School Suspensions and Disciplinary Proceedings
The prospect of a suspension, expulsion or other disciplinary proceeding involving your child is a nightmare for most families. The outcome of any academic disciplinary issues can have a dramatic impact on your child's future opportunities. Education opportunities, financial assistance, employment prospects, and your child's overall future may very well depend on the outcome of these hearings.
When considering the implications of school disciplinary matters, I find it difficult to escape the irony which the process entails. That is, we send our children to school on the premise that they are not yet fully formed individuals. Consequently, it follows that they should be nurtured and guided in an environment in which it is safe to make mistakes as a function of growth and learning. But when initiating a disciplinary action, the same educational systems in which we entrust the formation of our children's growth and ultimate citizenship become the architects of decisions and judgments which serve to punish our children for mistakes unique to our youth, with consequences that haunt them well into their adulthood.
In handling your child's school disciplinary matter, my team recognizes that your child's life should not be defined by a single event or youthful mistake. Instead, we believe that children must be treated with kindness, compassion and understanding, and given the opportunity to flourish based on their potential -- unfettered by the artificial restraint created by a disproportionate response to a youthful behavior issue.
At Erkan & Associates, LLC we believe that the privilege of representing the interests of children must begin from a perspective of kindness, compassion, and commitment to the redemptive qualities of youth.
A path to securing your child's future.
We pride ourselves in our team based approach to student issues. Beginning with our first meeting, the student, family, and attorneys will join together to have an honest, open discussion about the issues that are occurring in school. We will clear up the mystery and uncertainty surrounding the manner in which these hearings are conducted. Importantly, we will help you to understand and actualize your child's rights to a full and fair determination of the issue.
Once we have a comprehensive understanding of the factual issue giving rise to the complaint, we will utilize available administrative procedures to obtain the statements, documents and supporting documentation which set forth the facts of the case from the school's perspective. With a clear understanding of the school's version of events. informed by your child's perspective, we can develop the outlines of an effective strategy designed to protect your child.
The school officials who are in charge of presenting claims against your children are neither police nor lawyers. As a result, it is not uncommon that the official complaint will rely upon flawed factual inferences or conclusions, or misinterpretation of the student handbook or bylaws. In these circumstances, a skilled attorney can highlight untrustworthy or speculative evidence to cast doubt on the factual predicate underlying the claim of misconduct. Alternatively, by applying principles of legal interpretation, an observant attorney can often persuade school officials that the alleged misconduct does not constitute a violation of school rules or does not otherwise merit sanction.
Finally, our attorneys are aware that the most advisable strategy may involve conciliation and negotiation with school officials. In this regard, the correct strategy often involves mitigating the alleged misconduct and shifting focus to your child's positive traits, accomplishments and characteristics. A conciliatory approach, combined with an offer of sensible alternatives to punishment may lead to a productive outcome of the disciplinary hearing which will avoid the lasting consequences of suspension or expulsion. In that regard, our attorneys are experts in developing and advocating for strategies to adjust or account for behavior which the school may perceive as problematic, in a manner which helps the school feel comfortable that its concerns can be adequately addressed without causing undue or disproportionate harm to the future of a child.
If your child is facing disciplinary proceedings, your child's future is hanging in the balance, and there is not much time to respond. As a result, contacting our team right away is a vital first step in protecting your child's future.