Students and parents have a lot to contend with in today's world. Not only do students have to make it through peer pressures and all of the emergencies life throws at them, but they also have to graduate. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, around 2 million students dropped out of high school in 2020, while additional data indicates just over 30% of undergraduates drop out of college annually.
There are a multitude of reasons a student may drop out of school, but there are also many reasons a student might get kicked out of school. Students who misbehave, or are accused of misconduct, are at risk of losing all they've put into their educational career. Schools are quick to threaten dismissal if accusations of misconduct are serious enough. Students aren't just kicked out of school for acting up, they might also be dismissed from their program for academic performance issues. Competitive schools maintain their edge through cutthroat academic rigor, but that doesn't mean students struggling with their grades shouldn't do everything in their power to stay in their program so they can graduate.
If you're facing discipline for conduct or grades, you should speak with a student discipline defense attorney-advisor. Working with a legal advocate will help you navigate the complex and stressful scenarios that accompany school investigations and performance reviews.
Student Concerns after School Discipline Issues
Students have plenty of concerns when it comes to investigations. They might get expelled from class because they were accused of cheating or causing disruptive behavior. They might even be expelled from campus if the accusation is super serious. For example, any credible accusation of sexual violence will likely result in expulsion.
Students accused of misconduct or poor performance need to worry about being able to complete their courses, but they also need to worry about their reputations. If the investigations go on your permanent record, you may have difficulty getting into advanced programs later down the road. If you're accused of behavioral issues, you may even face the stigma of Cancel Culture among your classmates.
Parent Concerns after School Discipline Issues
Although the student must face the direct consequences of the accusations against them, parents also suffer. Parents have invested serious time and money into helping their child gain an education. The bottom line is it's tragic when your kid's educational career becomes stunted or gets cut short because of student discipline issues. As a parent, you've been working to help your child achieve success since they were born. There's really no dollar amount you can put on your investment, and it could all be at risk because of a mistake or a bad decision.
Indianapolis, Carmel, and Muncie Metro Area Schools
Schools in the Indianapolis, Carmel, and Muncie metro area range in size and stature within the community. Regardless of where the student attends school, the rules must be adhered to. Attorney Joseph D. Lento understands how to navigate and interpret the schools' policies regardless of which school the students attend. Some of these K through 12 schools include:
- Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities
- Signature School
- Carmel High School
- Herron High School
- Park Tudor School
- University High School of Indiana
- International School of Indiana
- Charter High School of Arts-Multimedia & Performing
- Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School
- Cathedral High School
- Heritage Christian School
In addition to K-12, Mr. Lento can help you work through student discipline issues at higher education institutions, including:
- Marian University Indianapolis
- Butler University
- University of Indianapolis
- Martin University
- Chamberlin University College of Nursing
- Franklin College
- Fortis College
- International Business College
- American College of Education
- Ball State University
- Taylor University
The lists above aren't exhaustive, but they do demonstrate a common theme. Schools change, but the rules are largely universal. A solid defense requires an understanding of how discipline, investigation, and remediation work across the board.
Academic Progression Issues
Academic progression can affect any student. Even the brightest and most dedicated can face challenges that put their academic standing at risk. Life happens, and emergencies can disrupt a student's ability to concentrate. In some highly competitive programs, like law programs, there are only a few opportunities to score points, and if a student misses a class where those points are offered, they might be completely out of luck. Additionally, many programs grade on a curve, meaning all students might perform well, but they are each graded against one another instead of against the materials.
In graduate programs, students often must maintain certain GPAs to stay in their program. They'll be evaluated annually or maybe more frequently. If they don't pass, they may have to retake their course. If they don't pass subsequent times, they could be booted from the program altogether.
In some programs, like medical or nursing programs, students are also held to a professionalism standard. Nursing students can face professionalism concerns even when they have top grades. In addition to academic performance, bedside manner and communication skills matter greatly.
If you're facing academic or professionalism concerns in your program, you should speak with an attorney-advisor who can help you understand what's at stake. In some scenarios, it may be best for your attorney-advisor to speak with your administrators, to see if you can all work together to come up with a plan of improvement that circumvents the worst outcomes.
Academic Misconduct Issues
Academic misconduct is not the same as academic performance. Instead of getting into trouble for making bad grades or failing to exercise mandated professionalism standards, students who violate academic misconduct codes are often accused of cheating in some way.
The type of cheating or academic misconduct a student may get into trouble for includes:
- Unauthorized use of study materials
- Failing to safeguard work
- Accessing unauthorized materials online
- Classroom disruption
- Falsifying records
- Obtaining advanced knowledge
- Research misconduct
- Sabotaging other students
- Unauthorized collaboration
The list above is certainly not exhaustive, and each school can have its own take on what constitutes academic misconduct. For the most part, students and parents will see a common theme. That theme involves student dishonesty in trying to obtain a better grade or standing in their class. Importantly, students need to understand that sometimes they don't realize they're violating academic misconduct codes when they make a decision to act in a certain way. For example, many students have found the online crowdsourcing platform, Course Hero, to be incredibly valuable to their studies, but universities have started to ban students from using the platform.
If you aren't sure what is or isn't against your school's academic misconduct code, you should familiarize yourself with the policies. These policies change depending on new technologies and platforms, so you should check in regularly. If you have questions about your school's code of academic conduct, speak with an experienced student advisor-attorney like Mr. Lento.
Student Misconduct Issues
Student misconduct issues can carry some of the most severe punishments. The best-case scenario will be a reprimand, but the worst-case scenario is that the school will dismiss a student completely. Not only might students be more quickly expelled for acts of misbehavior or violence, but they may also be stigmatized even for the accusation. Bad grades are more easily overcome in some situations because bad grades don't generally carry the perception of bad intent.
Some of the types of student misconduct issues that could result in an investigation and punishment include:
- Drug use
- Alcohol use
- Class disruptions
- Breaking and entering
- Hate crimes
Obviously, misconduct can be very serious. While these violations aren't criminal in nature, they do often involve behaviors that might be criminally charged by the authorities outside of your school. That will be a separate issue. When it comes to defending yourself against your school's misconduct investigation against you, you'll need to mount a quick and competent defense.
Too many students don't take these misconduct claims seriously. It's true that a student will partake in drinking, or engage in other mischievous behavior, without any bad intent. In many respects, college is actually about testing the limits. That said, mistakes happen and so do poor decisions that could end in disaster. If someone accuses you of code of conduct violations, don't brush it off with a “kids will be kids” mentality. You might think you can handle your school's investigation against you, but the school will take it very seriously and is likely to hold a trial-like hearing to determine what actions, if any, should be taken against you.
Sexual Misconduct and Title IX Issues
Sexual misconduct is the most serious allegation that can be made against a student. This isn't just because the harm caused by sexual aggression or discrimination is severe, but it's also because today's political climate means schools will leave no stone unturned in conducting an investigation against someone accused of sexual misconduct. A lot of good comes from this level of scrutiny, but there are still false accusations or misunderstandings that get caught up in the wide net a school casts when looking into sexual misconduct claims.
Sometimes, students need a Title IX advisor to help with their defense. Title IX is a federal law that affects any school that receives federal funding. Contrary to what many believe, most private schools do, in fact, receive at least some federal funding. This means they also have to adhere to Title IX laws. Title IX seeks to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex. The law has a fairly broad interpretation and has come to apply to cases of sexual assault, rape, and gender-based discrimination.
Title IX rules change at least as frequently as U.S. presidents, and new guidance is issued often. Schools try to keep up with new interpretations, but they can and do get it wrong. If you're accused of violating Title IX laws at your school, you need to contact a student discipline defense attorney-advisor as soon as possible.
What to Expect When Accused of Student Discipline Issues
Even before you're formally accused of misconduct, you may have some inkling of trouble to come. This would be the opportune time to talk to an attorney-advisor. Still, some students don't know they've been accused of student discipline issues until they receive a formal notice of the complaint against them. When this happens, it generally means the school has already received a formal claim against you.
After you receive a notice, you might be formally investigated. During this time, it's important you act in complete accordance with your school's policies. You shouldn't take to social media to air your complaints or rebuttals to the situation. Instead, you should gather any evidence that may work in your favor and give that evidence to your attorney. If you're accused of sexual misconduct, absolutely do not contact your accuser.
After the investigation, a formal hearing will probably be held. This hearing will be trial-like in nature, and you can and should have an attorney-advisor represent your interests. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped countless students at numerous universities reach an understanding with their disciplinary authorities so they can return to school.
At the end of the day, the ultimate goal is that you get your degree. A Successful defense doesn't always look like a full reversal of the claim against you; instead, it looks like compromise. You might agree to attend a rehabilitative program for behavioral issues, or you might agree to retake a class so you can stay in your program. If the results of the hearing are completely unfavorable, you will have a chance to appeal the decision.
Why Do I Need a Student Discipline Defense Attorney-Advisor
Student discipline defense attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento will act as an advocate who can facilitate communication between you and your school. Mr. Lento is a skilled negotiator who knows and understands how school investigations work. To learn how Mr. Lento and the Lento Law Firm team can help you, call 888-535-3686 today or contact us online.