Student Disciplinary Defense
Suspension, Expulsion, and more
Has your child been accused of "misconduct" by the school and is facing a suspension or an expulsion? Have you been told about a "superintendent's hearing" or a "long term suspension hearing"?
Schools are eager to treat your children like criminals. You want someone experienced in fighting back.
Short Term Suspension
In New York, school principals have wide latitude to discipline children as long as the punishment does not exceed a five day suspension. You still have rights, including the right to have notice of the punishment and have a principal's conference to discuss the evidence, but there will likely not be a formal hearing, you may not be able to bring an attorney, and there are few options to fight back.
Long Term Suspension or Superintendent's Suspension
A student's right to an education is an incredibly important one, and the Supreme Court has determined that you can't take away that right without giving the student the ability to be heard. At least not when it is over a long period of time. In New York, that means that any suspension that is more than five days automatically triggers a hearing. A hearing is sort of like a criminal trial inside of a conference room. You'll have the opportunity to bring an attorney, there will be a record maintained of the events, you can review the evidence, question the witnesses, and if things go badly, you can appeal the decision to a higher level. After enough appeals, you can even end up in real court.
There are a number of procedures that all schools in New York must follow when dealing with a superintendent's suspension and their failure to follow these rules can sometimes be to your benefit.
Did you know?
Schools may talk a big game about ideas like "zero tolerance" or claim that they can control what students can do both in and out of school, but that is not the case. Students have the right to free speech, they have the right to privacy, they have the right to self-defense, and they have the right to an education.
The school is the one who has to prove your child violated their code of conduct. Make sure you make them prove it.
Give us a call to discuss if your child may have a defense or to make sure the school district is doing the right thing.