What should I do if I am charged with a code of conduct or disciplinary violation at a college or university in Tennessee? VIDEO

If you're a student or the parent of a student at a college or university in Tennessee, and you or your child is charged with a code of conduct or disciplinary violation, you should not take the matter lightly. Do not make the mistake of believing what some schools would describe as an educational opportunity.

A code of conduct or disciplinary case can have serious potential consequences with respect to academic goals, including internships and graduate school, and professional goals, including employment opportunities. Regardless of when you first learn of the allegations, whether it's from the Office of Student Conduct or from a professor, an athletic coach, the campus police, respectfully declining to discuss the case before taking the necessary precautions is often critical.

You must understand how your school will investigate and adjudicate the case. To do so, you must familiarize yourself with the applicable policies and procedures. All schools will conduct an investigation. Regardless of whether your school will decide responsibility based solely on the investigation, or will do so at a hearing, it is critical to present the strongest possible defense and response.

Notice is an issue at many schools, so you must clearly define the allegations. After doing so, you must present your version of events and support it through all available means including relevant evidence, supporting witnesses, and anything else that would be appropriate to the circumstances.

At schools that decide responsibility at a hearin