logo Ilene Young Law Offices
215 750-9500

Suite 204 ~The Lofts at Oxford Valley
172 Middletown Boulevard
Langhorne, PA 19047

Representing families throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania

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Pennsylvania School Discipline Defense
Providing experienced, effective legal representation of students facing school or college expulsion, suspension, or disciplinary transfer to alternative school


Expulsion Defense

School Discipline that removes a student from his public school for a period of time is called a “disciplinary exclusion.”  A disciplinary exclusion lasting no more than ten days is a suspension; any exclusion over ten days is an expulsion. Both may have serious consequences for public school students. 

Disciplinary exclusion deprives a student of access to coursework and may impede his progress.  For students already struggling with a demanding curriculum, disciplinary exclusion may result in failure.  

Disciplinary exclusion becomes a part of a student’s permanent record and, in some instances, is “reportable” – meaning that a parent is required to tell any future school district about the student’s previous discipline.  Even where the discipline is not “reportable,” college applications specifically ask the student’s district about the disciplinary history of a student, and a record of suspension or expulsion weighs against acceptance, limiting the student’s choices.

Disciplinary exclusion may end eligibility for sports and other extra-curricular activities.  

Just as importantly, unjustly imposed disciplinary exclusion causes a child to lose enthusiasm for education  and lose trust in his teachers and school.

The timeframe for action is short.

Once a school initiates disciplinary action, things move quickly, leaving parents with only a few days to respond.  Frequently, parents discover, after the fact, that their child has been subject to interrogation, confronted by the police, and charged based upon the “statements” of others whose identities are not revealed.  

The student may have been pressured to write a statement, through promises of leniency or other subterfuge.  Parents may be asked to sign an agreement – which is actually a waiver of their rights and an acknowledgement of the accuracy of the charges – to ‘avoid a hearing’.  They may be asked to sign their agreement to a transfer to a “disciplinary school” as the only available alternative. All of this may occur within hours or days of the alleged violation of the school code.

The advice and counsel of an experienced attorney is invaluable.  The earlier that parents receive legal guidance, the better the likely outcome  for their child.

  1. If your child faces serious disciplinary exclusion, it is important to act quickly to protect his future.
  2. The law imposes procedural requirements that school districts must follow. These procedures are intended to ensure fairness.  For certain students – such as those eligible for special education – more stringent protections exist.  Your lawyer will help you navigate these procedures to protect your rights.
  3. In order to be valid, written waivers  must be based on knowledge and clear understanding of the facts.  
  4. Transfer to disciplinary school is not the only available alternative.
  5. School discipline charges frequently result in juvenile justice charges.  Statements or admissions made to school authorities will be communicated to the police.  Certain violations of the school code are required to be reported to the police. 
  6. Students and parents are entitled to lawyers and have the right to communicate with the school district through legal counsel if they choose.
  7. Students - and parents of students - facing expulsion are entitled to clear notice of charges and access to all statements the district intends to use as evidence against them. They have the right to confront their accusers, and cross-examine at hearing.
  8. Students have the right to remain silent and ask for parents or counsel when confronted by school authorities or the police.
  9. Representation by an experienced parents’ attorney knowledgeable about disciplinary procedures is essential in cases of serious discipline – to rescind unknowing waivers, to protect the student’s and parent’s rights, to investigate and defend against charges at hearing, or achieve a settlement which will avoid hearing and the most serious consequences of expulsion.  
  10. The paramount interest is to protect the student’s future.  
Call 215-750-9500 or Email us at:  info@ileneyoung.com
 to schedule an appointment

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All content in this web site is provided for informational purposes only.  Legal services described in this web site are personally provided by Ilene Young, Esquire and associates.   Ilene Young is  admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, ED PA Federal Court , and the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C.   Nothing in this site may be relied upon as legal advice 
Ilene Young Law Offices offers experienced legal representation in school discipline matters.
 Call 215-750-9500 to schedule an appointment or email.
 Ilene Young to Present Bullying Law Seminar at the Philadelphia Bar Association
Philadelphia Bullying Seminar
Ilene Young will present a training seminar for Philadelphia area lawyers and paraprofessionals representing student targets of bullying:  Topics include how to use the law to empower victims, and available legal remedies against school districts who fail to control bullying.  Click for more information.
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Council Rock S.D.:  Parents are awarded private school tuition reimbursement for denial of FAPE. Click to read the decision.
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Centennial S.D.:  Parents are awarded two full years of compensatory education and an independent evaluation due to the District's failure to identify and appropriately program for the child... Click to read the decision
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