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  1. #1
    LoriLu05 is offline Junior Member
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    Angry My son is being expelled from high school.

    What is the name of your state? Missouri

    Here's the situation.

    At the beginning of the school year, my son was a discipline problem. We had some issues with drugs and hanging with the wrong crowd. Long story short, he served in-school suspensions for tardies, falling asleep in class, and having his cell phone in class. He also served a couple of out school suspensions, one 10-day suspension from coming to a football game under the influence and another one-day out of school suspension for having too many in-school suspensions.

    However, since December my son has made a complete turn around. He has brought his grades up and has been paying attention in class, etc. He has stayed out of trouble up until last week. A classmate of his, a boy that repeatedly stirs up trouble, mouths off to everybody, basically this boy sent a message to my nephew on MySpace saying he was going to slit his throat. This was all over a girl. My son was not involved in any of this until my nephew, who is like a brother to my son, told him about the threat. My son then told this boy that if he tried to touch my nephew he would kick is butt. This was all done off school grounds.

    This boy, the troublemaker, went to school the following day and proceeded to tell the principal that my son had threatened to beat him up at school. My son was pulled out of class by the principal and confronted about this. My son defended himself and said he never intended to do anything to this boy. He told them this boy threatened to slit my nephew's throat and that is what caused this whole situation.

    The principal let me son go back to class. My son was angry and because he has ADHD and has an impulse control problem, he proceeded to say something nasty about the boy -- foul language was used. Of course, this got back to the principal who then suspended my son for three days and said he was going to recommend my son be expelled because of all his issues from the beginning of the year.

    When asked what they were doing about the death threat the other boy made, I was told that they could not discuss it with me. However, the boy has not been suspended, expelled, or even discplined in anyway. The threat was not reported to the police by the principal which I thought by law they are required to do. This boy is receiving preferential treatment because his father died in October and they are letting him get by with a lot.

    This same boy approached my son's girlfriend at school yesterday and called her a f--ing whore and said he hopes she drops dead. She went to the principal to report him and was told by the principal "I'm tired of dealing with you guys and I'm not going to do it today."

    So I'm really upset. I want to know what my legal standing is here. I cannot have my 15 year old son expelled from school. He needs to be in school. I feel he is being unjustly expelled. I have told the superintendent and the principal that I fully accept the three-day out of school suspension for my son's actions, but that they should consider what led up to my son saying what he did. I also feel that they should be addressing this very serious threat this boy made against my nephew especially in light of all the school shootings and violence happening everyday. And yet, they are sweeping it under the carpet. I have half a mind to contact the media about this. But before I do anything like that, I want to know if I should get an attorney and what happens next.

    Thanks!
  2. #2
    >Charlotte< is offline Senior Member
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    I agree that the boy who made the MySpace threat should be disciplined and held accountable for his actions.

    Unfortunately, that has no bearing on the acts committed by your son. The reasons for your sons actions don't excuse them, and the decision to expel him is, apparently, a result of the totality of his unacceptable behavior since the beginning of the year. He could have responded to the threat made against your nephew more appropriately. The fact that he took it upon himself to threaten the boy with violence justifies the expulsion.
  3. #3
    LoriLu05 is offline Junior Member
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    I agree with you that it has no bearing on my son's situation. However, my son did not threaten the boy with violence on school grounds. What he is being expelled for is saying that the boy who made the threat "has a vagina." Excuse my vulgarity, but that is what he is being punished for. Not for threatening to beat up the boy but for saying that which is just ridiculous. The superintendent flat out told my son and myself that it was only concerned with what happens on school grounds.

    I have another question, aren't the administration be required to report a threat against another students life to the authorities? Even if they aren't required to, shouldn't they want to head off any violence in light of all the school shootings that are happening all over the country?

    It scares me that they are trying to keep it quiet.
  4. #4
    >Charlotte< is offline Senior Member
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    Okay, your son threatened him with violence off school grounds and then verbally harrassed him on school grounds.

    I don't know the answer to your question about what the administrators are required to do about the other boy. Perhaps because the threat to your nephew was made "off school grounds" they are not required to do anything. The fact that your son was allowed to return to class after admitting he threatened the other boy--off school grounds--and was subsequently expelled when he made the comment on school grounds seems noteworthy.

    Your nephew's parents can certainly pursue private recourse.

    And it should be pointed out that they are not necessarily trying to "keep it quiet." You would probably not be made aware of any action they may be currently taking with regard to what he has said and done.
  5. #5
    Perky is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LoriLu05 View Post
    So I'm really upset. I want to know what my legal standing is here. I cannot have my 15 year old son expelled from school. He needs to be in school. I feel he is being unjustly expelled. I have told the superintendent and the principal that I fully accept the three-day out of school suspension for my son's actions, but that they should consider what led up to my son saying what he did. I also feel that they should be addressing this very serious threat this boy made against my nephew especially in light of all the school shootings and violence happening everyday. And yet, they are sweeping it under the carpet. I have half a mind to contact the media about this. But before I do anything like that, I want to know if I should get an attorney and what happens next.
    You can hire an attorney and ask the school district for a due process hearing. If your son has an IEP or 504 because of his ADHD, you may have a better chance of avoiding the explusion. Has your son seen a therapist for his problems? Any action on your part to improve your son's behavior may also influence the outcome of the hearing. Has the district suggested an alternative placement for your son?

    Realistically, your son may still be expelled. It sounds like he was a disciplinary nightmare for the first half of the school year, and his behavior turnaround was short-lived, at least according to the school's perspective.
  6. #6
    LoriLu05 is offline Junior Member
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    Yes, he was a nightmare. Practically speaking, I understand the where the school administration is coming from. I'm just reacting with emotion because it's my child. He just has been trying so hard and I hate to see this one incident undo everything he's been trying to do in the last few weeks.

    The superintendent is supposed to be sending me information about something called "alternative school" which are basically night classes for English, History - core classes. He also told me my son will only be expelled until the end of the semester and he will be able to go to summer school and return in the fall.

    Can I enroll my son in another school district? There is another school district 7 miles down the road, will they allow me to enroll my son? Can I homeschool him until next fall and catch him up on everything he misses?

    I've never faced any of this before and I have no idea what the legalities are as far as homeschool, expulsion, and re-enrollment in another district.
  7. #7
    las365 is offline Senior Member
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    I am not a lawyer or a teacher or a parent, so basically, I know nothing! Yet, I am going to offer you my two cents.

    The gut emotional reaction to your son being expelled is that you have to make sure that doesn't happen, it means failure, it's on his "permanent record," it's a horrible thing. Step back and take a deep breath.

    You cannot control the principal or the school board. It will only make you more anxious and angry to try to control something that you cannot control.

    Perhaps a break from the public school system and the pressure he is under in it will be a very good thing for your son. That structure is not the best thing for every student. The alternative schools are a good option, especially if you approach them in a positive way. They may work best as a temporary solution, or it may turn out that your son thrives when he is able to do things in a different way.

    Since the classes are in the evening, it would be a good opportunity for your son to get a part-time job during the day (with limited hours so he can still focus on his studies). That would help ground him in reality, let him know the satisfaction of earning his own money, and keep him in a situation where there are rules to be followed and expectations to be met.

    This is not the end of the world! I believe that you and your son can make it work to his advantage. Best of luck to you both. (By the way, try to keep him away from Myspace. That whole place is bad for kids, in my opinion.)
    Last edited by las365; 02-24-2008 at 01:53 PM.
  8. #8
    Perky is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by las365 View Post
    Perhaps a break from the public school system and the pressure he is under in it will be a very good thing for your son. That structure is not the best thing for every student. The alternative schools are a good option, especially if you approach them in a positive way. They may work best as a temporary solution, or it may turn out that your son thrives when he is able to do things in a different way.

    This is not the end of the world! I believe that you and your son can make it work to his advantage. Best of luck to you both. (By the way, try to keep him away from Myspace. That whole place is bad for kids, in my opinion.)
    Good advice, las! In addition, this may be a good opportunity for your son to drop out of the social circle that promoted his previous bad behavior.

    The alternative school may not provide a different way of learning, since that is often the term for schools trained to deal with extremely disruptive students; however, since the classes are in the evening, it may be the equivalent of GED classes. Your son may come to better appreciate the opportunities he has at his high school after attending night classes with drop-outs!

    It's also good news that he can re-enroll next fall. Academically, he will not have lost much, if anything. You can homeschool if you wish, but I think it's better for your son to attend the night classes for the rest of the semester, and summer school as well. If you can add to his learning at home, that's great.

    I doubt that the other district will allow your son to enroll. Most, if not all, districts have residency requirements that would prevent you from enrolling him.

    So, as las365 suggested, "Step back and take a deep breath." You and your son will survive, and perhaps even thrive! Things will work out.

    Good luck
  9. #9
    GaAtty is offline Member
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    GaAtty

    First, you do not mention whether or not your son has an IEP or Section 504 plan. If he does not, he needs to. Probably he needs an IEP, and in the IEP should be a behavior intervention plan, otherwise known as a BIP. You need to call an IEP meeting NOW to go over his BIP, and if there is not one, to make one. If he has a BIP and some of his impulsive, ADHD behavior is mentioned in there, it would help him in the future not be expelled. If he had a BIP plan eariler when he was doing all that poor behavior, it was not working and you needed then to call an IEP meeting to further address what could be done about his behavior.

    Regarding what the other kid said to your nephew or whether the other kid was punished, you really don't know that. However, since you are not the parent of that child or the girlfriend, you cannot take any action on that matter. The school may have turned the action over to juvenile court, but you would not know it because they are required to keep juvenile matters confidential. Don't be so concerned about the other kids. Yours is far from perfect, and you need to focus on him.

    Your child may be suspended or expelled, but before he is, he is entitled to a full disciplinary hearing, and that can be appealed, then he must have a manifestation determination hearing to determine that the behavior was not one due to his disability. In other words, there are many steps to expelling a student with an IEP.
  10. #10
    LoriLu05 is offline Junior Member
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    I have been trying, unsuccessfully, for the last two months to get an IEP established for my son. However, the counselor in charge of that for the school district, has basically stonewalled me. First, she said she couldn't do anything until she had an official diagnosis. The psychiatrist who diagnosed my son faxed her paperwork and I didn't hear from her. I called her office repeatedly and was told she was out of the office on almost every occasion. I left messages that were not returned.

    When ADHD was first brought up to the principal and vice-principal of my son's school, I was told by the vice-principal that he didn't believe my son had a learning disability and that he was simply a discipline problem. It's my opinion that this was conveyed to the LD counselor and she is not returning my calls for that reason.

    The superintendent is not calling what they are doing with my son an expulsion. He is calling it a long-term suspension and therefore not required to get the school board's approval. So basically my son and I will not get our hearing in front of the school board.

    So where does that leave me now?
  11. #11
    Perky is offline Senior Member
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    Was your son diagnosed 2 months ago, or longer? Is he on medication? Did the psychiatrist diagnose a learning disability too?
  12. #12
    Perky is offline Senior Member
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    Actually, in rereading your original post, I see that your son has been doing better in school. Knowing that, it is possible that the school already held a preliminary meeting (a CST meeting in my area) to evaluate the need for interventions that MAY lead to an IEP. Since your son's academic and behavioral performance had improved, it is also likely that is was determined that no interventions were necessary at that time. The school should have informed you of that however.

    An IEP is not something that can be obtained simply by request. The school's child study team evaluates the need for it based on the student's performance in school. Before the determination for an IEP is made, the CST and teachers must implement a range of interventions to aid the student. If the interventions don't work, then the team will recommend testing. The whole process may take 4 or 5 months or even longer.

    An outside diagnosis, as your son has, can speed the process quite a bit. However, since your son's performance improved, it would appear that he doesn't need an IEP.

    I think you should contact an attorney to help with this, or resign yourself to sending your son to the alternative school until the end of the school year. It's only 3 more months.
  13. #13
    LoriLu05 is offline Junior Member
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    Well, I have resigned myself and you're right it is only 3 more months. I've gotten over the initially outrage and upset.

    As far as my son's diagnosis of ADHD, he was diagnosed in November 2007. He started out on Concerta, but my son had a bad reaction to it, so we are on to Adderall. Regardless, I don't feel I've gotten much support from the school at all. The vice-principal made up his mind about my son after the first disciplinary incident and he has refused to entertain the idea of a learning/behavioral disability affecting my son's behavior. He prefers to continually suspend him.

    Well, it's all irrevelant. My son is out until the end of the semester and that's that. I think the school has done a pretty good job of leaving me no recourse.

    Anyway, thanks for all the advice. From all the input I got here, I am definitely going to hound the school until I get them to acknowledge my son's learning disability and get an IEP in place before next fall.
  14. #14
    Perky is offline Senior Member
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    Good luck, Lori. I hope your son can make a fresh start next fall.

    I might suggest that you try to meet with the principal before the school year starts, just to let him know how your son is doing (if he is doing well). It may help the staff to keep an open mind about your son, if you can have a positive meeting with him.

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