Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
HelloMy name is XXXXX XXXXX I look forward to discussing this and providing information to you in this regardSo please tell me, the police have an ongoing investigation at this time?
As far as I know, the investigation is over. My daughter has been suspended from school based on that investigation.
My husband and I were in GA (we live in VA) for his grandmothers funeral. My daughter was questioned by both the police and the school principal without her parents. Is this legal?
It is legal for them to question her because she was not placed under arrest
However, they should have told her she had a right to call a parent
As to the tape, it is the school's property and the only way you could obtain it would be if you file a lawsuit against the school
and then subpoenaed the tapes
When I spoke to the principal Friday, I specifically told him she was not to be questioned without me or my husband present. She was at home that day, and my daughter (the one involved in the fight) and also my adult daughter with whom she was staying received numerous calls from the school demanding that my daughter be brought to school for questioning. After many harassing calls, my older daughter finally relented and took my younger daughter to school for questioning. Does the principal have the right to disregard my request that she not be questioned without parental consent or presence?
Well, the parent have no legal obligation to take the child anywhere without a local attorney present
However, the school is not breaking any laws by making a request that she be brought in.
If they wanted to question her, and the parent would not participate, the option would have been to have the police arrest her.
And even then she would have been entitled to not answer questions without a local attorney present
As it stands, in the scenario you present, the school was just making a request regardless of how it appears to be a demand or harassing. Unfortunately, most parents do not understand that they never have to cooperate with anything that involves questioning
She was brought in by my older daughter because the harassing phone calls did not stop. My husband and I were more than willing to comply with the school's request to bring her in for questioning, but we were 800 miles away, and would not be home until early Sunday morning. Do
What course of action do I have to fight against a principal who would question a child when I specifically, in no uncertain terms, told him he was NOT to question her without me present?
If you gave your daughter permission to bring the child in to be questioned, then you have no recourse. And that is what I understand you are saying. If I am wrong, please clarify this for me.
No, I did not give my older daughter permission to bring her in. The harassing phone calls did not stop, even when I told the principal to stop calling my daughters and wait until Monday (today) to deal with me. So my daughter took her in.
I see. That is unfortunate.
So you are saying your one daughter took your other daughter in even though you told her not to?
And she did that because the calls were annoying her?
Here is the situation. Your daughter was under no legal obligation to answer any questions. If you told the principal to wait for your return he/she should not have continued to make calls to your home
Yes, because the harassing phone calls from the school did not stop (she is an emergency contact). It was already a stressful situation for my older daughter. My younger daughter needed to go to the hospital to make sure she had no broken bones. My older daughter did what she felt she had to do so that my younger daughter could get the medical help she needed. The school demanded that Wraye bring Steph to school. She is only 21 and she's never been involved in something like this before. She felt that she had no choice,
I suggest that under those circumstances if your daughter cooperated and answered questions you may consult with a local attorney to discuss a civil rights lawsuit against the school. However, as I tried to explain, not knowing that you do not have to cooperate with questioning is no excuse. But a local attorney may see it differently and you may have a basis for the lawsuit
It is unfortunate that your daughter felt so compelled by intimidation to bring your other daughter in. I am sorry that this happened. But there is nothing illegal about the school making the request. However, if you told them you were not in town and it needed to wait, morally the school should have waited for your return
Legally, however, they did not have to.
I specifically told him at 11:15am to stop calling Wraye. She continued to receive calls until well past 2:00pm, when she finally relented and took Steph to school, where she was questioned and told to sign statements and forms without her parents. Steph did so because she is an obedient, respectful, non-combative child.
So, if I understand correctly, I really have no course of action against the school for totally disregarding parental requests to wait for our return, is this assumption correct?
The principal was out of line. There is no doubt about that. And if you told him to stop and you would get with him upon your return, then none of what was signed is legal.
But the principal did not break any laws.
However, there may be a civil rights case here
And that would be because you said you were out of town and that your daugther should not be questioned without you present
So the statement that she was coerced to write and sign is not legal. OK. How strongly do you believe that there might be a civil rights case? I felt all along that she should not have been questioned without me there.
I think it is a good chance. As long as you are able to prove that you told the principal that you were out of town and if you can prove that his phone calls intimidated your other daughter to bring her in
after you told him to stop
Remember, you can probably get a free consult with a local attorney on the civil rights case. And they would take the matter on a contingency basis.
All I have is the time and phone number of the school and the length of the call recorded on my cell phone. My daughters cell phones also have times and messages from the school recorded. I have no recordings or witnesses to what I told the principal because I was at the funeral home at the time.
I understand. I am only providing information on what I suggest a local attorney will want to decide if they will take a case
Thank you for your time and answers. I will consult with a local atty. It is difficult to do something like this when you have very limited resources.
Well, remember that on a contingency you pay nothing up front to the attorney
that fee is based on whatever settlement your daughter might get from the lawsuit
And these schools are out of control with being power hungry and this is why they get sued time and time again
So I suggest you consult with the local civil rights attorney and you can use the VA Bar Association for a legal referral service
toll-free at 1-800-552-7977 or, in the Richmond area,(NNN) NNN-NNNN
Tell them you need a local civil rights attorney
They will give you a few to call and interview for your case
I'm not looking for money. I want my daughter's good record restored and her readmitted to school. I also want the principal to suffer whatever consequences necessary to make certain he doesn't violate another students or parents rights. Will they take a case if I'm not in it for money?
Yes. But not on a contingency basis.
And so a fee might be about $3000 to $5000 but you can request the school pay your legal costs
OK thank you
You're welcome. And I am sorry to hear of the loss of your loved one
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