On a daily basis in the state of Pennsylvania, children often face disciplinary action while they are in school. While it is common for children to face minor consequences for things such as incomplete homework or being late to class, situations can arise where the child could face an administrative hearing which could lead the student to becoming expelled from the school. It is imperative that parents know that their children have rights and the ability to be represented by counsel in order to ensure that those rights are protected.
School Administrative Hearings: An Overview
If your child has been accused of engaging in activities such as: harassment, stalking, bullying, violence, drug use, vandalism, gang activity, threats against another student etc., the school in which the student is currently enrolled in, may call for an administrative hearing. An administrative hearing is often considered a “quasi-judicial hearing” which means that your child has a right to due process. The right to due process includes the right to: have an attorney present at the hearing, present evidence to help the child’s case, receive notice of the hearing, and have their case considered in a fair and impartial manner.
The Importance of Having a Lawyer for Administrative Hearings
While the Supreme Court has found that children have constitutional protections when it comes to administrative hearings, in some cases the school in question will not respect those rights. In many situations, the parents of the child will be told incomplete or outright incorrect information regarding their child’s hearing and the facts surrounding it. For parents and children alike, these situations can often be very confusing, saddening, and hopeless and that is why having an experienced attorney to assist you is so important.
My Child has an Administrative Hearing Coming Up
The administrative hearing gives you and your child the ability to be heard. Having an experienced lawyer with you every step of the way ensures that your child’s rights are protected. Your attorney will meticulously go over all the evidence that has been presented by the school board, cross examine any witnesses that are put forth, and most importantly ensure that your child has the ability to share his/her side of the story. It is essential that any evidence you have in regards to your child’s case is documented (do not throw anything related to your child’s case away before you have reviewed it with your attorney).
We Are Here to Help
If your child has received notice of an administrative hearing, it is important to seek counsel immediately. The Law Office of Vincent J. Caputo is ready to help you through this. We understand that this process can often be difficult for all individuals involved and that is why we will work with you and your child every step of the way in achieving the best outcome possible.