Facing an issue at school can have a lasting impact for your child. A suspension or expulsion could disrupt their education or make it difficult for your child to get into college. These are issues that your family does not want to face, but they might become unavoidable if your child breaks your school’s rules. In this section of our website, you can learn more about school issues.
Sometimes an issue at school is handled internally, while sometimes it can have legal implications on top of school implications.
If a student does something that is against school policy, but not against the law, the situation will likely be handled internally. Your child can still get in trouble, but they are in trouble with their school and not with the law. Even if there are legal implications, many schools choose to handle certain issues internally. A few common school issues that students might face include:
- Academic misconduct.
- Violating safety policies.
- Cyberbullying or bullying.
Anything that violates a school’s student handbook can be penalized by the school. It is best to consult your child’s school policy or handbook to ensure that they are complying with school rules.
Also keep in mind that schools have certain abilities that reach beyond the scope of the law. This is the case because students are “wards” of the school. They are under the stewardship of the school and they are protected by the school. As such, school employees can make decisions to keep the school safe. This means that in some cases, school employees can conduct searches that would be considered illegal if conducted by the police. For example, if there is a threat that a student has a bomb in their locker, the school can search the locker in an effort to keep the school at large safe. You should consult an attorney if you think that a school official has conducted an illegal search of your child or their belongings.
Failure to comply with school rules can have several different consequences. Your child may be punished by the school in accordance with the school’s policy, so it is important to know what this is. Again, you can oftentimes find school policies and penalties in the student handbook.
Schools oftentimes have discretion in handling issues. A school hearing may be called in which your child can make a case for their actions. The school might award a lesser punishment if your child has a strong case.
Oftentimes, schools punish students with academic probation, detention, suspension, or in severe cases, expulsion. If possible, you want to avoid these penalties or get the smallest penalty for your child.
A school issue for a child can go hand-in-hand with a run-in with the law. Oftentimes this is the case for crimes that occur on school property. Some common school issues that could involve the police are:
- Fighting with others on school property (assault).
- Drug possession or drug dealing.
- Sexual offenses.
- Carrying guns or other weapons on school property.
Issues such as the ones listed here are both against the law and oftentimes against school policies. In some situations, a school may decide to handle a legal issue internally. For example, if there is a fight on school property, the school might address and punish the students on their own. Alternatively, they might involve the police and charges could be pressed against the aggressor.
If the police are involved in your child’s school issue, they could face an issue with the juvenile justice system. Common penalties include community service, time in a detention facility, fines, and more. If your child faces a juvenile offense, it is best to contact a juvenile defense attorney.