Psychiatric Adverse Events in High School

Psychiatric Events in High School

High school can be a high-stress environment for any student. A student may be perfectly well adjusted at home, in the neighborhood, and even in a workplace structured to support high school age employees. But high school can bring together a wider range of relationships, demands, factors, and circumstances, increasing the stress on the student exponentially. The fluidity, complexity, and constant change of high school environments can especially burden the student who needs greater emotional support and stability. High school experiences can trigger adverse psychiatric events like panic attacks, nervous breakdowns, bipolar episodes, episodes of schizophrenia, and even seizure disorders. Outside conditions and circumstances like illness, injury, sexual assault, death of a grandparent, death or divorce of a parent, and illness or injury to or death of a sibling can also trigger adverse psychiatric events that disrupt the high school student's education. High school is hard enough without psychiatric problems. High school gets a lot harder when a student experiences a traumatic psychiatric event right in the middle of high school.

High School Problems From Psychiatric Events

Psychiatric events and high school are a toxic mix for the student to endure. That mix gets a lot more toxic when psychiatric events trigger high school academic issues or behavioral misconduct charges. Adding a disciplinary proceeding to the mix, particularly one that resulted from a psychiatric event, can crush the high school student. Psychiatric events, whether in school or outside of school, can cause, influence, or tempt the high school student to miss classes and exams, fail to complete coursework, fail courses, skip or miss classes, miss exams, and cheat or appear to cheat on coursework or exams, bringing on academic issues and academic misconduct charges. Psychiatric events can also cause a high school student to engage or appear to engage in behavioral misconduct like substance abuse, fighting, bullying, vandalism, trespassing, computer misuse, disrespect of teachers and administrators, and disruption of classes. High schools charge students in disciplinary proceedings and even expel students for these kinds of behavioral problems.

Psychiatric Conditions Requiring Reasonable Accommodation

While high schools rightly require students to conform their behavior to reasonable standards, high schools simultaneously have the legal obligation to accommodate a student's mental and emotional disabilities. The high school student who has a mental or emotional disability contributing to psychiatric adverse events should be getting the school's support and accommodation rather than the school's discipline and condemnation. The Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights confirms that federal disability laws like the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 instead require high schools to reasonably accommodate student disabilities. A psychiatric event may indicate that the high school student has a qualifying disability. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, for instance, defines a protected disability to include a “serious emotional disturbance.” To qualify for emotional disability protection, the student must exhibit over a long period and to a marked degree inappropriate behaviors, depression, schizophrenia, inability to learn, or inability to maintain satisfactory interpersonal school relationships. Other federal laws have similar disability definitions. A proper psychiatric examination may qualify your high school student for disability accommodation and protection relating to your student's psychiatric adverse event.

Psychiatric Events as a Defense to Disciplinary Proceedings

If a psychiatric event relating to your student's underlying mental or emotional disability caused or contributed to your student's high school academic or disciplinary issues, then your student's psychiatric event could be a defense in those proceedings. Your student's school should not be holding your student's psychiatric condition and its adverse event against your student. Indeed, the contrary is more often true: a student's psychiatric event may be a defense in the student's disciplinary proceeding rather than evidence supporting the charges. Schools shouldn't be using a student's mental or emotional disability as grounds to suspend or expel the student but instead to provide the student with disability accommodations. Yet even if your student's psychiatric event did not arise from an underlying disability protected under federal law, your student's event could help exonerate your student from the disciplinary charges or mitigate any punishment the high school might otherwise consider. Don't let your student's psychiatric event lead to high school discipline, suspension, and dismissal. School officials should instead treat your student's psychiatric event as exonerating or mitigating evidence relating to the charges.

Convincing High School Officials of a Psychiatric Defense

School disciplinary officials don't always see it that way. School disciplinary officials do not necessarily have the training necessary to identify, evaluate, and accommodate student mental and emotional conditions contributing to psychiatric adverse events. Uninformed and misguided school disciplinary officials may blame your student for your student's psychiatric condition rather than properly accommodating it as a disability. Those high school officials need education, information, and convincing advocacy on your student's behalf. Simply pointing out to school officials that your student suffered a panic attack, schizophrenic episode, or other psychiatric event may not be enough to get your student the special relief your student needs and deserves. If your high school student has had a psychiatric event contribute in some way to school problems, and your student now faces academic or behavioral probation, suspension, or dismissal, retain the student defense attorney representation your student needs for the best outcome. Hire national student defense attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm's student defense team.

Invoking Protective Discipline Procedures

Your retained student defense attorney may be able to negotiate appropriate relief from the high school's charges without invoking formal hearing procedures. National student defense attorney Joseph D. Lento has the knowledge, skill, experience, and reputation to resolve many discipline cases early, simply through effective communication and documentation of the student's psychiatric condition and need for accommodation. But if your student's high school rejects an informal resolution, the high school will have some form of administrative procedure that your retained student defense attorney can invoke on your student's behalf. See, for example, the appeal procedures that the public schools of St. George's County, Maryland offer to a suspended or expelled high school student. A formal hearing or appeal enables your retained student defense attorney to help you gather and present documentary and testimonial evidence and fashion compelling legal arguments for the practical and favorable resolution of your high school student's case. Retain national student defense attorney Joseph D. Lento to invoke protective procedures on your student's behalf. Let attorney Lento make your student's psychiatric event a winning defense.

What's at Stake in a High School Disciplinary Proceeding

As you consider your student's best course forward through a high school disciplinary proceeding, keep in mind what your student has at stake. When a high school student fails to maintain satisfactory academic progress or commits a serious behavioral offense, high school disciplinary officials tend to default to at least a suspension sanction. A proverbial slap on the hand, in the form of a verbal or written reprimand, is often not the most likely sanction. Instead, the school may well kick your student out for at least a term or maybe a year or permanently. Don't underestimate the negative impact that a suspension or expulsion can have on your student, especially if your student already suffers from a mental or emotional disability triggering psychiatric adverse events. High school students can value peer relationships highly. Delaying your student's graduation by a year or more can disrupt or end those supportive relationships. Even a mere suspension can so frustrate and discourage your student that your student may fail to persist. Students who suffer suspension and expulsion may also be unable to transfer to another high school, making a general equivalency diploma (GED) their only option. Students applying to college must also generally disclose high school discipline. Preferred colleges and universities may reject the applications of students who have even so little as a reprimand, not to mention suspension or expulsion.

High School Student Defense Attorney Available

Your high school student can have a tremendous amount at stake in any school disciplinary proceeding, especially when your student already suffers from a mental or emotional condition triggering psychiatric adverse events. Don't underestimate the potential impact of the disciplinary proceeding. Instead, promptly retain the premier and qualified student defense attorney your high school student needs and deserves. Don't retain a local criminal defense attorney who lacks experience in school administrative matters and disability laws. If a psychiatric adverse event has contributed to your high school student's academic progression problem or misconduct issue, your student needs a skilled and experienced student defense attorney to help school officials recognize the special relief your student deserves. Retain national student defense attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm for your student's winning defense of disciplinary charges. Attorney Lento has successfully represented high school students and other students nationwide. Call 888-535-3686 for a consultation now or use the online service.

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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