How to Protect Your Child’s Future When Accused of Assault in High School
School fights on the playground or in the hallways are common among students, but schools are no longer tolerant of this behavior. The fear of lawsuits has made them more sensitive about fighting and assaults among students. Schools now impose severe discipline on these infractions that could lead to suspension, expulsion, and other legal consequences. As a parent, you must take immediate action to protect your child’s interests if they’re accused of assaulting another student.
One way to protect your child’s future is by hiring an experienced attorney-advisor who can guide you through the disciplinary process. Attorney Todd Spodek has extensive experience dealing with severe disciplinary infractions like assault in high school students nationwide. By retaining his services, you’ll have access to key information that will help you navigate these charges successfully.
What is Assault?
Fighting between students seems harmless, but the term “assault” carries much more weight because it signifies a crime. However, defining what constitutes assault varies from state-to-state and among schools. In many states, it means attempting to hit someone else with an intent to cause injury even if the attempt is unsuccessful. However, some states only define it as a crime if the victim is injured in the incident.
Assaults might include:
– Two or more students fighting
– Hitting or pushing another student
– Lunging at another student with intent to hurt
– Throwing foreign objects at others
– Attempting to hit another student (with unsuccessful attempts included)
– Making another student feel like a physical attack is imminent.
It’s crucial for parents to understand how their child’s school defines situations related to assault for better outcomes when resolving cases involving such accusations.
Ramifications of Assaulting a Student
Every school has its own set policies and procedures for dealing with violent altercations between students. Minor instances won’t likely warrant any serious punishment apart from a lesser form of disciplinary action. However, instances that lead to injuries, repeated fighting, or an unprovoked attack will almost always be dealt with severely. Suspensions are common with such incidents and expulsion is also a possibility. In severe cases, civil lawsuits might follow.
How Your Child May Be Accused of Assaulting Another Student
Assault accusations aren’t one-dimensional because high school interactions between students can be complex, and there may be various underlying reasons for violence. It’s easier to wrongly or unfairly accuse students of assault in such instances. For instance:
– Mutual Combat: When two students fight without properly examining who instigated the fight.
– Stopping Attack: When a student tries to stop an ongoing attack.
– Defending Another Student From an Attack: if your child attempts to intervene in an assault against another student.
– Misunderstood Actions: A sudden movement may have been incorrectly interpreted as an attempted assault
– Provocation: Egging on a student could result in reactive aggression even if they didn’t intend to cause harm
– Bullying: some students may resort to standing up to bullies.
Expectations After Accusation
Every high school has its own policies and procedures for dealing with violent altercations between students, but most generally follow similar protocols such as;
1. Physically stopping the altercation by separating or detaining the students involved.
2. Communication with parents right after the incident.
3. Conducting a comprehensive investigation into what happened by questioning witnesses and reviewing any applicable evidence.
4. Meeting parents and possibly called in the accused student(s) involved for deliberation about case incident.
5. Determining appropriate discipline after analyzing the entire investigative process.
The implicated parties have grounds for appealing any judgment before it becomes final though there’s usually a limited window of opportunity sometimes only lasting 1-2 days.
Disciplinary measures for assaulting fellow students vary widely from schools. Serious penalties involving suspension or expulsion are usually decided quickly, impacting the accused student well into the future. Short-term possibilities for disciplinary action could include immediate temporary suspension pending investigations, and formal suspension up to the end of a term. Expulsion may follow in serious cases.
Long-term implications may impact your child’s school record adversely or even raise difficulties enrolling them in other schools or gaining acceptance to college. The features could limit your child’s future employment prospects, as some organizations may be reluctant to hire students expelled from schools. Possible criminal convictions with additional penalties and civil lawsuits claiming financial damages might result.
Can I Expect Response Time Before Discipline Is Delivered?
Most high schools will confer with implicated children and their parents before being handed punishment (especially for severe cases like assaults) which allows you and your child to give context and share their side of the story. However, response times to such allegations are limited, potentially lasting only a day or somaking it imperative that you reach out to an attorney-advisor sooner for better outcomes.
Negotiating Alternative Punishment
A skilled attorney-advisor can work with school management teams to find alternative forms of punishment should you need leniency. Emphasizing the following can sway judgements:
– Your child was defending themselves
– Misinterpretation: Demonstrating that this was an isolated incident that won’t happen again.
– Guilty Party: Asserting who precisely instigated the fight
– Counseling: Agreeing to submit your child for recommended counselling therapy
– Safety Assurance: ensuring that your child doesn’t pose any further risk to others highlighting how much they’ve learned from the experience.
How an Attorney Advisor Can Help Minimize Damage Control
Todd Spodek has extensive experience providing advisory roles across several high school disciplines nationwide regarding anything violent incidents like assaults amongst many others’ legal issues concerning high school students. He familiarizes himself with policies across schools and states to prepare adequately for hearings, even gathering evidence that helps build your child’s case. Attorney Spodek advises best practices to improve better chances of favorable decisions with the school while also providing a sense of accountability to ensure justice is served fairly.
What Steps Should I Take If My Child is Accused of Assaulting Another Student?
If your child has been accused of assaulting another student upholding the following steps is recommended;
1. Document the details about the alleged incident promptly.
2. Learn school rules, policies, and penalties about assault
3. Hasten to acquire attorney-advisor services like Todd Spodek’s who has extensive experience navigating potential severe disciplinary infractions like this.
A single accusation about assault can adversely impact your child’s academic and professional future. Still, prompt action through engaging an experienced attorney advisor early might be able to help minimize damage control possibilities to provide some hope for offenders looking forward past such incidents faster.