Student Disciplinary Hearings

What is a school disciplinary hearing?

A student who has been accused of violating the rules and regulations set by his or her school may be subject to discipline in one of two ways: through an administrative hearing before a school board or through a formal judicial proceeding known as a “disciplinary hearing”. The purpose of this type of hearing is not only to determine whether there was sufficient evidence for the accusation against you but also to provide you with procedural protections that are required by law. 

Should I waive the student disciplinary hearing? 

No! The Georgia Department of Education has created regulations for student disciplinary hearings, which are designed to protect students from unfair treatment by schools and teachers.  While most school officials mean well, they often fail to take into account all relevant facts before making decisions regarding student disciplinary matters. School officials can also fail to follow procedures correctly, misinterpret facts, misapply policies, and something they act even out of malice rather than good judgment. These mistakes can lead to unfair punishment for students and even wrongful convictions. In some cases, an error may even lead to criminal charges against the person responsible. The courts will usually not interfere school disciplinary decisions except where it appears that the school officials acted arbitrarily or capriciously. 

Having a hearing ensures that the student's procedural rights will be protected and the hearing officer will have all of the relevant information before making a decision.  Moving forward with a hearing also gives the student a chance to recommend an appropriate consequence instead of having the hearing officer default to the school official's recommendation.


Do I need hire a lawyer to represent my child?

Even in the most straightforward cases, it is important to know what steps must be taken before a decision is made about your child to ensure that your child is treated fairly and equitably.  Students must be given notice of the charges against them, allowed to review any evidence that the school intends to present at the hearing, allowed to present their own evidence and witnesses. If your child is being disciplined by their school, it’s important that they be represented by an attorney who understands how these hearings work and who is able to advocate for their best interests.

If you believe that your child was treated unfairly, we can help. Our attorneys have extensive knowledge about how to handle cases involving school discipline hearings and are ready to help.

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