School Law

Georgia School Law Attorneys Representing Students in Disciplinary Hearings

It’s very important that both students and parents recognize the seriousness of school disciplinary actions and take every available step to protect their rights and reputation.  An expulsion or long-term suspension can be life-changing and set the stage for hardship and a reduction of opportunities far into the future.  The Anagnostakis Law Group represents Atlanta area students, from pre-kindergarten to college, in disciplinary hearings, working to ensure that they are treated fairly by the system.  We believe our work also helps ensure that a mistake in judgment or childish behavior isn’t over-punished, and do not result in serious and lasting ramifications.

Student Rights in School Disciplinary Hearings

School disciplinary hearings are considered quasi-administrative legal proceedings. As such, the Supreme Court of the United States has held that students facing discipline have a right to due process, including fair notice, the right to an attorney, and the opportunity to present witnesses and evidence. For anything more than a short-term suspension, student advocates recommend consulting an attorney as soon as you receive notice of a disciplinary hearing.

Possible Punishments Resulting from Georgia Student Disciplinary Hearings

Students may face a range of punishments as the result of a disciplinary hearing. In some cases, professional legal representation can be the difference between an informal warning and a suspension or expulsion that becomes part of a student’s permanent record.

Expulsion – If a student is expelled for misconduct, he or she is permanently removed from the school. An expulsion usually becomes part of the student’s permanent record.

Suspension – Misconduct deemed serious enough to merit a suspension means that the student will be removed from school for a set period of time. In most cases, the suspension will be reflected on student transcripts.  (In-school suspensions are also a common disciplinary option for educational institutions.  In these instances, a student is removed from his or her normal classes, but is still present in the school during normal class hours.)

Probation – A student who receives probation will generally be required to satisfy certain requirements or restrictions, such as being prohibited from driving on campus or participating in certain athletic programs. In most cases, probation is not added to a student’s permanent record.

Warning – When a student is issued a warning for alleged misconduct, it is usually kept in the student’s file but is not formally reflected on his or her transcript.

Zero-tolerance Discipline in Schools

In recent years, we have seen a movement toward very aggressive punishments resulting from zero-tolerance policies.  With zero-tolerance programs, severe consequences are practically mandated, regardless of motivation and context, even for first-time offenders.  If your middle school, high school, or university adheres to a zero-tolerance policy for certain violations, such as drug use, weapons, or violent behavior, it is even more important to consult with an experienced attorney for legal advice.  The right lawyer can challenge the zero-tolerance policy, as well as whether or not the student’s conduct falls within the scope of its coverage.

Contact Us if You Have Received a School Disciplinary Hearing Notice

If you or your child is facing disciplinary actions by an educational institution, our experienced school law attorneys can guide you through the proceedings and help ensure a positive result. Please contact our office at (678) 838-1816 today to discuss your matter.  All information is kept strictly confidential, even you choose not to hire our law firm.