(a) When a student is expelled from school pursuant to §18A-5-1a of this code, the county board, county superintendent, or principal for the school from which the student was expelled or the parent, guardian, or custodian may refer the student to a Juvenile Drug Court, operated pursuant to §49-4-703 of this code. Upon referral, the judge assigned to Juvenile Drug Court shall determine whether the student is an appropriate candidate for Juvenile Drug Court.
(b) If the judge determines the student is an appropriate candidate for Juvenile Drug Court, then the court has jurisdiction over the student in the same manner as it has jurisdiction over all other persons in Juvenile Drug Court. Jurisdiction over students includes the ability to issue any of the various sanctions available to the Juvenile Drug Court, including temporary detention.
(c)(1) Successful completion of Juvenile Drug Court or certification by the Juvenile Drug Court judge that the student is making satisfactory progress toward successful completion of Juvenile Drug Court warrants consideration for reduction of the expulsion period, pursuant to §18A-5-1a of this code.
(2) The Juvenile Drug Court shall notify the county superintendent of the completion or certification. The county superintendent shall arrange a meeting with the Juvenile Drug Court treatment team, the court, and the student assistance team of the school from which the student was expelled to discuss the student’s history, progress, and potential for improvement.
(3) The student assistance team shall evaluate and recommend whether the student’s expulsion period should be reduced, and the student reinstated in school.
(4) The student assistance team’s recommendation shall be presented to the superintendent, who shall make the final determination. The superintendent shall prepare a statement detailing reasons for or against school reinstatement and submit the statement to the county board. If the superintendent determines to reduce the expulsion period, he or she shall submit the statement required by §18A-5-1a(i) of this code and place the student in an appropriate school within the district.
(5) A student to be reinstated shall be permitted to return to school no later than the 10th regular school day following notice by the court to the superintendent regarding the student’s successful completion or satisfactory progress toward successful completion of Juvenile Drug Court.