Fighting Expulsion With Legal Help

Did you know that over 3.5 million students in the U.S. face some form of suspension or expulsion each year? That’s a staggering number, and it shows how common and serious school disciplinary actions can be. If your child is facing expulsion, it’s essential to know their rights and how an education lawyer can help.

In this blog, we’ll explore the critical role of a lawyer in fighting expulsion. We’ll cover what to expect during an expulsion hearing, how to prepare, and the steps to take if the decision doesn’t go your way.

Understanding The Expulsion Hearing Process

Before a student can be expelled from a public school, a formal expulsion hearing must be held. This hearing is crucial because it determines whether the student will be allowed to stay in school or be expelled. During the hearing, the student has several rights:

  • Receive notice of the specific rules they are charged with breaking
  • Explain their side of the story
  • Present evidence and call witnesses to testify on their behalf
  • Be represented by a lawyer

What Happens At An Expulsion Hearing?

At the expulsion hearing, both the school and the student present their cases. As our friends at K Altman Law explain, the school will present evidence that they believe justifies the expulsion, while the student and their lawyer will argue against it. The goal is to convince the hearing officer or panel that expulsion is not the appropriate punishment.

How A Lawyer Can Help

A lawyer plays a vital role in preparing for and fighting an expulsion. Here are some ways they can help:

  • Review the Notice: The lawyer will review the notice of the hearing to understand the specific rules the student is accused of breaking. This helps in building a strong defense.
  • Prepare for the Hearing: The lawyer can obtain documents from the school, such as witness lists, written statements, and other records that can be used for the student’s defense.
  • Interview and Identify Witnesses: The lawyer can interview witnesses ahead of time to understand what they will say at the hearing. They can also identify and prepare witnesses to testify on the student’s behalf.
  • Develop a Strategy: Depending on the circumstances, the lawyer can develop a strategy to defend the student. This might involve proving the student’s innocence or arguing for a less severe penalty.

Winning An Expulsion Hearing

Winning an expulsion hearing is the best outcome, as it avoids the need for appeals and lawsuits. Here are some tips to increase the chances of a favorable decision:

Review The Notice Thoroughly

Before the hearing, make sure to review the notice sent by the school. It should include:

  • The specific rules your child is accused of breaking
  • The actions the school believes violated these rules
  • The date, time, and location of the hearing
  • Information on how to find a lawyer to represent your child

Prepare Diligently

Once you receive the notice, request copies of all documents the school plans to present at the hearing. This includes:

  • A list of the witnesses the school will call
  • Any written statements from teachers or student witnesses
  • Any other relevant school records

Interview Witnesses

Talk to the witnesses the school plans to call. Understanding their testimony can help you prepare your defense. Also, identify potential witnesses who can testify on your child’s behalf. Character witnesses, even those who can’t attend, can provide written statements.

Develop A Strong Defense Strategy

Depending on the facts, your lawyer will craft a strategy. If your child did not break the rules, present evidence of their innocence. If the violation is clear, argue for a lesser penalty or a shorter expulsion period.

What If You Lose The Expulsion Hearing?

If the expulsion hearing results in a decision to expel your child, you have the right to appeal. Here are the steps:

Appealing To The Board Of Education

As a parent, you can appeal the expulsion decision to the board of education or the school district. This is the first step in challenging the expulsion.

Filing A Wrongful Expulsion Lawsuit

If the appeal fails, you can file a wrongful expulsion lawsuit. In this lawsuit, you can argue that the school violated procedures, policies, or laws during the expulsion process. If successful, a judge may overturn the expulsion and order your child back to school.

Facing expulsion can be a daunting experience for both students and parents. But with the right preparation and legal representation, you can fight the expulsion effectively. A lawyer can provide invaluable assistance in navigating the expulsion hearing process, preparing a strong defense, and appealing if necessary.

Remember, understanding your child’s rights and the role of an lawyer is the first step in ensuring they get a fair hearing. Don’t hesitate to seek legal help to protect your child’s educational future.

Welts, White & Fontaine, P.C.

© 2024  The Law Offices of Welts, White & Fontaine, P.C.
29 Factory Street Nashua, New Hampshire 03060
Telephone: (603) 883-0797 | FAX: (603) 883-8723 | [email protected]

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