What can I do if my Child is Facing Suspension or other Significant Discipline at School?

Parents are often unsure of what they can do when their child has been charged with some sort of violation of the student code of conduct, or maybe even a crime, and is now facing some serious consequences at the school.  Could be long-term suspension; it may be even expulsion, which by the way, in most states, including ours, means that they’ll send the kid to an alternative school, not that they won’t have any schooling.  Nevertheless, they don’t know what the process is.
The process is relatively straightforward.  You have a right to appeal the decision for discipline to the Superintendent who will give you some sort of informal hearing.  If you’re not satisfied with the results of the Superintendent’s decision, you have a right to appeal that to the School Board.  The School Board opportunity is a chance to actually confront witnesses.  You’ll be able to have access to all the relevant documents, and you’ll be able to make your argument to convince the Board to overturn the decision of the Superintendent.
If you’re not satisfied with the results from that, you actually have the right to go further and take them to court.  However, the standard in court is very difficult.  You will at that point have to prove that the Board’s action was arbitrary and capricious.  Meaning that no reasonable Board could have decided the way they did.
Because that step is so difficult, it’s important to have knowledgeable counsel guide you through the process, so that you have your best opportunity to prevail in front of the Superintendent and your second best opportunity to prevail in front of the Board.
The law firm of Mattleman, Weinroth & Miller, P.C., is composed of experienced education attorneys throughout the states of New Jersey and Delaware. Please contact the office for a free initial consultation and get any questions answered regarding your specific case.