Academic institutions have differing standards for disciplinary procedures, and when you or your child are suddenly in a position of defending charges that threaten major consequences, it is crucial to find an attorney-advisor who can guide and defend you. Many circumstances can affect a student's actions and performance in school, including disruptions in home and family, other personal problems, social situations, and stress from intense pressure for grades—among other unforeseeable life events and issues.
A school's response to “unacceptable” actions by a student can include everything from a mild reprimand to expulsion. If you have invested your finances, expectations, and time in an educational institution, some disciplinary proceedings can lead to devastating and unjust results. Noted student defense attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento can help protect the student from these consequences by thoroughly reviewing the sequence of events and making sure that the case facts are presented in the best light for you or your student. Many years of experience around the country and in the Sacramento area have created a wealth of knowledge that attorney-advisor Lento will draw upon in order to refute charges that may be based on inaccurate accounts and unfair portrayals of the incident and the student.
The Sacramento Area
The region of the state capital has strong educational choices and includes such areas as Davis, Rocklin, El Dorado Hills, Folsom, Newcastle, and Roseville. This part of the country may be unfamiliar to some attorneys who have experience in one particular state or limited geographical area. By contrast, attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento and his team have expertly handled disciplinary matters in Sacramento and its surrounding suburbs, but also extensively throughout the United States. Their successful background in student defense will help bring your case to a conclusion that won't deprive you or your student of academic or other opportunities in the future. When facing the imminent threat of a disciplinary hearing, you can place your trust in them.
Sacramento Area Educational Institutions
Attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento and the Lento student defense team will bring their experience to bear in providing an outstanding level of representation for disciplinary matters which arise in colleges, universities, and graduate schools in the Sacramento region. These include, among others:
- Alliant International University
- American River College
- California Northstate University College of Pharmacy
- California School of Professional Psychology
- California State University, Sacramento
- City Seminary of Sacramento
- Cosumnes River College
- DeVry University
- Drexel University Sacramento
- Epic Bible College
- Folsom Lake College
- Fuller Northern California
- Hawkins' School of Performing Arts
- International Academy of Design & Technology – Sacramento
- Lincoln Law School of Sacramento
- Los Rios Community College District
- McGeorge School of Law
- MTI College
- National University (California)
- University of the Pacific (United States)
- Sacramento City College
- University of California - Davis
- University of Sacramento
- University of San Francisco
- San Joaquin Valley College
- Sierra College
- Western Seminary
- William Jessup University
Parents of public school students who are facing issues in kindergarten through twelfth grade should also look to attorney-advisor Lento and the Lento Law Firm student defense team. They will expertly handle disciplinary proceedings for students in school districts such as the following in the Sacramento area:
- Arcohe Union Elementary School District
- Center Unified School District
- Elk Grove Unified School District
- Elverta Joint Elementary School District
- Folsom Cordova Unified School District
- Galt Joint Union Elementary School District
- Galt Joint Union High School District
- Natomas Unified School District
- River Delta Unified School District
- Robla School District
- Roseville Joint Union High School District
- Sacramento City Unified School District
- San Juan Unified School District
- Twin Rivers Unified School District
Private elementary and secondary schools in the Sacramento area can also bring oppressive disciplinary charges against students, potentially levying sanctions that can be quite damaging for their educational options as they progress into high school and beyond. Attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento and his team know how to bring about the positive resolution you need in such situations, in schools such as:
- Sacramento Country Day School
- Applied Scholastics Academy
- Bergamo Montessori School
- Camellia Waldorf School
- Capital Innovations Academy
- READ Academy of Sacramento
- Al-Arqam Islamic School and College Preparatory
- Bradshaw Christian High School
- Capital Christian School
- Christian Brothers High School
- Cornerstone Christian School
- Christo Rey High School
- Jesuit High School
- Sacramento Adventist Academy
- Sacramento Waldorf School
- St. Francis Catholic High School
- Abc School
- Aldar Academy
- Almondale Academy
- Atkinson Youth Services School
- Brookfield School
- Calvary Baptist Church School
- Calvary Christian School
- Courtyard Private School
- Freedom Christian School
- Harvest Academy
- His Christian School
- Korean School of Sacramento
- Land Park Campus
- Merryhill Elementary and Middle School in Midtown
- Merryhill Elementary School Calvine
- Northern California Preparatory
- Odyssey Learning Center
- Point Quest Education
- River Valley School
- Sacramento Makers Academy
- St. Lawrence Catholic School
- St. Michael's Academy
- Sierra School at Eastern
- Slavic Gospel School
- Small Cloud Christian School
- Trinity Christian School
School Defense Issues in Sacramento and its Suburbs
Where there are good schools, there are also complex matters that arise with respect to perceived and alleged misbehavior. Charges can be brought for disparate problems such as grade issues and cheating accusations, substance possession and abuse, weapons, internet and computer behaviors, physical or verbal bullying or harassment, and other types of physical assault. In addition, during the pandemic, many students have struggled through intermittent remote learning periods, which caused these students and their families much stress and created overwhelming—and in some cases—insurmountable obstacles regarding grades, etc.
School teachers and members of the administration have often had unrealistic standards and goals for how students should have “risen to the occasion” during these times, without taking into account the student's family situation and resources, personal issues, and individual challenges. Premier educational defense attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm's student defense team can provide a winning defense strategy for a wide variety of behavioral and disciplinary issues that may have arisen with you or your child during this difficult time, including in some of the particular areas below.
Academic Progress Requirements
Educational institutions hold their students to expectable standards: they must attain passing grades, accumulate credits, and meet baseline academic requirements. In addition to teaching, however, certification is an integral component of most institutions' academic structure. High schools must graduate students that can meet state academic achievement levels. Similarly, institutions of higher education must have their students comply with satisfactory academic progression (SAP) standards.
Sacramento State University's SAP requirement is a helpful model. At Sacramento State, in order to avoid being placed on academic probation and to continue to qualify for financial aid, SAP requires that students pass at least 67% of courses taken (this is the Satisfactory Pace Standard) with grades that meet the minimum requirements for the student's particular academic plan. Unfortunately, educational institutions are apt to make errors in the application of some of their policies. Overburdened professors can incorrectly compute a student's grades or make grade input errors. Similarly, administrators' computation of credits and grade point averages are subject to error. Exceptions to penalties for academic violations can sometimes be made in particular cases, for example, where there is a death in the family or if the student has faced significant medical problems. When SAP charges risk daunting consequences such as the above, or perhaps even dismissal from a program, winning attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento and his team will help you or your student prevail.
Academic Integrity Issues
All types of schools conduct disciplinary hearings and impose sanctions for academic misconduct. The University of California-Davis Code of Academic Conduct has penalties that include “censure, probation, deferred separation, suspension or dismissal from the University of California.” The kinds of behaviors subject to these sanctions include a laundry list of obvious things—looking at another student's test paper, plagiarism, other forms of cheating and dishonesty, but also include actions that many students may not realize are code violations, such as not obeying the instructor's instructions, or unauthorized leaving and re-entering an exam room. Another interesting example is representing prior student work as new work.
Academic fraud and cheating devalue the programs in which students participate. These behaviors prevent the schools from graduating students who meet certification standards for proficiency and damage the educational goals of the program. It is important that cheating and dishonesty be met with serious consequences. However, schools sometimes make mistakes in addressing academic misconduct. They may not identify the correct “culprit” or may mischaracterize allowable work as fraudulent. Because the results can ruin a student's academic reputation, it is critical that if a student is brought up on charges, they are afforded a substantial defense in which the accurate version of events is expertly presented. Attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento will defend you or your student's academic integrity and reputation and end an unjust accusation that might otherwise end in suspension or expulsion.
Accusations of Behavioral Violations
In its Students Rights and Responsibilities Handbook, Sierra College outlines actions that are violative of its policy prohibiting certain behaviors and lists procedures and sanctions that may occur. Proscribed actions can include various types of “disruptive” behavior, all the way from “habitual use of profanity,” gambling, smoking (including tobacco) in prohibited areas, verbal “teasing or name-calling” to offenses such as making video recordings of a person without their permission. On the more extreme end of the scale, punishable behaviors include “any threat of force or violence,” misuse of computers, possession of firearms, possession or sale of controlled substances, and “disorderly, lewd or indecent” conduct, theft, assault, etc.
Resultant disciplinary procedures can end in reprimand, suspension, and expulsion. In such cases, there are risks to students who are wrongly accused—either because the school has misidentified them or has in some way mischaracterized the offense. Additionally, there can be mitigating circumstances that should affect the outcome of the hearing and prevent you or your student from being suspended or expelled. Where such a hearing can end or severely damage an academic career, hiring a premier attorney-advisor such as attorney Joseph D. Lento and his student defense team can make the difference.
Title IX and Sexual Misconduct
Within the behavior and honor codes of most educational institutions are prohibitions of sexual harassment and sex-based discrimination, as required under federal law. Federal funding for schools can be affected if a school does not make and enforce regulations specifically barring and punishing such behaviors pursuant to Title IX. The academic institutions often expand these requirements, adding to prohibitions of harassment offenses such as stalking, sexual blackmail, relationship violence, date rape, sexual battery, and sexual coercion. Students may be suspended or expelled if the school successfully brings charges against them. Yet, such cases may be insufficiently substantiated, improperly brought, or incorrectly investigated by the school, causing injustice to the accused actor. Under these circumstances, failure to mount a competent and appropriate defense can lead to the loss of future opportunities and can negatively impact the student's career. School discipline attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento and his team have the extensive experience you or your student need when facing high stakes such as these.
The Importance of an Expert Attorney-Advisor When Facing School Disciplinary Charges
It is hard to overstate the potential consequences of being expelled from an educational program. In some cases, lifelong dreams of achieving a degree and pursuing a particular professional career or vocation can be lost forever. Even suspensions, reprimands, and other sanctions can potentially impact a student's future educational opportunities. School discipline attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento and his student defense team can provide a successful alternative to an overzealous criminal defense attorney who may be less familiar with the hearing procedures of academic institutions and may not actually benefit you or your student's case. The Lento Law Firm has defended many students in difficult situations and is well-versed in the administrative realm of academia. Call 888.535.3686 or contact the team online as soon as possible if you are facing academic disciplinary charges.