A student school suspension is a very critical incident in a child’s life. The consequences of not being vigilant about this event can be very dire. It is important to consult with an attorney who has experience in school law.
Missouri law prescribes grounds for suspension of pupils. It also enumerates the due process procedures that a pupil is entitled to. Each school district publishes disciplinary policies that are followed strictly. A student should be advised not to give a statement to any school authority without consulting his parents and also an attorney. While a school suspension is not a criminal proceeding, statements made by a student during questioning can be used against the student in determining suspension or expulsion.
Students are entitled to certain basic due process protections that include an informal conference with the principal, notice of charges against a student, and an opportunity for the student to give an oral or written explanation of the facts that form the basis of the proposed suspension. If a suspension exceeds ten school days, a disciplinary review committee meeting must be scheduled following which a recommendation will be made to the superintendent regarding the length of the suspension.
It is important that family members meet with the attorney prior to this meeting to prepare them for their presentation of the facts. This meeting may include the school principal, a grade principal, and the director of discipline. Later steps may include negotiations between the student’s attorney and the district’s attorney, possible withdrawal agreements, or a hearing before a committee of the board of education.
Decisions made may affect the student’s future, where the student may go to school, and how this information will be transmitted to colleges. Parents should be concerned about these serious repercussions and will be best served by experienced representation.
The attorneys at Paule Camazine & Blumenthal can assist you with a variety of school disciplinary issues.