Expulsion & Discipline Proceedings
Whether your child attends a public or private school in Stamford, Greenwich, Darien, Westport, Fairfield, Norwalk, or New Canaan, he or she is subject to certain rules and codes of conduct which, if violated, can result in serious school discipline. In a country where schools are now patrolled by armed guards, and lockdown drills are part of your child’s regular routine, schools are not taking chances on disciplinary issues. As a result, they are strictly enforcing zero tolerance codes of conduct. That means one strike and you’re out, resulting in heavy-handed and often unfair suspensions and expulsions across the board.
So what can be done to challenge these penalties? Are you entitled to due process? Do you have any legal rights at all? Do you need a lawyer? Are you even allowed to have a lawyer if you wanted one? All fair questions.
For over ten years, Mark Sherman Law Firm has been successfully handling Connecticut public and private school disciplinary proceedings on behalf of middle school, high school, and college students. We appreciate the devastating personal, professional and psychological impact the discipline can wreak upon your child as well as his or her academic record, college application process, and even future employment prospects. As a result, we have developed a school discipline and investigations practice uniquely tailored to assist and guide Connecticut students and their families through a challenging, and often confusing quasi-judicial legal process.Grounds for Suspension and Expulsion
There are many grounds for discipline in public and private schools and colleges, including:
- Cheating, plagiarism, and academic dishonesty;
- Drug possession or distribution;
- Possession of dangerous weapons, gun, knives, etc.;
- Alcohol possession;
- Hazing and pranks; and
- Sexual assault or misconduct.
Schools take all of the above very seriously these days. For the best understanding of what’s expected of your child, you should consult your school’s Student Handbook or Code of Conduct. This is usually a binding legal contract between your child and the school. What schools sometime fail to realize is that they, too, are responsible and liable to adhering to these contracts. Our firm has often called public and private schools out in their failure to follow agreed upon written procedures and protocols. We find these Connecticut public and private schools can often whitewash their “investigations” and railroad the student right out the door, ruining their college application prospects and permanently staining their academic record.How We Can Help Your Child Fight Public and Private School Expulsion / Discipline Proceedings School Expulsion & Discipline
For over 10 years, the Mark Sherman Law Firm has successfully defended high school and college students in these disciplinary investigations and proceedings, often winning these hearings or negotiating resolutions which avoid expulsion, resignation or suspension. We have traveled to public and private schools throughout the State of Connecticut and all around the country to ensure that schools are not trampling on the rights of Connecticut families. At least two attorneys from our firm will review your case. We will conduct our own investigation of the facts, press the school to share all of the information in their possession, and we will not hesitate to seek an injunction or restraining order from the Connecticut state or federal courts to freeze the Connecticut public or private school from expelling your child. We do not carUniversity & College Expulsion Proceedings
The Mark Sherman Law Firm often represents Connecticut college students and families in dealing with college and university investigations and discipline hearings. Often a college student who is being accused of misconduct, including crimes, sexual assault, fraternity or sorority hazing, drug possession or sales, can find themselves facing expulsion or removal and presented before a peer review board to defend themselves against the accusations. They should not go into these presentment hearings alone. Anything you child discloses to campus security or at these hearings can and will be used against them, and often handed over to law enforcement, exposing the student to criminal charges. And just as serious, statements made without an attorney present exposes the student and their parents to liability in a civil lawsuit where the child’s and parents’ personal assets are exposed for judgment. Thus it is critical that you consult with a top college and university defense lawyer prior to making statements to the university.Special Education Student Considerations
If your child is receiving special education services, then you are probably aware that you are entitled to additional protections and benefits under Connecticut state and federal law. In public schools, a “manifestation hearing” is required to take place prior to any removal or expulsion proceedings. There, a separate hearing takes place to determine whether your child’s alleged misconduct is a result or manifestation of their disability. If it is, then the school is not permitted to expel your child. Similarly, in private schools, our firm has challenged the discipline as a form of disability discrimination. In 2010, after a five-year battle with the Darien, Connecticut school system, the Firm won the right to go to trial on behalf of four special education students who were allegedly abused by their educators. (The case settled before trial). So whether you are dealing with public or private school administrations, you can be assured that the Mark Sherman Law team is abreast of all the legal nuances and remedies available to families whose children are receiving special education services.Contact Us Today
If your child is facing discipline, expulsion or harassment from their public or private school in Stamford, Greenwich, Darien, Westport, Fairfield, Norwalk, New Canaan, or anywhere else in Connecticut, or if you are a Connecticut resident whose child is facing serious disciplinary proceedings in an out-of-state college or university, call an attorney at Mark Sherman Law to learn how we can help you. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at (203) 358-4700.Related Links: