Student Defense Advisor – Pittsburgh, PA

When you or your student are enrolled in an academic program, whether it be in grades K-12 or in graduate school, you have much invested in the outcome. As students progress through secondary school and enter the world of college and beyond, many of their lifelong hopes and dreams are pinned to their performance and the accolades they hope to receive in professional or vocational programs. A disciplinary charge can completely derail all of a student's educational and career progress and, if not properly defended, can—at its worst—put an end to a lifetime of academic and career plans.

Student disciplinary procedures are triggered by a variety of identified behaviors, including accusations of cheating and other school code violations. Students may also find themselves in conflict with their school regarding other issues, such as failure to make sufficient academic progress (SAP) or grading conflicts. The school's version of events, however, may not be accurate, and it is quite important that the correct information be carefully and properly presented when dealing with the administration and in any hearing that the student may be afforded. School discipline attorney Joseph D. Lento has a wealth of experience in protecting a student's rights while working productively within the administrative bureaucracy, achieving the best result for the student.

A Pennsylvania Attorney Who Knows Student Discipline Defense

The schools around Pittsburgh, including those in such areas as Bradford Woods, Franklin Park, Marshall Township, Mount Lebanon Township, O'Hara Township, Indiana Township, Fox Chapel, Sharpsburg, and Aspinwall, to name a few, are where Joseph D. Lento and his team have for years specialized in representing Pennsylvania students subject to disciplinary procedures. His expertise in student defense will ensure that your student's academic and career aspirations will be treated with care. When you are faced with consequences ranging from a reprimand to a risk of suspension or expulsion from a school or program, you can call attorney Lento.

Pittsburgh Schools

Whether you are facing the first instance of school disciplinary charges against your child or are navigating the rocky road of a student who has had multiple academic or behavioral issues, you need help and support. In an intimidating environment where you are uncertain how to proceed, you can trust that attorney Joseph D. Lento and his student defense team will provide guidance and defense as needed. Some of the public school districts where they have assisted families with disciplinary proceedings include:

  • Avonworth School District
  • Baldwin-Whitehall School District
  • Bethel Park School District
  • Brentwood Borough School District
  • Carlynton School District
  • Chartiers Valley School District
  • Fox Chapel Area School District
  • Keystone Oaks School District
  • Mt Lebanon School District
  • North Allegheny School District
  • North Hills School District
  • Northgate School District
  • Penn Hills School District
  • Pittsburgh School District
  • Plum Borough School District
  • Shaler Area School District
  • Upper Saint Clair School District
  • West Jefferson Hills School District
  • Wilkinsburg Borough School District
  • Woodland Hills School District

Private elementary and secondary schools have honor codes and administrative procedures that mandate hearings etc., for perceived violations. If you are facing such a situation, you can trust attorney Lento, who specializes in exactly these types of proceedings. He is available to advise and represent you in area schools such as:

  • Abraxas Pittsburgh School
  • Abundant Life Academy
  • ACLD Tillotson School
  • All Saints School
  • Bishop Canevin High School
  • Bishop Leonard-St. Mary Of The Mount Academy
  • Central Catholic High School
  • Christ The Divine Teacher Catholic Academy
  • Community Day School
  • Eden Christian Academy
  • Falk Laboratory School
  • Hillel Academy Pittsburgh
  • Holy Cross Academy
  • Holy Family Academy
  • Holy Family Inst
  • Imani Christian Academy
  • Mother of Mercy Academy
  • Mount Lebanon Montessori
  • Oakland Catholic High School
  • Pace School
  • Pittsburgh New Church School
  • Plea School
  • Pressley Ridge Career Development Center
  • Pressley Ridge Day School - Pittsburgh
  • Pressley Ridge School For Autism
  • Pressley Ridge School For The Deaf Program
  • Sacred Heart Elementary School
  • Seton-la Salle High School
  • Shady Side Academy Country Day School
  • Shady Side Academy Junior School
  • Shady Side Academy Middle School
  • Shady Side Academy Senior School
  • St. Simon & Jude Elementary School
  • St. Bede School
  • St. Benedict The Moor School
  • St. Bernard School
  • St. Edmund's Academy
  • St. John The Baptist School
  • St. Louise De Marillac School
  • St. Philip School
  • St. Rosalia Academy
  • St. Thomas More Elementary School
  • The Bradley Center
  • The Campus School Of Carlow University
  • The Children's Institute of Pittsburgh
  • The Ellis School
  • The Neighborhood Academy
  • The University School
  • Three Rivers Village School
  • Tolatr Academy
  • Trinity Christian School
  • Vincentian Academy
  • Waldorf School Of Pittsburgh
  • Watson Institute Friendship Academy
  • Watson Institute Social Ctr For Academic Achievement
  • Wesley Spectrum High School
  • Western Pennsylvania School For The Deaf
  • Winchester Thurston School

If you or your child are enrolled in one of the following colleges or graduate schools, premier attorney Joseph D. Lento and his team are available to support and defend students against academic or behavioral charges:

  • Art Institute of Pittsburgh
  • Bethany College
  • Bidwell Training Center
  • Butler Community College
  • Byzantine Catholic Seminary
  • California University of Pennsylvania
  • Carlow University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Chatham University
  • Duquesne University
  • Franciscan University
  • Geneva College
  • Grove City College
  • Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • IUP (Northpointe)
  • La Roche University
  • LECOM at Seton Hill
  • Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics
  • Pittsburgh Technical College
  • Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
  • Point Park University
  • PSU Allegheny
  • PSU Beaver
  • PSU Fayette
  • PSU New Kensington
  • Reformed Presbyterian Seminary
  • Robert Morris University
  • Seton Hill University
  • Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
  • St. Vincent College
  • Trinity School for Ministry
  • University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg
  • UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing
  • Washington & Jefferson College
  • Waynesburg University
  • Waynesburg University (Southpointe)
  • West Liberty University
  • West Penn Hospital School of Nursing
  • Westminster College

Student Disciplinary Issues in Pittsburgh and Environs

In an area such as Pittsburgh, where there is much academic excellence, there are also pressures brought to bear that can cause even the best students to veer off course, either in their academic pursuits or their behavioral decision-making. The pandemic has created a unique situation where many students, regardless of their academic prowess, have been unable to meet the challenges of long periods of online coursework. Regardless of the cause, once a student has violated a school honor or behavioral code, they may be subject to sanctions ranging from a simple reprimand to suspension or expulsion.

Students can be brought up on charges of academic dishonesty, including offenses such as plagiarism and cheating. They can also face charges for all types of behavioral violations, including both physical and verbal bullying, sale or abuse of prohibited substances, violations of computer and internet policies, as well as theft or assault. Often, the school needs to be made aware of issues in the student's family or private life that may have impacted or precipitated the student's actions. Winning educational defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will defend a wide variety of behavioral and disciplinary charges, including in some of the particular areas below.

Academic Violations

Most schools have codes of conduct that identify punishable acts of academic dishonesty. At Duquesne University, for example, the Academic Integrity Policy lists and defines actions that are subject to sanction, including all forms of cheating, plagiarism—which includes citation to others' work without proper attribution, improper use of papers and documents, and academic dishonesty or aiding other party's actions along these lines. These offenses, regardless of whether they were committed with intention, are subject to a range of punishments— from a reduction in the student's grade all the way to expulsion from the school and even cancellation of a degree.

It is quite important that academic integrity be maintained at a very high level. Without upholding exacting standards for honesty, school programs would be subject to criticism and would not achieve the level of teaching and learning that underscores the reputation of an educational institution. Nevertheless, school bureaucracy can mishandle the investigation into academic charges, with extremely unjust results. Professors and instructors often address purported infractions at the class level, but more severe allegations are subject to university procedures that can irrevocably impact the student's future. Retaining a specialist such as attorney Joseph D. Lento can help the student defend against charges such as these and also assist in presenting any mitigating circumstances that may be a part of the overall picture.

Satisfactory Academic Progression (SAP)

Different levels of schools have their own levels of achievement measurements, often subject to state mandates. Educational institutions must incorporate their own certification requirements into their academic design. To this end, students must earn sufficient credits, receive satisfactory grades, and comply with requisite minimum coursework. Graduates of a secondary school must achieve state proficiency standards.

Colleges and universities require compliance with satisfactory academic progression (SAP) standards in order to meet federal regulations set out by the U.S. Department of Education. For example, Carnegie Mellon University has both “qualitative and quantitative” requirements for students' coursework and grades, and a student's failure to achieve a certain GPA and to complete the program within 150% of the prescribed time limits will result in a loss of federal financial aid.

Academic institutions and their bureaucracies are susceptible to incorrect calculation of grades, credits, and other errors in inputting student information. In addition, a student can have circumstances in their family or personal life—such as the death of a close relative or serious health issues—that should be brought to the attention of the administrative body that is bringing charges of alleged SAP violation. In a situation where you or your student are facing a failure to academically progress, attorney Lento and his student defense team will use the breadth of their experience and expertise to provide representation and deal with school officials.

School Behavioral Charges

Disciplinary charges can be brought for student actions that violate school codes of behavior. Depending on the institution, sanctions for violative behaviors can run the gamut in terms of severity. At Bethany College, published consequences include warning, probation, deferred or immediate suspension, restitution, community service, and revocation of the student's admission to the college.

The types of behaviors that earn sanctions may include more obvious infractions such as drugs, alcohol, physical harm, computer misuse, stealing, vandalism, etc. However, each educational institution may have more specific prohibitions: Bethany College prohibits hazing, “riotous behavior and hooliganism,” burning without proper permission, entering “false reports,” “obstruction or disruption,” retaliation, and other things. A student facing charges for any of these types of acts will benefit greatly from a seasoned professional such as Joseph D. Lento and his team, who will work to present you or your student's case in the best possible light and make certain that all relevant circumstances are made known to administration officials.

Title IX Sexual Offenses

Title IX provides that federal funding can be withheld to the extent that academic institutions fail to incorporate rules, per federal law, that protect individuals from discrimination based on their sex. Schools tend to make the prohibitions pursuant to Title IX fairly specific, spelling out the elements of what is punishable under their academic codes. Seton Hall's Student Code of Conduct lists sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, dating and domestic violence, and lewdness. If brought up on charges and found guilty of one of these acts, a student may be suspended or expelled.

Unfortunately, educational institutions may sometimes accuse the wrong individual or base a disciplinary proceeding on an incorrect set of facts. A school's investigation may place a student in the position of defending themselves against charges which, if successfully brought, could end that student's academic career and irreparably damage their reputation. Hiring successful student defense attorney Joseph D. Lento and his team will ensure that you or your student are properly defended.

A Specialized Student Defense Attorney, Not a Criminal Lawyer

Facing disciplinary proceedings can be emotionally wrenching but can also have lasting and tragic consequences for a student. Years of hard work and financial investment can be lost. Contact us at 888.535.3686 or reach out to the Lento Law Firm online.

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.

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