Washington, DC School Discipline Lawyer Info
Whether you are the parent of an elementary through high school student, or attending a Washington, DC college or university, suspension, expulsion, or academic termination can have serious consequences on future success. Having a lawyer representing you during any school hearing can greatly increase the chance of a successful outcome. Scrofano Law represents students in public and private primary and secondary schools as well as college or university students facing discipline in the District of Columbia.
College or University Disciplinary Hearings – If you have been arrested on or off campus, you may be subject to an academic disciplinary hearing which could result in expulsion. While the school may try to make you believe this is an informal process where you don’t need a lawyer, your future is at stake, and having an attorney to represent you can be the difference between success and failure.
These hearings may involve an “honor council” made of other students, or may be entirely composed of faculty and staff. There is normally a court reporter present to record all that is said. If you are facing academic discipline in the District of Columbia, feel free to contact my office for a free consultation by calling 202.596.5716.
Private School (Primary of Secondary) Disciplinary Hearings – You have spent upwards of $20,000 a year for your child to have the best education available in the city of Washington, DC. Your child has gotten into trouble and is facing a disciplinary hearing in which they can be suspended or expelled from school. Perhaps he or she has been going through a rough emotional time, or started hanging out with someone who is a bad influence. Whatever the cause, if you want the solution to be one you as parents come up with at home and not one imposed by the school administration, contact a school discipline lawyer as soon as possible.
DCPS Public School or Public Charter School – In the District of Columbia, children under 18 years of age are entitled to a free appropriate public education (FAPE). When a student attending a District of Columbia Public School (DCPS), or Public Charter School, gets into trouble in school by disobeying school rules, the school can take a variety of steps. The regulations place different types of violations into one of five tiers, depending on how serious they are. A tier one violation may be not listening to the teacher. A tier five violation involves the student committing a crime that involves the police or engaging in violent behavior.
Once the student has been referred to the administrator, the student can be placed in detention, in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, or possibly as a last resort, expelled. DC regulations prohibit the school from removing a child from school until they have a hearing to determine if the conduct actually occurred and if the suspension is appropriate. The only time a DC school is allowed to remove the child from school before this hearing is with a tier five violation or a serious threat of harm to the school if the child remains. The schools generally do not follow this rule and kick the student out anyway. You are allowed to have a lawyer who handles school discipline cases at your child’s hearing, and this can make a real difference.
Students with Disabilities and IDEA – If the student has been diagnosed with, or is suspecting of having a disability, the student is entitled to an Individualized Education Program (IEP). When the student is charged with a violation, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires the school to hold a manifestation hearing before a disciplinary hearing. A manifestation hearing determines if the student’s behavior was a result of their disability. If so, the student generally cannot be disciplined but will rather have their IEP adjusted.