What can be done?
While it may not be explicitly known to you as parents and students, when children attend school, be it public or private, you and your child are often agreeing to abide by a specific code of conduct. There are times this code of conduct is physically provided, other times you are simply informed it exists on a website and the school will rely upon the parent or child to become familiar with said code, knowing that it is unlikely it will ever be gone over with a fine-tooth comb.
Equally unlikely, is that you will ever need to actually review the code of conduct. In the also unexpected event that your child is suspended, or even worse, subject to expulsion, the processes and procedures outlined in the code can mean the difference between a short, and possibly warranted, interruption in a child’s education and starting down a path that could have disastrous effects on that child’s future.
While principals, school boards, and superintendents in Florida have broad discretion when disciplining students, the provisions contained in Florida Statutes 1006.07 – 1006.1493, the Florida School Safety Code, dictate the areas where there is no discretion.
Examples of when a suspension is mandatory include but are not limited to the following:
- Possession or distribution of narcotics or alcohol
- Possession of a firearm
- Threats against the school
- Domestic violence
- False accusations
- Gang activity
A suspension may escalate into an expulsion, and if this happens, there is a limited window of time during which you may respond and effectively tell your side of the story, and your child’s side of a story. After a decision is made by the superintendent, if a parent delays in contacting an attorney, the next step could be dealing with the appropriate Florida District Court of Appeals, which will cost upwards of tens of thousands of dollars to address.
If your child has been suspended from school and is facing a possible expulsion, please contact the attorneys at McNary Powers, PLLC. Time is of the essence.