Student Defense Advisor – Raleigh, Durham, Cary

The formative years of primary and secondary school are filled with the education every child needs to succeed upon graduation. Experience-based assignments, standardized tests, and presentations in front of the class train students on the long road toward college and career, and parents are there to support them along the way. Dedicated parents commonly encourage their children through post-doctoral programs. Yet sometimes, challenges arise that parents aren't prepared to handle. Not every parent or caregiver can fight for their child's rights against a vast and burdensome school administration.

The growing pains of adolescence, pressures to succeed, and other extenuating circumstances can cause students to misstep and send their academic livelihood into oblivion. Unfortunately, school disciplinary boards aren't always forgiving. Parents in the Raleigh metropolitan area trust schools to have their children's best interests in mind as they engage in academic rigors, but even well-behaved, trustworthy students are at risk, even with minor infractions. Violations of a school's code of conduct that once merited a holistic approach to redress are now common grounds for suspension or expulsion in institutions with zero-tolerance disciplinary policies.

K-12 schools, colleges or universities, and other educational programs must maintain accreditation and public perception via complex state and federal government regulations. Therefore, sanctions are typically harsh, addressed speedily, and sometimes recklessly.

When a school disciplines your child unfairly, it's imperative to understand that you can retain professional assistance and ensure their education remains intact. Joseph D. Lento has proven experience advocating for students' rights against disciplinary boards that seek only to safeguard the institution's reputation. He and his team at the Lento Law Firm understand the nuances of school discipline defense strategy and have the utmost empathy for diligent students threatened by alleged misconduct.

Raleigh Metropolitan Area

Known as the "Research Triangle," the nine-county region boasts three major, world-renowned research universities filtering top graduates into the region's growing tech community and expansive medical research setting. The innovation-centric section of the "Tar Heel State" may entice influential attorneys to seek rewarding cases argued in front of grand juries. A savvy attorney may sound like a welcome prospect when students are at risk of a separation of studies, but it's a common misconception.

Graduating from one of the premier programs in the Raleigh metropolitan area is a major milestone. Sending an attorney to do the work of a student defense advisor can lead to unnecessary lawsuits against the sanctioning institution. You need an advisor with the ability to negotiate with the school administration to get you back in class and focused on your studies.

Student defense advisor Joseph D. Lento is no stranger to the Raleigh metropolitan area and its suburbs, including:

  • Apex
  • Carrboro
  • Cary
  • Chapel Hill
  • Clayton
  • Durham
  • Fuquay-Varina
  • Garner
  • Henderson
  • Holly Springs
  • Knightdale
  • Mebane
  • Morrisville
  • Wake Forest

Parents and their student children can gain peace of mind when Joseph D. Lento is guiding them through one of the toughest times in their lives. Whether your elementary school son or daughter faces suspension or you're a graduate student disciplined for progression issues, Joseph D. Lento and his team at the Lento Law Firm can help.

Raleigh Metropolitan Area Student Concerns

Students attending one of the hundreds of schools and educational programs in the Raleigh metropolitan area face a myriad of unique circumstances. While teenagers and young adults are presented with challenges related to academic performance and forming peer relationships, they face obstacles of which they are unaware.

Classroom instruction and behavioral guidelines should be applied ubiquitously throughout the school or district. However, teachers, coaches, or administration officials may demand alternative criteria that leave students perplexed about remaining in good standing. Bias and conflict of interest exist in the hallways of the Raleigh metropolitan area's schools, which can quickly escalate when your child is subject to unfair treatment during disciplinary proceedings.

Furthermore, there are funding mechanisms schools rely on, and many from the federal government require supplementary guidelines that must be obeyed but are frequently buried deep in heavy legal verbiage. Parents shouldn't have to hire a professional student defense advisor to make sense of a school's rules governing student behavior, but when your child is threatened with harsh punitive measures like a suspension or expulsion, it's the only way to ensure their academic future is protected.

Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm's student defense team know how to address these particular concerns of Raleigh metropolitan students. Whether the allegations are academic, behavioral, or otherwise, they will shield you from exploitation as a disciplinary statistic.

Raleigh Metropolitan Area Schools

Irrespective of your school's grade, program level, degree concentration, or location in the Raleigh metropolitan area, premier student defense advisor Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm are on hand to help. For example, dependable representation is attainable for students at the following Raleigh metropolitan colleges and universities:

  • Campbell University
  • Duke University
  • Louisburg College
  • Meredith College
  • North Carolina Central University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Shaw University
  • Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • St. Augustine's College
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • William Peace University

Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm's student defense team are available to effectively represent students in K-12 programs in city and county-wide school districts, including:

  • Chapel Hill-Carrboro Community Schools
  • Durham Public Schools
  • Johnston County Schools
  • Orange County Schools
  • Wake County Schools

Students in private elementary and secondary schools across the Raleigh metropolitan area can also retain the help of student defense advisor Joseph D. Lento and his team at the Lento Law Firm, including those attending:

  • Adventist Christian Academy of Raleigh
  • Al-Iman School
  • Atlas International School
  • Cardinal Gibbons High School
  • Cathedral School
  • Chesterbrook Academy Elementary School
  • The Exploris School
  • Friendship Christian School
  • Fusion Academy Raleigh
  • Grace Christian School
  • Longleaf School of the Arts
  • Magellan Charter
  • Montessori School of Raleigh
  • North Raleigh Christian Academy
  • Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School
  • Quest Academy
  • Raleigh Charter High School
  • The Raleigh School
  • Trinity Academy
  • St. David's School
  • St. Timothy's School
  • Wake Early College of Health and Science
  • The Unity School
  • Wake Christian Academy

Disciplinary Defense in the Raleigh Metropolitan Area

How K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and other professional education programs categorize, misconduct varies depending on the school. Each institution has its own core values it must uphold, and the code of conduct—also known as an honor code or student handbook—will outline violations, grievance procedures, and subsequent sanctions. Typically, there are three main types of misconduct:

  • Academic misconduct
  • Non-academic misconduct
  • Title IX and sexual misconduct

Academic Progression Issues

Students are expected to progress in the classroom while enrolled in their respective programs. Some of the reasons why progression is compulsory—apart from graduating—is so institutions maintain accreditation with state education boards and meet federal financial obligations. When federal funding is involved, schools require students to uphold the program's satisfactory academic progress (SAP) policy.

Every school will have a SAP policy in the code of conduct with guidelines for achievement checkpoints throughout the program's duration. For example, Meredith College has minimum thresholds for cumulative grade point average (GPA), passing rates for credit hours attempted, and pace of progress toward graduation. There are also graduation requirements for Raleigh metropolitan area primary and secondary schools like North Raleigh Christian Academy. Typically, these involve standardized test scores and community service requirements.

Violations of SAP guidelines are usually addressed through academic probation, which puts students in stressful situations to improve their grades over as little as one semester. Failure to rise in the academic ranks or an additional probationary period can quickly lead to suspension and expulsion. However, schools sometimes misapply their policies and disregard a student's extenuating circumstances. The trials of adolescence, family emergencies, and the pressure to succeed can send a student down a slippery slope toward demise. At a time when they need a helping hand, a school will consider their own interests before the student's.

Appealing academic discipline is a possible means of redress at any school, but students aren't prepared to negotiate with a school's dean, principal, or academic advisory office. Moreover, parents may not have experience navigating a school's disciplinary procedures. Luckily, Joseph D. Lento can represent you or your child in these matters or coach you to provide a solid argument to defend yourself and defeat academic dismissals.

Academic Misconduct Issues

Academic integrity is a cornerstone of any educational program. Schools in the Raleigh metropolitan include in their codes of conduct various rules prohibiting dishonesty, like those at Ligon Middle School, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Duke University. These include but are not limited to:

  • Cheating: The wrongful use or use of unauthorized materials to gain an unfair academic advantage.
  • Failure to Progress: a lack of completed assignments, low test scores, or unsatisfactory involvement in the educational process.
  • Falsification: Communicating false statements or misrepresentations to gain an unfair academic advantage.
  • Plagiarism: Reckless disregard for established scholarly procedures and failing to provide appropriate credit to the source.

Academic dishonesty undermines the goal of instruction, and institutions rightfully punish those who subvert school policy. However, disciplinary boards may act excessively or on unsubstantiated information. If a student is reprimanded for academic misconduct, it will remain on their record throughout their educational career. It may hinder their abilities to apply to college, enroll in graduate programs, and even keep them from getting a job in extreme circumstances.

Non-Academic Misconduct Issues

Institutions are tasked with maintaining an orderly academic and social environment on campus and in any school-sponsored events. While violent acts, attendance issues, and violating substance abuse policies will likely lead to suspension or expulsion, any action that disrupts the learning atmosphere will garner correction.

For example, North Carolina State University has policies prohibiting various items and behaviors. Students may be charged with misconduct if they engage in:

  • Computer and Network Abuse: Misappropriation of university information technology resources.
  • Creating a Safety Hazard: Any act intentionally or recklessly creating a safety hazard.
  • Disorderly Conduct: Engaging in the disruption of the learning environment, university-sponsored activity, or authorized non-university activity.
  • Disruption of the Student Conduct Process: Attempting to discourage an individual's participation in or use of the university conduct system or attempting to influence the impartiality of grievance procedure personnel.
  • Failure to Comply: Failing to fulfill the directions of university employees.
  • Theft: Stealing or attempting to steal property or knowingly possessing, purchasing, or exchanging stolen or embezzled property.
  • Trespassing: Intruding upon, forcibly entering, or proceeding into unauthorized areas of university premises.
  • Unauthorized Use of Property: Attempted or actual use of North Carolina State University property without authorization or in a manner for which the property was not intended.
  • Weapons: Illegal or unauthorized possession of weapons or explosive devices on the university premises, at university-sponsored activities, or possession in any manner that harms, threatens, or causes fear to others.

Although many unauthorized actions are prohibited in schools, administration officials may mischaracterize students. Non-academic misconduct charges can ruin a student's reputation and brand them a delinquent, thus closing the doors to further education goals and dream careers.

Title IX and Sexual Misconduct

Title IX regulations compel schools receiving federal funding to swiftly and harshly address instances of sexual misconduct. Every school, from elementary to doctoral programs, will have a Title IX coordinator that oversees the grievance process and its investigative, hearing, and sanctioning stages.

According to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and its Title IX policy, the following are also violations:

  • Dating Violence: Violence committed by the accused (respondent) who has been in a social or romantic relationship with the accuser (complainant), wherein the determination is based on the length, type, and frequency of interaction of the relationship.
  • Discrimination: Inconsistent treatment of a person with "protected status" limiting their access to education.
  • Domestic Violence: Felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the complainant, a person with whom the complainant shares a child, a person who is or has cohabitated with the complainant, or against a person protected under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime occurred.
  • Retaliation: Intimidation, threats, coercion, or unfavorable actions against a person due to good faith reporting of misconduct.
  • Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome sexual conduct determined to be severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive, which denies a person equal access to education.
  • Stalking: Engaging in a sex-based course of conduct directed at a specific person causing fear or substantial emotional distress.

K-12 programs are also governed through Title IX regulations. While they are similar to those colleges and universities use, the process differs slightly. For instance, like all primary and secondary schools, the Montessori School of Raleigh has optional live hearings and parental involvement in proceedings.

How a Professional Student Defense Advisor Can Help You

You may believe hiring a local attorney is your best option to protect your child's chance to graduate high school or your only opportunity to fight remediation requirements in graduate programs. However, attorneys typically begin their defense by threatening expensive lawsuits against the school. While a formal suit is a possible course of action, litigation is rarely necessary. Moreover, courtroom competency fails to translate into the finesse needed to negotiate with school administration officials.

The goal for students and their supportive parents should be prompt and stress-free relief from unfair disciplinary action, not complex legal proceedings. Joseph D. Lento has built and maintained relationships with members of many schools' Office of General Counsel (OGC) in an effort to broker beneficial resolutions on behalf of students outside formal hearings. Even if you cannot have representation present with you during the grievance process, he and the Lento Law Firm can endow you with the knowledge and techniques to defend yourself against severe punishments.

When you retain student defense advisor Joseph D. Lento, you're equipped with the best available school discipline representation. Call 888-535-3686 today or visit the confidential online consultation form.

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.