Sadly, to a lot of the public around the world, the moment you are 'charged' you are guilty. And facts to prove otherwise don't matter, you are guilty, End of Line.
As for this case, expulsion is actually mandatory for stupid, dangerous stunts like this. Mainly because to keep her on, would tarnish the school's rep. And to get new students, they need that rep.
Right off the bat.. a lot of colleges, companies and such won't hire her now. I know IF the DA's charges go through on any scale beyond Juvie she's done. She won't get to join the military, get a job with a lot of companies. Hell depending on the charge specifics she can't work at a corporate run McDonalds (they have military base contracts)
How many folks on this board have NOT done something stupid that nearly fucked their life up.
For example, I went out to explore with some friends. They set a pile of hay on the farm we looked over on fire. They ran.. I stayed to put it out.. because..well fuck.. I saw no reason to be destructive. I got caught by the residents running a hose out to the fire. I COULD have been sent up for the fire.. the folks who talked to me, and my parents, then the kids who were with me.. didn't press charges.
The old guy who ran the farm.. he looked at me. Then at the five kids who LIED and said they weren't with me. Told his sons to let me go and that he wasn't putting charges on me and took me outside. He told me a lot of things about accountability and consequences. I was grounded for FOUR months and it took YEARS to get my parents to trust me thanks to those kids.. but i learned from my mistakes and made a good reputation as someone who took accountability for his actions.
That saved me from something like 3 charges of sexual misconduct in work before I joined the navy, and two charges of theft from a store I worked in. In the service it kept my career on keel after several people tried to torpedo me on the way up.
What will this girl learn from going to jail and having her life ruined over a small 'pop' in a plastic bottle? Who knows. If she goes into the system, she'll never recover from a simple mistake in judgement. What lessons could she teach others if she's never allowed to go into a good school, learn how to really do things or pass on her experience to others?
You don't always learn from rote learning. You learn from your mistakes and gaffes. Chester Nimitz grounded one of his commands on a sand bar, ditto Jeremy Borda and a bunch of other naval officers who had a massive impact on the world and the country. Today, if any of these men did that..they would be done. End of story. Never advance any further. Never realize their potential.
They took hits from their mistakes. Rank, respect, time before making a new rank or earning the trust of the Navy to run another vessel. Should she have been expelled? Maybe. Possibly get introduced to the process of critical thinking and risk assessment. Possibly. Go to jail for 2 decades for a simple mistake? No.
I do wonder what would have happened if she was a WHITE honor student doing the same thing when the report came across the DA's desk. My take.. the school board went about as far as it should have gone.