While our children's days at school should be times of learning, exploration, and growth, this isn't always the case. Sometimes school policies are unfair; other times, it's an individual teacher or a fellow student who seems to target a particular child, creating an unpleasant if not hostile environment that makes it difficult for the child to grow and develop as a student and as a person. And, to be sure, children aren't perfect and will make mistakes even in the best of school environments.
We have reasonable expectations for our schools; they should teach our children what they need to know, should have rules and regulations that are fair and that are applied equitably, and they should foster an environment that helps promote student learning and growth. But sometimes that doesn't happen, and issues arise with your child that could result in your child being unfairly disciplined by their school. The range of potential discipline varies widely, from verbal warnings to notations in your child's student record to suspension to being expelled.
When things get to this point, it can be vital to have an experienced attorney advisor such as Joseph D. Lento on your side, helping you and your child in school disciplinary proceedings across the Cleveland, Akron, and Canton region. Joseph D. Lento has years of experience advising and representing students facing school discipline across the country at the grade, high, and collegiate school levels. He and the Lento Law Firm's student defense team can help you and your child face the school discipline process, defend your child's interests, and preserve your child's educational future.
The Cleveland, Akron, and Canton Metro Area
The Cleveland, Akron, and Canton region is an area defined by the US Department of Commerce that covers a dozen counties in north-central Ohio with a population of more than 3.5 million people. Home to dozens of colleges and universities, there are also many highly regarded high schools (including boarding schools) and some excellent school districts. Attorney advisor Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm's student defense team have represented students and their parents in school disciplinary proceedings at every level all over the country. If your child is involved in a disciplinary proceeding at their school, especially in a matter with potentially serious consequences, you owe it to yourself and to your child to retain an attorney advisor such as Joseph D. Lento, who has the knowledge and experience in this area to advise you and to help you and your child arrive at the best outcome.
Student Concerns in the Cleveland, Akron, and Canton Metro Area
It's not easy being a student these days. Between the daily ordeal of getting ready for school, catching the bus or being dropped off on time, getting homework done, dealing with peer pressure, and the unfortunate necessity of navigating new levels of school security, it sometimes can be difficult to figure out when exactly our children are supposed to find the time to just be kids.
And while part of just being a kid is making mistakes, including misbehaving at school, it also seems that misbehavior is generally taken more seriously by schools, whether in the primary grades or in high school. Behavior that "back in our day" might have meant a scolding from a teacher or an hour's detention before football practice now might result in a written reprimand that becomes part of the student's permanent academic record.
On top of all of this is the unrelenting fact that kids still need to learn. It's important to their development as functioning members of society; college entrance standards continue to be high and entry to the best colleges is still hugely competitive; and pressure on students to excel is greater than ever. When you combine the usual personality problems that come with growing up, the social pressures of life in a school setting, the academic challenges of learning, and the desire to meet parental and societal expectations, you end up with what can sometimes be a volatile mix of emotions that can result in the kinds of student behavior that may trigger school disciplinary proceedings.
It is in these situations that school discipline attorney advisor Joseph D. Lento and his student defense team at the Lento Law Firm can provide the kind of experienced guidance that you and your child need to help you navigate what can be a very unfamiliar and difficult process.
Cleveland-Akron-Canton Area Schools
Attorney advisor Joseph D. Lento and his student defense team at the Lento Law Firm are available to advise you and your student in student discipline matters no matter where in the Cleveland, Akron, and Canton area your school is located and no matter what the level. A grade-school disciplinary proceeding can have as significant an effect on your child's future as one that takes place in the college setting, sometimes more if it results in a suspension or expulsion. Attorney advisor Lento is available to advise you and help you and your child defend against student discipline proceedings in schools throughout the Cleveland, Akron, and Canton metro areas, including – to list a few – at the following area colleges and universities:
- Case Western Reserve University
- Cleveland State University
- John Carroll University
- Kent State University
- Cleveland Institute of Art
- Baldwin Wallace University
- Cuyahoga Community College
- University of Akron
- Walsh University
- University of Mount Union
- Stark State College
Attorney advisor Joseph D. Lento is also available to advise on issues that may arise at professional and technical schools and similar specialty programs in the Cleveland, Akron, and Canton area, including:
- Valley College
- Central School of Practical Nursing
- Remington College
- Ohio Media School
- Fortis College
- Aultman College
Attorney advisor Lento and the Lento Law Firm student defense team are also available to advise students involved in disciplinary proceedings at private and public high schools in the Cleveland-Akron-Canton Area, including:
- Solon High School
- Chagrin Falls High School
- Rocky River High School
- Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School
- Bay High School
- Aurora High School
- Hudson High School
- Revere High School
- Twinsburg High School
- Copley High School
- Jackson High School
- Hoover High School
- Lake High School
- Louisville High School
- Northwest High School
- Akron First Academy
- Hathaway Brown School
- Hawken School
- Gilmour Academy
- University School
- Laurel School
- Saint Ignatius High School
- Padua Franciscan High School
- Walsh Jesuit High School
- Our Lady of the Elms School
- Central Catholic High School
The Lento Law Firm student defense team and attorney advisor Joseph D. Lento also advise and represent students at boarding schools who find themselves involved in disciplinary actions, including students at boarding schools in the Cleveland, Akron, and Canton area such as:
- Hershey Montessori School
- Western Reserve Academy
- SPIRE Institute and Academy
- Grand River Academy
Sometimes discipline comes at the grade school level or through the school district itself. Attorney advisor Joseph D. Lento has experience advising and representing students and their families at all educational levels and has the background you need if your child is involved in disciplinary proceedings that come from the grade school or the district level, including schools located in Cleveland-Akron-Canton Area School Districts like these, among others:
- Bay Village
- Rocky River
- Chagrin Falls
Disciplinary Defense in the Cleveland, Akron, and Canton Metro Area
Schools discipline students for a wide range of behaviors. These can include academic issues such as poor performance, chronic missed homework, plagiarism, or cheating. Or they may relate to abuse of school property, such as computer misuse, theft, or vandalism. Often students are accused of mistreating other students and will be disciplined for bullying, racial or sexual harassment, or assault. And, of course, there are hot-trigger issues, ones that may immediately involve law enforcement, such as issuing threats directed at the school or other students or bringing a weapon to school. Attorney advisor Joseph D. Lento has been involved in a wide range of these types of student discipline cases and has the experience and the knowledge to help advise and defend your student in school disciplinary proceedings.
Academic Progression Issues
You may not think of low grades as a student discipline issue, but a student who is not performing to the standards set by the school is likely to find themselves going through a process that is every bit as stressful and difficult as a disciplinary proceeding. That is because many schools will have policies in place that apply when students fail to meet certain academic minimum requirements that can greatly affect what the student can do while enrolled at the school and can result in the student not being able to continue there. Whether it's a low score in a particular course or an overall issue with grade point average, your child may face one of these policies if they don't keep their grades up.
Case Western Reserve University, for example, has a set of Academic Standing Regulations that apply to all undergraduate students. The regulations provide for academic probation for underperforming students, which limits the student's ability to participate in extracurricular activities, including intercollegiate athletics. And if the student fails to bring their grades up, they “will be considered for separation from the university for at least two academic sessions.”
As with most schools, however, Case Western's probation – and separation – procedures are not automatic. There are opportunities for the student to be heard, which is where attorney advisor Joseph D. Lento can help. Grades are not always cut and dry; sometimes mistakes are made in the grading process, sometimes the grading is not objective and may be subject to further review, and sometimes there is another explanation for the student's poor grades, such as illness or a death in the family. If your student is facing an academic progression issue, contact attorney advisor Joseph D. Lento and his student defense team at the Lento Law Firm to learn more about how they can help.
Academic Misconduct Issues
Some students cheat. Others don't but are accused of doing so. Schools have developed policies to deal with allegations of cheating, whether it is in the form of looking on someone else's test or using a mobile device to find answers during an exam, paying another student to take a test or write a paper, or plagiarizing someone else's written work on a report or essay.
The University of Akron, as do almost all schools, has an Academic Misconduct Procedure that involves a multiple-step process when a faculty member suspects that a student has committed academic misconduct, such as cheating. One of the early steps involves the faculty member meeting with the student, and if the two of them agree on the facts and the sanction, a written summary is created, signed by both, and submitted to the school to become part of the student's file. If the faculty member and student disagree, the matter is referred to the school for further proceedings under Akron's Code of Student Conduct.
Having anything derogatory in a student's file is a serious matter, even if it is the result of an “informal” discussion between the student and a faculty member. The time to seek the advice of an experienced student discipline attorney advisor such as Joseph D. Lento is before that meeting takes place. Attorney advisor Lento and his student defense team at the Lento Law Firm can provide the guidance and advice appropriate to the facts of the case, to help the student navigate through what is likely to be an unfamiliar and uncomfortable situation, and, most importantly, to protect the student's rights.
Behavioral Misconduct Issues
As noted above, the University of Akron has a Code of Student Conduct that addresses a wide range of student behavioral issues that go beyond cheating. Here too, almost all schools have something similar; see, for example, Walsh University's Code of Student Conduct. It's not at all unusual for schools at other levels to have similar codes; in the lower grades, student conduct procedures are often discussed in student handbooks, such as the one from the Copley-Fairlawn school district. Depending on the school level, discipline may take the form of detention, community service, in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, or expulsion.
This is unfamiliar territory for many parents, but not for attorney advisor Joseph D. Lento and his student defense team at the Lento Law Firm. If your student is facing serious discipline at any school level, you owe it to yourself and your student to seek the advice of an experienced student defense attorney advisor such as Joseph D. Lento. Knowing your student's rights before dealing with the school administration on a disciplinary matter can make all the difference between a satisfactory outcome and one that may haunt you and your student for many years.
Title IX Sexual Misconduct Issues
Schools that receive federal funding, which means most every public and private college and university, are required to have in place programs and policies under Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1972. These must be designed to prevent, prohibit, and punish a wide range of sexual misconduct, including assault, stalking, domestic/partner violence, and harassment. Schools will sometimes also prohibit other sexual misconduct-type of behavior not expressly prohibited by Title IX, such as prostitution, sexual blackmail, and invasion of privacy. Students accused of violating a school's Title IX policies are typically subject to the school's code of conduct procedures.
These are the kinds of cases where school officials may make misinformed, unfair, unsupported, or sometimes outright false accusations against students who may have clear and compelling defenses. These are obviously serious situations where the student deserves the kind of knowledgeable and experienced advice that someone like student defense attorney advisor Joseph D. Lento can provide. Attorney advisor Joseph D. Lento and his student defense team at the Lento Law Firm have advised students across the country on Title IX issues and can help your student face what is likely to be one of the most difficult situations they have ever faced.
The Value of a School Discipline Attorney Advisor
The school discipline landscape is a deceptive one. Much of it seems to be informal, a meeting or two in an office with bright posters on the wall, or in a quiet classroom after school one evening, or perhaps in a wood-paneled university conference room. But the effects on your student if something is placed in their permanent record – even at the primary school level – can be long-lasting. And suspension or expulsion from school at any level can be devastating to the student's confidence and self-esteem, not to mention to their future prospects.
Having an experienced and knowledgeable student defense attorney advisor such as Joseph D. Lento at your side can make all the difference between a fair outcome under the circumstances and an unfair one that will harm your student for years to come. Contact attorney advisor Joseph D. Lento and his student defense team at the Lento Law Firm to learn more about their experience advising and defending students involved in school discipline proceedings. Call 888.535.3686 or use our online contact form now.