Advocacy Tips – Preventing and Responding to Student Discipline

Note: This information is from our manual, Discipline in Public Schools.

Here are some quick tips for trying to prevent problems, and for responding if your child does get in trouble.

  • Review and talk about the school rules with your child;
  • Ask for a meeting with the teacher and principal if your child starts to get in trouble frequently;
  • Read all discipline notices carefully, look for information about your right to have an informal conference, or a discipline hearing;
  • If you want to challenge a long-term suspension or expulsion, remember to request the hearing right away;
  • Watch for information about the educational services the school will provide during a suspension or expulsion;
  • Get in touch with the contact person for the educational services and share information about your child's particular needs and situation;
  • If your child might face criminal charges in addition to school discipline, talk with a lawyer as soon as possible;
  • If your child is suspended long-term or expelled, watch for an invitation to a Re-engagement Meeting, or contact the school to get one scheduled as soon as possible;
  • Talk with the school about a plan to get your child back to a school setting as soon as possible;
  • Work with your child and the school on a Re-engagement plan;
  • Put together a Petition for Readmission to get your child back to a school setting as soon as possible;
  • If your child has an IEP or a Section 504 plan, check for information about the additional protections they have when they face school discipline (in addition to all of the rights and protections explained in this general guide on student discipline).