Constitutional Law – Due Process – Expulsion of Student fro m State-Operated College Without Notice or Hearing

A substantial number of students at the Alabama State College for Negroes had been participating in peaceful demonstrations protesting racial segregation. The president of the college advised the students to return to their studies which were disrupted by these demonstrations, and personally warned three of the plaintiffs to discontinue their participation in the demonstrations. Nonetheless, further demonstrations ensued in which the plaintiffs took part. The State Board of Education then voted to expel the plaintiffs who were allegedly the leaders of the organization responsible for the demonstrations. The notices of expulsion mailed to the plaintiffs stated no reason for the action taken and at no time were the plaintiffs provided with an opportunity to appear before the Board. Upon the plaintiffs’ suit to enjoin the Board from obstructing their right to attend the college, the district court upheld the expulsions and denied injunctive relief. On appeal, held, reversed, one judge dissenting. Due process requires that notice and some opportunity for a hearing be given before students at a state-operated college can be expelled for misconduct. Dixon v. Alabama State Bd. of Educ., 294 F.2d 150 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 368 U.S. 930 (1961).