The response to school-related offenses is on the rise. Teachers and school administrators are hypervigilant and feel they need to treat less serious offenses more seriously.
PRESS RELEASE OCT 26, 2022 09:00 EDT
NORTHVILLE, Mich., October 26, 2022 (Newswire.com) – In response to the growing number of students charged with school-related offenses, the law firm of Kelly & Kelly P.C. announces they will represent students that have been suspended, expelled, or are facing disciplinary actions. Attorney Michael B. Kelly of Kelly & Kelly P.C. has been involved in over 40 school board hearings and has represented hundreds of students charged with school-related disciplinary issues. These offenses include drug charges, academic dishonesty allegations, threats, social media/cyber crimes, Title IX Complaints and Defenses, suspension/expulsion, etc.
Before discussing current issues with school-based discipline, it’s important to understand the process for suspension/expulsion.
If a student is suspended for 10 days or less, it’s considered a “short-term suspension.” In short-term suspensions, the student only has minimal due process protections and is not afforded the right to appeal a disciplinary decision to the District School Board. Likewise, a student facing a short-term suspension is not entitled to legal representation such as they would be in a long-term suspension appeal hearing.
On the other hand, if a student is suspended for more than 10 days, it’s considered a long-term suspension and the student will have a chance for a student disciplinary hearing.
In the event that a school suspends a student for 50-180 days, that is considered a long-term exclusion/expulsion.
The removal of a student from a school creates a major gap in the education level, which in turn, leads to more behavioral issues. These are unforeseen consequences associated with taking action first and then asking questions later and giving school administrators the leeway to suspend students at their discretion.
There is a lack of uniformity among school administrators. School discipline used to be governed by State law; now it’s discretionary. They are quick to punish, they’d rather be “safe than sorry.” Unfortunately, this results in an unfair perception of misbehavior patterns and puts a target on the students’ backs.
For example, certain schools are intentionally suspending kids for 10 days, which is the maximum duration for “short-term suspensions.” In these cases, students are suspended for 10 days without the right to due process.
Mike Kelly thinks that schools should get back to having parameters and guidelines when disciplining a student. These guidelines should be actively updated and shared with parents and students. At the end of the day, we should provide guidance and education to help correct wrongful behavior as opposed to sweeping problems under the rug in order to protect a school’s reputation.