Top Five Things to Do if Your Child is Suspended | suspended from school

By Phillip J. Cohn, Esq.

If your child is suspended from school, these suggestions will help you protect his/her rights:

1. Get the facts

Talk to your child to determine exactly what happened.

Immediately contact the school and request all school records regarding the charges and incident.

Review the school district’s disciplinary policies and procedures and the applicable laws.

  • Parents should be notified within twenty-four hours of a suspension.
  • Prior to imposing a suspension, school administrators must inform the student of the reasons for the disciplinary action and give him/her an opportunity to explain the situation (referred to as an informal hearing).
  • Unless an emergency exists, this informal hearing must be held before the suspension is imposed.
  • In determining the length of any suspension, the administration may consider evidence of past disciplinary problems, such as removal, suspension, or expulsion.

Try to determine what rule your child broke that led to the suspension.

2. Meet with school officials

Call the principal or assistant principal who imposed the suspension and request a face-to-face meeting (referred to as an informal hearing).

  • Schedule this face-to-face meeting before your child serves his/her suspension or as soon as possible.
  • Advocate for your child.
  • Learn the school’s facts about the incident.
  • Explain your child’s side of the situation.
  • Explore dismissal of the action and/or alternative punishments.
  • Ensure that your child is taking responsibility for his/her actions.
  • Inquire about any opportunities or services that may help your child, such as counseling or other types of social, educational, or health services.

3. Ensure the educational progress of your child

Your child has the right to make up any assignments he/she missed during the period of suspension, including examinations. It is important to make sure that your child does not fall behind and is not harmed academically from the suspension.

Ask the school to provide all of your child’s school assignments so they can be completed during the suspension. Also, ask for permission to have your child make up any tests that would be missed.

Ask if there is any homework assistance or tutoring help in the community.

Ask what other opportunities and services there are in the school or
community to help your child, such as: counseling, testing for learning disabilities, opportunities to be mentored, special education services, drug counseling, mental health services, anger management, social skills, youth leadership activities, sports, camps, after-school programs, and community service activities.

4. Know your rights if your child is a special education student

Special education students have very specific rights and protections regarding suspension and expulsion.

  • Your child may be entitled to a manifestation hearing before suspension or expulsion.
  • Students have the right to due process before being suspended for more than ten (10) days or expelled.
  • Children with special needs are entitled to educational services, if they are suspended or expelled.

5. Seek assistance from an experienced education attorney

If your child is facing suspension or expulsion, you should seek assistance from an experienced education attorney before your child serves the suspension or as soon as possible. An education attorney will:

  • Explore dismissal of the action.
  • Request that the school assign alternative punishments.
  • Ensure accurate educational records.
  • Appeal and/or request reconsideration of the suspension decision, if necessary.
  • Request and identify other services in the school or community to help your child, such as counseling, testing for learning disabilities, and tutoring.
  • Prevent discrimination against your child.

Make sure you fight for your child’s rights and his/her future. We can help. Contact Attorney Phillip J. Cohn today!

Structured Data, Review
Title: Top Five Things to Do if Your Child is Suspended
Reviewed by Phil Cohn on Dec 18
Rating: 5.0
Summary: If your child is suspended from school, these suggestions will help you protect his/her rights
Description: Ask what other opportunities and services there are in the school or
community to help your child, such as: counseling, testing for learning disabilities, opportunities to be mentored, special education services, drug counseling, mental health services, anger management, social skills, youth leadership activities, sports, camps, after-school programs, and community service activities.