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4 reasons why parents might appeal a student's suspension

When a school or teacher penalizes a child, parents can be very upset. In some cases, they are upset with their child for making a mistake or decision that resulted in disciplinary acts, like suspension. In other cases, though, they could be upset with the school or teacher who handed down a punishment they feel is unfair or unjustified.

In the latter situation, it may be wise for parents to examine their options to challenge a disciplinary measure. Below, we examine some of the reasons parents might have to appeal a student's suspension or expulsion.

  1. There are doubts about an alleged violation. There are at least two sides to every story, so it is important to determine what actually happened to prompt disciplinary action. If your child's account is different from a teacher's, then the situation may warrant closer inspection to uncover the truth.
  2. The school's policy is unfair or unfairly administered. School discipline policies should not be discriminatory and the school should administer them in the same way for every student. If your child was unfairly targeted or penalized more harshly than others in the same situation have been, then an appeal could be successful.
  3. There was a failure to follow established disciplinary processes. At every school, there should be defined processes for administering discipline, as noted in this compilation of Florida school discipline laws. If a teacher or other party acts outside of the stated processes or procedures, then the disciplinary action could be inappropriate.
  4. Parents did not receive proper notice of the suspension or expulsion. If your child is suspended or expelled, the school must make a good faith effort to notify parents by phone and in writing. Further, unless the suspension or expulsion is immediate, schools should seek assistance from parents in addressing the situation to prevent such actions. In cases where notification is improper or absent, parents may have grounds to appeal.

A suspension or expulsion can have a profound impact on a child's current and future educational opportunities and outlook. As such, parents should take seriously their options to appeal these and other disciplinary actions with the help of an attorney.

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