A little known fact in Connecticut school education law is that state and federal law provides extra protection and safeguards to special education students facing school expulsion or discipline proceedings. Any student who is receiving special education services from a Connecticut public school cannot be expelled or seriously disciplined without a hearing that first determines whether the alleged misconduct and grounds for discipline were a “manifestation” of the student’s disability.
And even if the student loses this hearing and is expelled, Connecticut and federal law also provides “stay-put” relief in certain circumstances that will keep a student in school until additional constitutional due process hearings take place. And with the frequency of autism diagnoses on the upsurge in this country, it’s no stretch for parents to be increasingly concerned about whether their child will be disciplined or expelled as a result of their disability.
You would think the same legal safeguards go for pricey private schools, right? Not so fast…
As any of the top Connecticut school expulsion and discipline lawyers will tell you, private Connecticut high schools, private prep schools and private Connecticut colleges and universities are not required to follow certain state laws regarding expulsions and discipline hearings. Instead, those procedures and rules are governed by the individual school’s student handbook and disciplinary policies, no matter how unfair, one-sided or heavy-handed those rules may be. This makes it even more important for you to read your college handbook closely. There are deadlines, rules and regulations in that book that are critical to your child’s chances of success at a Connecticut private school or private college disciplinary hearing. That’s the downside of going to a private school—it’s their way or the highway. The good news, however, is that in many cases, federal laws can apply to Connecticut private schools and Connecticut colleges and universities that allow top Connecticut expulsion and school discipline attorneys and lawyers to hold private educational institutions accountable for unfair polices. The best Connecticut school discipline and school expulsion lawyers can evaluate your situation to see whether the school is engaging in Connecticut disability discrimination, gender discrimination, sexual harassment, whistle-blowing retaliation, unfair consumer trade practices, breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, or unjust enrichment.
School expulsion proceedings are often triggered by a Connecticut on-campus or off-campus arrest. These arrests may be referred to an adult court for students 18 or older, or juvenile court for students under 18 (which are confidential proceedings). A top Connecticut juvenile lawyer is always a good fit for cases like these because they can handle both the criminal court case and the private school disciplinary proceedings. Expert forensic witnesses and private investigators may be required to be retained, as you cannot count on the private university police and investigators to conduct a thorough and comprehensive investigation. That’s why it’s recommended to retain your own experts for the fact-gathering process, as some of this information can be used in a disciplinary hearing or presented to the committee that will be deciding your fate.
If your son or daughter is facing expulsion or discipline by a Connecticut public high school, then a top Connecticut school education lawyer can work aggressively to fight the expulsion. As mentioned above, public schools are required to strictly comply with many state and federal laws. You often have a right to an attorney to represent you through the entire Connecticut public school discipline process. Again, experts may need to be retained to address any mental health or addiction issues. Top Stamford Connecticut school discipline lawyers often retain psychological experts to offer expert opinions at these discipline hearings. Developmental learning disabilities arising from autism disorders or other mental health issues can affect a child’s decision-making abilities and the choices they make, sometimes even causing a child to engage in criminal conduct. Prior to agreeing to any expulsion, you should understand your options and chances of success in fighting a public school expulsion hearing.
Click here to understand how the Mark Sherman Law team of school discipline and expulsion attorneys can assist you and your family in fighting a private school expulsion or public school disciplinary proceedings. You can be certain the private school or public school system will have a top Connecticut education lawyer by their side. You should have one too. So if you are facing school expulsion proceedings in Stamford, Greenwich, New Canaan or Darien, call a school expulsion lawyer at Mark Sherman Law today.