My child has been expelled. What can I do?
The first thing you should do is act quickly. You can request a meeting with the principal or his or her designee to discuss your grievance. Then consider contacting us to schedule a call with Michelle to discuss the situation.
What is in-school suspension versus out-of-school suspension?
The answer may seem obvious, but many schools have a room and a teacher who covers the in-school suspensions. Schools often use this punishment as a way to house students with challenging behaviors. It is questionable how much learning actually takes place in in-school suspension. If your child is suspended for over 10 days in a school year, that can have serious consequences for his or her education. If you child is in special education and is suspended, certain rights are afforded to your child. Schools often make suspension and expulsion decisions without considering the special education status of the student. If your child is suspended or expelled, call for a consult.
What about drug and weapons allegations?
Schools must abide by the 4th Amendment and not conduct unreasonable search and seizures. However, what is considered “unreasonable” is a standard that weighs a student’s rights to privacy versus the need of the school to ensure the safety of the student body. Schools must have a “reasonable suspicion” in order to conduct a search of a student’s person or property.
If you feel your student’s rights have been violated, call us.
Schools are “Gun Free Zones” and state law prohibits guns or dangerous weapons on school property. If your child has been expelled for having a weapon on school grounds, it is important to act quickly to meet with the school and determine the best outcome for your student. Consideration of the circumstances would be helpful in determining what additional services your child might need. Given the dangerous nature of and public sensitivity to school shootings, any weapons violations are likely to be dealt with seriously. You will need to have legal representation so your child’s needs are considered, as well as the needs of the student body.
What are my child’s rights to free speech at school?
Children’s free speech rights do not stop at the school’s doors. However, students do not have the same speech rights as they would have out in public. Schools can limit speech through dress codes and school sponsored publications. Schools can limit speech that causes disruptions of the educational environment or speech that promotes drugs and alcohol. If your child has been suspended or sent home due to clothing he or she was wearing, call Michelle for a consult to determine whether your child’s suspension was reasonable or not.
How do I handle allegations of online bullying?
Online bullying or cyber-bullying occurs through the use of electronic technology such as cell phones, computers, and tablets. Cyber-bullying includes mean text messages or emails, or mean rumors posted on social media. It can also include pictures, threats, or videos posted on a variety of websites or social media sites.
If your child is being bullied or being accused of bullying, you should take screen shots and get hard copies of all messages, photos, etc. You should talk to the school to let them know what has occurred. You should talk to your child and get his or her perspective on the messages. You probably should not respond or forward the messages as this can expand the influence of the bully.
If your child is being bullied or accused of bullying, consulting with an attorney can help you determine the best course of action.