Student Defense Advisor – Jacksonville-St. Marys-Palatka

While educational experiences are among the most significant aspects of an individual's life, they are especially important during the first twenty-five years. From the groundwork laid when a young child learns the alphabet through elementary school, high school, and beyond, educational endeavors during these years are valuable in many regards. The very act of learning stimulates our brains in positive ways, the specialized knowledge we acquire empowers us to earn a living in a field we love, and the experience of pursuing knowledge helps us develop the critical thinking skills we need to thrive. For some along this journey, though, challenges can arise, challenges that require expert legal advice. At the Lento Law Firm, our student defense team is passionate about ensuring that our clients successfully navigate any legal issues related to their education. Led by premier school discipline defense attorney Joseph D. Lento, we have developed extensive expertise in student defense, and we have advised families like yours in the Jacksonville-St. Marys-Palatka area. Whether the issue is one of academic progression, academic misconduct, behavioral misconduct, or Title IX sexual misconduct, we can advise you on a winning school discipline defense.

The Jacksonville-St. Marys-Palatka Area

The Florida counties of Baker, Nassau, Duval, Clay, St. Johns, and Putnam, along with Camden County, Georgia, comprise the Jacksonville-St. Marys-Palatka, FL-GA Combined Statistical Area (CSA). Nearly 92% of the CSA's 1.73 million residents live in the Jacksonville Metropolitan Area. Other cities in the Jacksonville-St. Marys-Palatka, FL-GA CSA include St. Augustine, Fernandina Beach, Middleburg, Green Cove Springs, and Macclenny. The counties of Camden, Nassau, Duval, and St. Johns lie along the Atlantic Ocean, while no town in the inland counties of Baker, Clay, and Palatka is farther than sixty miles from an oceanside beach. Area residents and visitors can also enjoy recreational activities along the 301-mile-long St. Johns River, which runs south from Jacksonville and passes through Palatka on its way to Okeechobee County.

The median income in the area is approximately $67,000, a little less than the U.S. median income of nearly $70,000. More than 91% of adults have graduated from high school, and 34% have a bachelor's degree or higher. In addition to tourism, major sectors of the economy include banking, insurance, and healthcare. The U.S. military is also a prominent part of the area's economy: The Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay adjacent to St. Marys, the Naval Air Station Jacksonville, and the Naval Air Station Mayport combine to form the third largest military presence in the U.S. With its location on both the St. Johns River and the Atlantic Ocean, Jacksonville is the leading transportation and distribution hub in Florida, and it is one of the leading ports for automobile imports in the U.S.

We Have Experience Advising Students at Schools Throughout the Jacksonville-St. Marys-Palatka Area

Whatever school your child attends in the Jacksonville-St. Marys-Palatka area, the student defense team of Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm are ready to advise you. We have helped families just like yours throughout the area with student defense cases. Here are some of the schools located in these communities along the Atlantic Coast of Florida and Georgia.

Colleges and Universities

The Lento team has represented students at colleges and universities throughout Florida. Here are some of the schools offering two- and four-year undergraduate degrees in Jacksonville-St. Marys-Palatka area. Some of the schools, including the University of North Florida, also offer master's and doctoral programs.

College of Coastal Georgia

Edward Waters College

Flagler College St. Augustine

Florida Gateway College

Florida State College at Jacksonville

Fortis College

Jacksonville University

St. Johns River State College

Southeastern College

University of North Florida

Trinity Baptist College

University of North Florida

University of Phoenix North Florida Campus

Virginia College Jacksonville

Waycross College

Graduate and Specialty Collegiate Programs

Aspiring firefighters, nurses, doctors, accountants, and more can pursue their education in the Jacksonville, St. Marys, Palatka area.

Altamaha Technical College

Art Institute of Jacksonville

Chamberlain College of Nursing Florida

Fire Academy of the South at Florida State College at Jacksonville

First Coast Technical College

Northeast Florida Criminal Justice Center at Florida State College at Jacksonville

Mayo Clinic Florida

Nova Southeastern University

Okefenokee Technical College

University of Florida Health Science Center

K-12 Private Schools

The Lento Law Firm has represented students at many of the private schools in the Jacksonville-St. Marys-Palatka area. The list below is just a sampling of the more than 135 private K-12 schools located there.

Advance Learning Academy

Arlington Country Day School

Bishop John J. Snyder High School

Bishop Kenny High School

Bolles School

Episcopal School of Jacksonville

The Foundation Academy

New Hope Christian Academy

Peniel Baptist Academy

River Christian Academy

Trinity Christian Academy

K-12 Public Schools

Most K-12 students in the Jacksonville-St. Marys-Palatka area attend public schools in one of the three districts listed below. Duval County is the largest of the three districts; it has over 155,000 students. Magnet school options include Joseph Stilwell Military Academy of Leadership, a military-themed middle school.

Baker County School District

Camden County Schools

Clay County School District

Duval County Public Schools

Nassau County School District

Putnam County School District

St. Johns County School District

The Lento Law Firm Can Advise You on Academic and Non-Academic Student Issues

At the Lento Law Firm, student defense is our specialty. We can help your child with a wide range of issues. We have experience helping families like yours throughout the Jacksonville-St. Marys-Palatka area.

Academic Progression Issues

At the K-12 level, each public school district defines its standards for academic progress—what a student must do to advance from one grade to the next and the requirements students must meet to be granted a diploma. For most private schools, individual schools may each set their own standards, while public schools tend to use standards set by the school district. In both the public and private systems, secondary schools must ensure that their standards comply with state proficiency standards. The Florida Department of Education Bureau of Standards and Instructional Support sets those standards for the schools in the Jacksonville-St. Marys-Palatka area.

In higher education, each institution sets out its own academic progress policy, which must comply with the requirements the school needs to meet to qualify for accreditation. Private accrediting agencies and state and federal government agencies oversee the accreditation process. Institutions of higher learning typically provide extensive information on their academic progress policies. Florida State College at Jacksonville, for example, has a webpage dedicated to its Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy. It notes that a student's eligibility for federal, state, and institutional aid is contingent on making satisfactory academic progress toward completion of their academic program. It also outlines three measures of academic progress the student must meet regarding grade point average, successful completion of credits attempted, and progress toward completing a certificate or degree.

With their own viability at stake, schools may sometimes overreach in their demands of students. They may also make mistakes when reviewing a student's record or calculating a grade point average or fail to consider mitigating circumstances such as medical issues. Students may face suspension, probation, or expulsion, or other harsh consequences. If you or your child are confronted with an academic progression issue, attorney Joseph Lento can advise you on the best strategy.

Academic Misconduct Issues

Schools at all levels typically have an honor code that defines their standards and expectations for student academic behavior and outlines the penalties for failing to comply. The language, definitions, and penalties may vary from school to school, but most include the requirement for students to sign a statement asserting they will not give, receive, or use unauthorized assistance.

Some of the honor codes go into extensive detail. Stanton College Preparatory School in Jacksonville, for example, has a lengthy Academic Integrity Policy that gives comprehensive descriptions of cheating, plagiarism, collusion, and misrepresentation—the acts that violate its Academic Integrity Policy. The policy statement also asserts that the judgment of the behavior is by the teacher and that judgment is final, even after review by the Honor Review Board, an advisory body that includes ten students, a faculty advisor, and an administrative advisor. Consequences for violating the Academic Integrity Policy always include a referral that goes into the student's file, and they can also include counseling that addresses the behavior; suspension or expulsion from organizations, leadership positions, and teams; and school service.

If your child is facing accusations of academic misconduct, it is essential to have an attorney experienced in this area as your advisor. Joseph Lento has the knowledge and experience to achieve the best outcome for your student.

Behavioral Misconduct Issues

Students of all ages benefit from guidance on acceptable and appropriate behavior. However, even with the detailed codes of conduct many schools provide, there can be misjudgments about what constitutes behavior that violates the code or misunderstandings about the facts of an event. If school disciplinary officers have accused your student of violating the code of conduct, retain the Lento Law Firm to ensure that you have the best advice and the strongest advocate in your corner.

Jacksonville University offers a good example of the codes of conduct common at universities and colleges in the Jacksonville-St. Marys- Palatka area. The Code of Conduct in its Green Pages Student Handbook covers topics including the rights and responsibilities of students, the Jacksonville University principles of student conduct, prohibited student conduct, and procedures for reviewing accusations against students.

Title IX Allegations

Section One of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution asserts that “No state shall . . . deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” The Education Amendments of 1972 to this Equal Protection Clause include Title IX, which states, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” The U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights enforces Title IX. Title IX requirements have changed over the years. For example, mandates introduced in 2011 regarding students' due process rights were rescinded in 2017. It is crucial to have an advisor knowledgeable about the current Title IX regulations.

Schools receiving federal funding must operate their educational programs and related activities in a manner that is free of discrimination based on sex, including sexual orientation and gender identity. For example, a prospective student cannot be denied admission because of sexual orientation, nor can a student be denied financial assistance because of race.

Schools receiving federal funding must also enforce Title IX protections against sex-based harassment, including stalking, sexual assault, and domestic or intimate partner violence, by prohibiting, preventing, and punishing these acts.

Sexual misconduct charges are among the most volatile and potentially devastating challenges a student can face. Disciplinary action can include suspension or expulsion, with long-term effects on a student's education and career. To ensure that you have an advisor equipped with the knowledge, skills, and experience your student deserves, contact the Lento Law Office. Attorney Joseph Lento and his student defense team will provide the best representation available.

Your Student Defense Advisor - Attorney Joseph Lento

Your student's academic success is a springboard to lifelong success and happiness. It is too precious to risk if threatened by charges of academic misconduct, behavioral misconduct, Title IX allegations, or significant issues with academic progression. Attorney Joseph Lento is the advisor you need to counsel you on your legal options. The team at the Lento Law Firm, with their vast experience in student defense, is ready to help you. Call 888-535-3686 or tell us about your case.

Contact Us Today!

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.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.