
Rooting Out the Problem
A child may be expelled from school for a number of different reasons. Once you know what happened, it’s important to dig deeper to understand all sides of the situation that led to the expulsion. This will allow you to see more clearly your child’s role in what happened, and what kind of help they might need to heal and grow as a result of this experience.
As you explore what happened, pray for God to help you see clearly through the emotions you may experience. Ask Him to empower you, with His forgiveness, to forgive your child and the school. Ask Him to speak to you about how to move forward.
Maybe your child was expelled from school for fighting. This may be out of character for your child. Sometimes when children are being bullied in school, they can only take so much before they fight back. Your child may have seemed like the instigator because they did not want to tell you or the teachers that they were being bullied. In this situation, a counselor can help them understand what they were feeling, improve their self-esteem, and learn appropriate ways to handle bullies.
On the other hand, if your child was expelled from school due to drug or alcohol use, you may need a different kind of help. Find a therapist or rehab center that has experience working with teens with substance abuse issues. They can help to find the root cause of the drug use and help your child learn healthy strategies for coping with life's tough situations.
Finding Hope in Scriptures
You may also want to share scriptures with your child that address the issues they are dealing with. In the case of bullying, Matthew 5:11 may be a good memory verse for your child: “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.”
In the case of substance abuse, it may help to consider the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
Whatever the reason for your child being expelled from school, it is important to understand the issue at its source, get your child the help they need, and to begin to rebuild your child’s life and educational journey.
Getting Your Child Back on the Track
You may be wondering where to turn to meet your child's current educational needs. Fortunately, there are several options for you to choose from. It is important to do further research and pray to see which one is the best fit for you and your family. Some of your options may include:
Another public school in the district
An alternative school
A private school
An online school
When a child is expelled from school, it may be from only that one school or from all schools in the district. Find out if another school in your area might be able to enroll your child. Also, many school districts offer alternative schools, which offer a less traditional approach to education. However, if your child was expelled from school due to behavioral concerns, this may not be the best option.
Private school works well for some children. The structured environment of private schools can help to reduce behavioral problems. It may help to find smaller class sizes and teachers who are better able to help students work through difficulties.
Some school districts offer online school as an option for students. In this scenario, students may have one or more teachers. The schoolwork is often done from home independently, and work is submitted as it is assigned by the teachers. There often is not a lot of one-on-one instruction, and students must either have a dedicated coach at home or be well-motivated to steward their own time. State-funded online schools such as these also often lack Christian moral standards in their curriculum.
Online Christian Education
If you are seeking an online school with a Christian worldview, Enlightium Academy provides a structured learning environment with the flexibility of learning from home. Enlightium Academy also offers different levels of teacher support so your child can get the help that he or she needs. For many families, this is the solution that best fits their needs.
Although this may be a difficult time for you and your child, it is important to remember that you are not alone in this journey. You have options, and things will improve with patience, forgiveness, restoration, and hope.