Under ideal circumstances, students and their families wouldn't face inappropriate behavior facilitated by a university or its staff. Educational institutions, however, are far from perfect. Students and their families can fall victim to rights violations should a university representative choose to behave in an inappropriate manner.
It is under these circumstances that a national students' rights attorney can go to work. Students and families who believe that their educational experience has been disrupted or otherwise hindered by the behavior of someone on the faculty or staff, or that their education is actively being arrested by university policies, has the right to take the offending bodies to court. There, that student can seek representation via a national students' rights attorney and fight for the right to learn in an environment that welcomes them.
National Students' Rights Attorneys: What Do They Do?
Universities and other educational institutions institute a myriad of rules that can often feel impossible for students and their families to keep up with. There are always parties, however, that deem themselves above or beyond the rules that an institution puts into place.
That is where educational amendments to United States law come into play. Every student attending a university in the United States that benefits from federal funding is protected by anti-discriminatory law. Should a student believe that a university's administrators, staff, or faculty have violated those protections, both they and their families have the right to pursue legal action.
A national students' rights attorney can help interested parties do just that. Students and their families can approach a national students' rights attorney to discuss an instance in which they believe they may have experienced discrimination or mistreatment. A legal team, in turn, can determine whether or not said violation occurred and what legal actions may be available to the victim. That same legal team can represent the student and their family as they pursue damages or other compensation for their suffering.
In short, national students' rights attorneys are legal representatives who can help students and their families address cases of discrimination or mistreatment that occurs on a federally-funded university campus.
When Do Students Need National Students' Rights Attorneys?
Students and families facing discrimination, false accusations, mistreatment, and other unacceptable forms of behavior while attending university may not know where to turn for help. No university, however, has the right to violate a student's rights while that student is on campus. Any student and supporting family looking for help combating a malevolent academic charge or living through an uncomfortable situation, as such, has the right to contact a national students' rights attorney.
National students' rights attorneys help students and their families understand the rights available to them and how best they can react to unwarranted charges or university behavior. A national students' rights attorney's cases can include but are not limited to:
Title VI, VII, and IX Violations
The Educational Amendments of 1972 detail among them behaviors that universities and other educational institutions are expected to stand against if they wish to receive financial assistance from the federal government. Some of the most notable amendments and, in turn, violations include but are not limited to:
- Title VI: the amendment notes that no university or educational institution may discriminate against a person due to that person's race, color, or national origin. Universities or educational bodies who are accused of doing so risk losing any federal financial aid that they might otherwise receive.
- Title VII: the amendment notes that all universities and educational bodies must afford all parties the benefits that university promises regardless of a person's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. This amendment also prohibits sexual harassment as well as all other forms of harassment at the applicable institutions.
- Title IX: the amendment prohibits universities as well as all educational institutions from discriminating against students, staff, and faculty based on sex. Under this act, no parties may be denied the benefits of a specific program or suffer discrimination due to their sex – here indicating gender – at the risk of suffering both legal consequences and the revocation of any federal financial aid.
Should a student suffer from any matter of discrimination as detailed here, that student has the right to seek out the legal counsel of a national students' right attorney. That student may fight for damages due to losses endured or otherwise request that the appropriate bodies hold a university's administration, staff, and/or faculty accountable for the behavior that the student in question suffered.
Violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act
The Educational Amendments of 1972 do not detail how a university or educational institution may treat attending parties, staff, or faculty members with disabilities. That duty falls to the Americans with Disability Act. This act works to protect those parties with disabilities from undue denial of work, promotions, harassment, and termination. Similarly, the act states that all parties with disabilities must receive reasonable accommodations within a university or educational setting and that any harassment leveled against these parties is unlawful.
Students who face this kind of treatment have the right to seek damages with the help of a national students' right attorney. So do any family members affiliated with a person with disabilities, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Students and their families who choose to take legal action against university or educational parties they believe have behaved in a discriminatory manner can secure not only financial compensation for their losses but also reasonable accommodations for the parties who require them, moving forward.
Breach of Contract
When a student applies to attend a university, they do so after the school in question makes certain promises to them. For example, schools looking to accept new students need to clearly state how long it takes on average for a student in a particular track to get a degree. Similarly, the school is expected to truthfully outline the kind of education an attending student may receive, how much that degree may cost, and what kind of coursework the student may expect. Some of the most common contract breaches include but are not limited to:
- Undue influence
- Contract invalidation
- Contract statute of limitations
While universities don't always write these promises down on paper, they remain not only verbal promises but binding contracts, as well. A university, then, that fails to provide a student with these means or others may face legal repercussions for that failure.
A national students' rights attorney can work with students who believe that their universities have failed to uphold the contracts they created with students upon that party's acceptance. While students and the attending lawyer will have to go about proving that a contract existed between the university and the student and that the contract was, in turn, violated, rewards can include the reimbursement or the student's tuition or other monetary damages.
First Amendment Violations
Every university and educational institution receiving federal funding must allow its students to act within the bounds of the First Amendment. This means that students and their families must all have access to:
- Freedom of religion
- Freedom of the press
- Freedom of speech and expression
- Freedom of assembly
- Freedom to petition
That said, there are some exceptions to this ruling. Schools and other educational institutions do have the right, when it comes to free speech, to discourage verbiage that conflicts with a “school's educational mission.” Similarly, new conversations about what constitutes a violation of a student's freedom of speech and expression have arisen alongside fascist terminology across the United States, leading many universities to either alter their Student Codes of Conduct or otherwise address a student's first amendment rights on a case-by-case basis.
Responding to Instances of Discrimination
Students and families who have suffered from any of the above or other discriminatory behaviors must prove to a judge and attending jury that said violation of the student's rights occurred. A national students' rights attorney can help the party do so by filing a suit and collecting evidence – including statements from witnesses – to present in said suit. Should a judge and attending jury decide to proceed with the student's case, then the student, family, and national students' rights attorney may go to court and present their argument to the appropriate bodies.
Note that this process does not occur on a university's campus. Instead, violations of a student's right invoke federal law, meaning that all cases related to those violations will go through the traditional court system.
Fighting For Student Rights with the Lento Law Firm
Universities, their faculty, and their staff are held to certain expectations. Parties who violate the rights of a student or their family can and will face consequences for their behavior once that behavior is brought to the attention of a professional.
National students' rights attorneys can help students and the families of students who have seen their basic rights to care violated by an institution or its representatives. These parties can rely on a national students' rights attorney not only for representation but for comprehensive explanations as to a student's rights, and the potential damages said parties might be owed.
Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have long worked to provide students and their families with not only a sense of comfort after a university's rights violation but with the justice they deserve. Students and their families can reach out to Lento Law Firm at any time to discuss a university representative's behavior and the potential paths forward that may help the right parties seek the justice they deserve.
Anyone interested in scheduling a national students' rights violation case consultation can reach out to the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686. Students and their families can also use the Firm's online form to elaborate on a case's details.