A recent case coming out of Virginia Tech clearly illustrates that schools don't protect your rights — and it's crucial to work quickly if you're facing a misconduct dispute.
A Virginia Tech student recently accused of cheating filed a lawsuit against the school to overturn unfair punitive measures. The student has argued that Virginia Tech's policies regarding student use of online resources are unclear — particularly in the midst of the pandemic and sudden remote education.
The school, on the other hand, alleged that the student's use of a particular online homework help program violated the school's academic honor policy.
The student was slapped with a failing grade and a notation of academic misconduct on his student record. While this may not seem like a sanction worth suing over, the long-term ramifications of such a notation are anything but trivial.
Don't Wait Until It's Time to Sue: Speak with an Advisor Early to See Needed Results
While your school may state that it has fair processes in place to ensure satisfactory adjudications, that may be far from the case. After the student in this case received allegations of misconduct and made it clear that he wanted to contest them, the school agreed to move forward with due process. The school then took ten months to schedule a hearing.
In the meantime, potentially irreparable damage was done to the student's reputation and immediate academic plans.
Even after almost a year of delay, the student contends that he was denied a fair hearing since a key witness (the student's professor, who had filed the allegation) did not appear at the proceedings. The student argued, in his lawsuit, that this made it impossible to determine what really occurred.
The student and Virginia Tech were able to resolve the case to mutual satisfaction. However, had the student not been able to file a successful suit, the student would have had to retake a critical class, postpone his graduation, and deal with the long-term effects of a disciplinary event on his record.
If you're in a similar situation, know that you shouldn't wait until it's time to follow a lawsuit to reach out to a national student defense attorney. You shouldn't have to put up with months-long delays or insufficient ability to defend yourself at delayed hearings. Your school may not respect your rights on its own, unfortunately.
It's vital to reach out to someone who will.
College Students, Reach Out to Attorney Joseph D. Lento as Early As You Can to Tackle Academic Misconduct Successfully
Joseph D. Lento has spent years practicing as a successful nationwide student defense attorney. If you're a student or parent of a student in need of strategic defense, assistance with tense school negotiations, or even assistance with a lawsuit, turn to attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm for the timely support you seek.
Reach out to Attorney Lento and his expert team at the Lento Law Firm today at 888.535.3686, or contact our team online for more information.