School Suspension Representation and Ten things that Schools won’t tell you
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School Law Guru Steve Rossi teaches in the below article ten common things that schools do not inform the student and or the parent about a school suspension and representation
Why do you have car insurance if you are a great driver? Why do you have homeowners insurance if no one ever fell inside your house? Why should you read this article about school suspensions if you as a student never get in trouble? The answer is the same in all three instances. You cannot control what someone else may do that impacts you. The problem is if you have insurance it covers you in the first two instances. There is no insurance for a suspension that is made against you by a school. Suspensions have become more serious in terms of the consequences that may follow from them. It is important to know some basic things that schools do not always tell you as a student or a parent so that you can protect yourself from a wrongful accusation or to try and mitigate the consequences.
I’m Steve Rossi. I have been an attorney for over 30 years. I was the former legal counsel to the sixth largest teachers union in the country. I am a former prosecutor and FBI Agent. I have taught at the state and national level how to avoid liability in school cases and how to conduct school investigations into student or teacher misconduct. I try to educate students and parents like a Guru in the area of school issues. My legal team and I have handled many suspension cases over the years and as a result I have come up with Steve Rossi’s top ten things that schools will not usually tell you about your suspension or representation. Feel free to contact my office for a free consultation if you are in suspension situation. While this list is not all inclusive, it is what I have found to be the more common things that schools do not tell you.
1.They don’t tell you that you can appeal the decision!
What you say? You got to be kidding me Guru Steve. No, I wish I was. Time and time again, I will ask the student or parent, Did anyone tell you that almost always you have a right to appeal the suspension? The answer is sadly no, just about every time. Why, you ask?
Well, first, if the school or school district does have an appeal procedure in place, they expect you to know about it already. Secondly, I believe that the reason they don’t tell you is because this will now create extra work for them and their staff. No extra money for that extra work. Third, they don’t want to bring more attention to the matter. Oh my gosh what would happen if other parents or students know they can appeal suspensions? That means more work for the school!
- They don’t tell the student or parent that the student usually can call their parent if they are called in for questioning by school administration.
- They don’t tell the student or parent that they can hire an attorney to represent them. (usually in public schools only many private schools do not allow attorneys to come to any meeting or hearing)
- They don’t tell the student or parent that the student has a right not to answer questions or not to write a statement of what happened.
- They don’t tell the student or parent that they cannot give information out about other students involved since it would violate the other student’s privacy rights.
- They don’t provide the student or parent any documents about the student’s suspension unless they are asked specifically to do so
- They don’t tell the parent that if they don’t appeal the suspension in the future it can be considered that the student or parent agreed to the wrongdoing and suspension penalty.
- They don’t tell the student or parent that if the student has a disability that they may be entitled to a “manifestation hearing” which could avoid the suspension.
- They don’t tell the student or parent that there is a deadline to file an appeal.
- They don’t tell the student or parent that this can be part of the students permanent disciplinary file. It can be used against him or her in the future by the school to show a pattern or for some other reason. Likewise, more often than not, they do not tell the student or parent that a future school may want to know about this discipline which could prevent the student from being accepted into that school, college or university.
For these and other reasons, it is best to seek advice and counsel from an experienced school attorney such as myself to answer questions and develop the best strategy.
The above is a very general overview. There are other factors that can interplay with this. You should seek out an education attorney that has education law experience dealing with these type of matters. This article is not meant to be relied upon as legal advice. Laws and policies can change. Seek an experienced attorney for the most current and up to date information to assist you in this or any legal matter. Call us for a FREE CONSULTATION.