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PLEASE NOTE: To protect your safety in response to the threats of COVID-19, we are offering our clients the ability to meet with us via telephone or through video conferencing through a number of digital platforms. Please call our office to discuss your options.
Experienced in special education law, education law, employment law and civil rights law
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Expulsion And Suspension

Expulsion and suspension of students from school pose serious concerns for parents and students because they become part of your child’s record, can affect college acceptance and force your child to be removed from public schools. The practical implications of a long-term suspension or expulsion create serious repercussions, including removal to an alternative educational setting or removal from school altogether, and may even prevent the student from attending other schools. Even worse, your child’s entire education is disrupted when he or she is suspended or expelled.

For children with disabilities, the idea of being removed from school poses an enormous concern for parents as the loss of special education services and programming can be detrimental to success in school.

Leigh Law Group‘s expulsion and suspension attorneys specialize in education, special education and school law. If you or your child has received a notice of suspension or expulsion, we provide a 30-minute consultation to discuss your unique situation and determine whether our representation is appropriate. We understand that every situation is different. When you come to us, we personally handle every aspect of your case, so you can put this challenge behind you and focus on your child’s future.

Guiding You Through The Suspension Process

Notification that your child will be removed from his or her school for a violation of the law or the school district’s policies implicates a host of rights. These include the right to defend your child at a fair hearing, due process hearing or, in the case of a student eligible for an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a Section 504 plan, a manifestation determination hearing.

If the suspension is short term, a parent has the right to challenge the accuracy of the information in the suspension or to have it removed altogether. Since your child’s records follow him or her through school, our office is prepared to assist you with an education records challenge. There are other rights, such as notice of the specific facts that form the basis of the suspension. A strong challenge to the suspension can result in having it removed from your child’s file. Every case is different, so the basis of the charge and the facts will dictate how to defend a removal from school such as a suspension. We can also investigate whether discrimination based on race, disability or other characteristic was involved in your child’s suspension.

Protect Your Rights In Expulsion Cases

With long-term suspensions or a notice of expulsion from school, the following are some of the rights provided:

  1. Notice of the specific facts that form the basis of the charges
  2. The right to be represented at the expulsion hearing by an attorney
  3. The right to present witnesses and evidence at the hearing, including calling school district witnesses
  4. The right to be provided with all documents and evidence upon which the school district will rely prior to the expulsion hearing
  5. The right to appeal an adverse decision of the fair hearing panel

For special education students under an IEP or students who receive services under a Section 504 plan, many additional rights apply, including the right to a manifestation determination hearing.

The attorneys of Leigh Law Group will inform you of your rights and uphold those rights throughout every step of your case.

Can I File A Lawsuit Against A College Or University?

Yes. In the past, higher education institutions had a lot of protections to allow them to resolve or settle issues quickly, quietly and usually in their favor.

Students can now file lawsuits against these schools for many reasons, including:

  • False advertising
  • Breach of contract
  • Discrimination

To file a lawsuit, you will need to hire an attorney who can:

  • Assist you in exhausting any administrative proceedings
  • Develop a case strategy involving evidence to prove the college or university’s wrongdoing

How Do I File A Special Education Complaint With CDE Or With The Office Of Administrative Hearings?

If you believe your child’s school violated one of California’s special education laws, including wrongful expulsion, you can file a complaint.

Special education complaints can be filed with the Office of Administrative Hearings. There is a two-year statute of limitations and many other related timelines. The hearing is called a due process hearing and it is a trial-like proceeding. The attorneys at Leigh Law Group have many years of experience in special education hearings. We prepare the case from start to finish for a win.

The process involves many timelines and the right to a resolution session and mediation as well as the right to present your case to demand educational remedies for your child. Our work has resulted in meaningful changes across the state for children with disabilities. For example, we have represented families with children on the autism spectrum and behavior challenges; with breaches of settlement agreements; and with disputes about failure to teach exceptional children, failure to implement IEPs, and failure to teach children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and dyslexia. If a due process order must be appealed, we have extensive experience in state and federal appeals of special education decisions.

You can also file a complaint within one year of the initial incident for the California Department of Education (CDE) to accept it and investigate your claims. Leigh Law Group has filed many claims for clients.

Is It Possible To Challenge An Expulsion?

Parents can indeed challenge their child’s expulsion. When you receive notice of the expulsion, you should also receive notification of your right to request a hearing and an investigation.

Expulsion hearings are before a panel of administrators or a judge and have many deadlines. They are like any other legal hearing, in that you can:

  • Challenge the expulsion
  • Retain or question witnesses
  • Present detailed evidence

Also, like other legal hearings, you and your child have the right to an attorney. Leigh Law Group has the necessary experience to represent you in expulsion hearings, as well as appeals.

What Can I Do If My Child Is Being Bullied?

Bullying has always been a significant issue with young people. With the increasing influence of technology and social media, however, cyberbullying has added a layer.

If your child is being bullied, you are advised to:

  • Collect details of the situation
  • Discuss the matter with teachers and other school officials
  • Create a plan to stop the bullying
  • Seek medical assistance immediately if your child has been injured

If the bullying continues, you may have grounds to press charges. You may also be able to press charges if the bullying centers on a characteristic protected by law. Protected characteristics include:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Race
  • Sex
  • Gender
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religion

Bullying someone based on these characteristics is violation of civil rights. Leigh Law Group‘s attorneys have extensive experience in both education and civil rights laws, and we can support you in bullying cases.

How Can An Education Law Attorney Help Me?

The education attorneys at Leigh Law Group can help you:

  • Protect you and your child’s civil rights
  • Stand up against discrimination
  • Challenge unjust actions
  • Modify unfair regulations

Going up against large institutions is not easy. With our experience on your side, however, there is nothing to worry about. We are committed to protecting your rights in any education case.

Do I Need An Attorney To Help Me With A Settlement Provided To Me By The School District?

Absolutely. Settlement agreements are legal documents that outline your rights and the school’s rights. There are also waivers of your claims involved and an offer of settlement should never be taken lightly.

When Should I Hire An Attorney Vs. An Advocate?

Advocates are individuals who attend a meeting to help with understanding your child’s basic needs and to make sure that the team is child-focused. An attorney does the same thing, but also has extensive training in laws affecting the process. Often, advocates are brought in when a dispute between a parent and school can be quickly and easily resolved through a good team discussion or when a parent is new to the situation. Most of the time, where there is a more serious dispute or a parent wants to ensure that all legal aspects are covered, an attorney can be a collaborator on the team.

What Makes Leigh Law Group Different?

We care about your case and have the extensive experience, organization, grit and knowledge of the laws to guide you every step of the way. Some of our clients have retained our firm for years because of the peace of mind and integrity we bring to their case and the process.

Contact Us Today For Strong Representation In Your Expulsion Case

Call our San Francisco, Sausalito or El Segundo offices at 888-652-3391, or email us to arrange a initial consultation.

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