Press Releases

Law to protect testimony at expulsion hearings

Friday July 12, 2002

SACRAMENTO — Student testimony at school expulsion hearings is now considered privileged information under a new law signed by Gov. Gray Davis Thursday. 

The law’s author, Carol Liu, D-La Canada Flintridge, sponsored the bill after a student witness who reported hearing another student talk about killing people was slapped with a civil lawsuit in 2000. The student who made the threats was expelled, but later returned to school and hit the student witness with a defamation lawsuit. 

Although the suit was eventually dismissed, the student who reported the threats racked up $40,000 in legal bills. 

“We are all aware of the horrible shootings at our nation’s schools. Had someone reported those threats, countless lives could have been saved,” Davis said in a statement, adding that the law is meant to encourage students to report possible problems without having to worry about retaliatory civil suits. 

The law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2003.