The phrase ‘academic misconduct' likely wasn't in your vocabulary when you sent your child to a New Mexico high school. When, during student orientation, you heard about plagiarism and cheating, you didn't pay much attention. You didn't have to; your child was never going to get mixed up in that kind of activity.
Now, your child stands accused of academic misconduct, and you might not be sure what to do. If you're receiving a lot of sternly-worded notices, if your school is inviting you to scary-sounding meetings, if you're feeling completely overwhelmed about your family's future - it's important to realize that you're not alone.
You can take steps now to protect your child from a sloppy trial from your school. You can work to hold your New Mexico school accountable to your child's rights, and you can ensure that your child's future remains bright.
However, in order to make that happen, you do have to act now. Hiring a student defense advisor to help you make sure that your student experiences a favorable outcome is the best possible thing that you can do for your child during this difficult time.
What Is Academic Misconduct in New Mexico High Schools?
Your first question after finding out that your child faces academic misconduct allegations might be a simple one: What does that actually mean?
This is a question that you can answer by checking out your student's high school code of conduct. The New Mexico Administrative Code has language in it that specifies the type of actions that schools need to address; it also notes that all New Mexico schools need to have a student code of conduct to define the expected relationship between each student and the school.
This document will likely be dense, but it's an important read. Your student's code of conduct will have definitions about prohibited behavior as well as the procedures that your school will follow to investigate your student's guilt or innocence.
According to one New Mexico high school’s code of conduct, the following infractions are likely common examples of academic misconduct:
- Plagiarism, or the act of using another person's ideas or words as your own without proper citation
- Unauthorized collaboration, or working with peers on a project without the teacher's express permission
- Abuse of school materials or damaging any resources that belong to the school
- Cheating, or any method by which a student gives themselves an unfair advantage over their peers
Clearly, there are many actions which your school may consider punishable as academic misconduct. You need to be prepared to argue your child's innocence, regardless of the specific allegations.
What Will Happen to My Student After Academic Misconduct?
Your school's response to your child's alleged infraction will depend on the severity of what your child may have done. For example, if your child has plagiarized on an assignment, your student's teacher may simply give them a failing grade on that assignment. If your student has acted distractingly in class, your student's teacher may mete out detention.
If your student has committed a recurring or more serious infraction, your school's administration may get involved. In these cases, the associated disciplinary action may consequently be more severe: Expulsion, probation, and suspension are not off the table.
It's the long-term consequences that your family needs to remember. If your student has academic misconduct on their permanent record, future schools, scholarship boards, and even employers may be reticent to give your child a chance. Since that is the case, you need to treat this event seriously; other people certainly will.
Why Do I Need Legal Support?
If this is your family's first brush with your school's disciplinary system, you might be wondering if all of this is an overreaction. You might be tempted to just handle all of these meetings and documents yourself. Technically, you might be able to.
That doesn't mean that you should.
A skilled student defense advisor can offer you many benefits that can be crucial for your family's wellbeing (and success at the end of this process). These benefits include:
- The ability for you to relax and focus on supporting your child
- Experience delving into the fine print of high school codes of conduct
- Knowledge of the nuances present in many student defense allegations
- Skillful representation at any meetings that you might have to attend
- Strategic and on-time completion of required documents
Ultimately, this is a stressful time for your family - and the stakes are higher than you may think. Working with an expert to defend your child can alleviate frustration for you and give you the peace of mind that you need.
If You Need a Dedicated, Hard-Working Student Defense Advisor, Start Here
When you first learn that your student faces academic misconduct allegations at your New Mexico high school, it's easy to feel that the ground's dropping out from beneath you. You might feel that all of your support systems drop away very quickly. You might feel like you and your family are going through this process alone.
Fortunately, this doesn't have to be the case. If you need help analyzing student codes of conduct, dealing with the mountains of paperwork coming your way, or putting together the most strategic case possible for your student's innocence, you're in the right place.
At the Lento Law Firm, we have a reputation for offering reliable, high-quality support for students struggling through student academic misconduct cases. Joseph D. Lento has spent years guiding families through due process to successful outcomes. Whether your NM high school chooses to adjudicate your child's case through an investigation or a hearing, Joseph D. Lento can provide an aggressive defense, careful analysis, and strategic representation.
Contact the Lento Law Firm today to learn more about New Mexico student defense by calling 888-535-3686, or, alternatively, you can fill out our online form to learn more.
New Mexico high schools where Joseph D. Lento can help as your child's student's academic misconduct advisor during investigations, hearings and appeals include, but are not limited to, the following school districts:
- Alamogordo Public Schools
- Albuquerque Public Schools
- Animas Public Schools
- Artesia Public Schools
- Aztec Municipal Schools
- Belen Consolidated Schools
- Bernalillo Public Schools
- Bloomfield Schools
- Capitan Municipal Schools
- Carlsbad Municipal Schools
- Carrizozo Municipal Schools
- Central Consolidated Schools
- Chama Valley Schools
- Cimarron Public Schools
- Clayton Municipal Schools
- Cloudcroft Municipal Schools
- Clovis Municipal Schools
- Cobre Consolidated Schools
- Corona Public Schools
- Cuba Independent Schools
- Deming Public Schools
- Des Moines Municipal Schools
- Dexter Consolidated Schools
- Dora Consolidated Schools
- Dulce Independent Schools
- Elida Municipal Schools
- Espanola Public Schools
- Estancia Municipal Schools
- Eunice Public Schools
- Farmington Municipal Schools
- Floyd Municipal Schools
- Fort Sumner Municipal Schools
- Gadsden Independent Schools
- Gallup-McKinley County Schools
- Grady Municipal Schools
- Grants-Cibola County Schools
- Hagerman Municipal Schools
- Hatch Valley Public Schools
- Hobbs Municipal Schools
- Hondo Valley Public Schools
- House Municipal Schools
- Jal Public Schools
- Jemez Mountain Public Schools
- Jemez Valley Public Schools
- Lake Arthur Municipal Schools
- Las Cruces Public Schools
- Las Vegas City Public Schools
- Logan Municipal Schools
- Lordsburg Municipal Schools
- Los Alamos Public Schools
- Los Lunas Public Schools
- Loving Municipal Schools
- Lovington Public Schools
- Magdalena Municipal Schools
- Maxwell Municipal Schools
- Melrose Public Schools
- Mesa Vista Consolidated Schools
- Mora Independent Schools
- Moriarty Municipal Schools
- Mosquero Municipal Schools
- Mountainair Public Schools
- Pecos Independent Schools
- Peñasco Independent Schools
- Pojoaque Valley Public Schools
- Portales Municipal Schools
- Quemado Independent Schools
- Questa Independent Schools
- Raton Public Schools
- Reserve Independent Schools
- Rio Rancho Public Schools
- Roswell Independent Schools
- Roy Municipal Schools
- Ruidoso Municipal Schools
- San Jon Municipal Schools
- Santa Fe Public Schools
- Santa Rosa Consolidated Schools
- Silver Consolidated Schools
- Socorro Consolidated Schools
- Springer Municipal Schools
- Taos Municipal Schools
- Tatum Municipal Schools
- Texico Municipal Schools
- Truth or Consequences Municipal Schools
- Tucumcari Public Schools
- Tularosa Municipal Schools
- Vaughn Municipal Schools
- Wagon Mound Public Schools
- West Las Vegas Public Schools
- Zuni Public Schools
It is critical to make certain academic misconduct charges at your child's New Mexico high school are handled properly and that the accused student's interests and rights are protected from as early as possible during the investigative and disciplinary process. One reason, among many, is because even at high schools where a finding of responsibility for academic misconduct is made at a hearing, the investigation will set the stage for what the hearing panel is provided prior to a hearing (and what the hearing panel will in large part rely on at a hearing), and at high schools where the finding of responsibility is made solely through the investigative process, what takes place during the investigation itself will determine whether the accused student is found responsible or not responsible for academic misconduct.
Unfortunately, some parents make the mistake of not taking the necessary precautions as soon as possible when their child is accused of academic misconduct. Some people will mistakenly believe that if they "just explain what happened," their school will be fair and impartial and will arrive at the truth. In a perfect world this may be the case, but in a perfect world, being called to answer for alleged academic misconduct would not exist.
Fighting passionately for the future of his clients at schools throughout the nation for many years, Joseph D. Lento knows how important it is to mount the strongest defense because he understands that an accused high school student's academic future is on the line. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph Lento is a licensed attorney in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted as an attorney pro hac vice in state and federal court if needed when representing clients nationwide, and serves as an academic misconduct advisor to high school students facing investigations and disciplinary cases in New Mexico and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National High School Academic Misconduct Defense Attorney Joseph D. Lento today at 888-535-3686.