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Student Worker Strikes and Student Discipline

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Jul 13, 2022 | 0 Comments

Reports from higher education journals like the widely read Inside Higher Ed document a rise in student worker strikes at college and university campuses. The Inside Higher Ed stories describe strikes at Indiana University and Kenyon College but note a nationwide trend. Graduate student assistants, resident assistants, library helpline workers, and other student workers have used peaceful protests and other public advocacy on and around campus to recruit union members and pressure school administrators toward wage and benefits increases, and other labor concessions. The schools argue that their student relationships are educational rather than vocational or adversarial, but the differing views have fueled the peaceful protests. Questions arise, though, whether the involved students might face school discipline for participating in disruptive strikes and protests.

The Role of Student Conduct Codes

Colleges and universities maintain comprehensive codes regulating student conduct. Those codes do more than prohibit academic misconduct and sexual misconduct. The codes also address student behavioral issues, like drinking, drugging, fighting, and property theft or damage, that can affect and interfere with the school's operations and academic environment. Violating those code provisions can lead to school disciplinary charges. As school employees, student workers can also face school employment issues. If you face student or employee disciplinary charges at your college or university, retain national school discipline defense attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm's student defense team for your winning defense.

Conduct Codes and Peaceful Protests

College and university student conduct codes also address organized group activities that interfere with school operations and the academic environment. The codes commonly prohibit rioting, blocking streets or sidewalks, occupying buildings, damaging or destroying school property, and threatening or intimidating school staff or students. The codes may also prohibit acts of disrespect and insubordination that disrupt the classroom or other educational activities. Notably, the codes also commonly prohibit refusing to follow a university official's lawful instruction. The Code of Conduct at the University of South Carolina is a good example, prohibiting, “Disobeying a directive or command by any university or emergency official in connection with a fire, alarm, or other safety, security, or emergency matter.”

Crossing the Line Toward Discipline

Schools must respect the First Amendment and other rights of students to participate in peaceful strikes and protests. But strikes and protests can intentionally or unintentionally block streets, sidewalks, and access to classrooms and other school buildings. They can also create safety and security hazards that school officials may direct or command participating students to avoid or address. Schools shouldn't be disciplining students for peaceful and lawful strikes and protests. But participating students should also take care not to violate conduct code provisions in ways that endanger or unduly disrupt school operations.

School Discipline Defense Attorney

National school discipline defense attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm's Student Defense Team are available nationwide to defend and defeat school disciplinary charges related to student worker strikes and other peaceful protests. Don't let your lawful participation in organizing and advocacy affect your school record, education, and ambitions. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now to retain Attorney Lento and the Lento Law Firm's Student Defense Team.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients nationwide. Attorney Lento and his team represent students and others in disciplinary cases and various other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Attorney Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand colleges and universities across the United States, and when necessary, he and his team have sought justice on behalf of clients in courts across the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide, and he can help you or your student address any school-related issue or concern anywhere in the United States.

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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.

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