How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask LawHelpNow Your Own Question

LawHelpNow
LawHelpNow, Attorney/Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 7593
Experience:  Relax. Let's work together. Practical solutions.
6761470
Type Your Legal Question Here...
LawHelpNow is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Our son attends a private high school and has received an excessive

Customer Question

Our son attends a private high school and has received an excessive punishment for an infraction of school policy. In addition, the details of the infraction have been shared outside of the administration. We are wondering what potential areas of legal recourse we may have.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 1 year ago.

LawHelpNow :

Hello,

LawHelpNow :

Could you briefly share the nature of the infraction and the punishment? Also, when the details were shared, who (in general) learned of them, please?

LawHelpNow :

Thanks!

LawHelpNow :

Ben, J.D.

Customer:

Hi, yes

Customer:

My son was one of a group of seven boys who jumped a fence and were on campus after school hours. Four of the boys entered the gymnasium, and vandalized (fireworks in a urinal, urination and defecation on floors and walls) it. My son did not enter, nor did he participate in any vandalism. All seven boys fled the school after the fireworks were set off.

Customer:

The school has a student/faculty disciplinary committee, and after the evidence was gathered and all punishment rendered, several of the students and faculty not associated with the committee have commented and gossiped about the issue. In fact, one of the teachers not associated with the disciplinary committee asked his class to write an essay about the issue.

Customer:

Details of the letter received regarding the incident.

Customer:

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Hood,


This letter simply confirms in writing the results of the Discipline Committee (DC)
meeting held Thursday, February 28, 2013.


On Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 a group of seven seniors, including John, parked cars off
campus and snuck on campus through the KB Homes and jumping a fence north of the athletic
fields. Four of the boys entered a bathroom and vandalized it. This included defecating on the
floor and in two sinks, urinating on the walls and floor, as well as igniting a motor style firework.
When the firework went off the boys fled. As a result of this incident, John was referred to the
DC.


After reviewing the recommendation of the DC, Mr. Gilbert has decided on the
following consequences:


-
-


-
-
-


-


-


Five (5) days suspension beginning Feb27.


Letter of apology typed, signed and complete to Mr. Gilbert’s office Wednesday,
March 6.
Be stripped of elected school office (Student Council Vice President).
Loss of Senior Privileges: may not go off campus for lunch or attend the Senior Trip.
Will not attend Mission Week with the class. Will work on campus and in town with
adult supervision.
May not participate in any extra-curricular activities. This includes but is not limited
to: XXXXX XXXXX sports until after spring break, attending Prom, Baccalaureate and
Graduation.
The right to participate in the end of the year commencement activities may be
earned back with good behavior.


If there are infractions of Menaul School’s behavior expectations and policies, John will
appear before the discipline committee again. This is likely to lead to dismissal from Menaul
School and the opportunity to participate in the end of the year commencement activities will be


immediately forfeit.


Menaul School reserves the right to contact the Albuquerque Police Department if the
student disrupts any school activity on campus or off; harasses, bullies, intimidates, threatens,
or personally abuses another student or Menaul staff member in speech or on social media; or
retaliates in any way against another student, staff member, or any of their family members.

Customer:

We believe John's privacy was violated, and that he was unfairly judged based on what "the group" did, versus his direct actions.

Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 1 year ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

What happens now?

If you haven’t already done so, please rate your answer above. Or, you can reply to me using the box below.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I misunderstood...thought I lost you when you dropped offline. Can I re-rate when I get your answer?

Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 1 year ago.
Hello again John,
My name isXXXXX'm a licensed attorney. Glad to try and help out.
Sure sorry for the painful circumstances, truly. My heart goes out to you folks.
Accordingly, I'm happy to share some good news in the following sense.
Yes, you certainly do have every reason to seek redress here. In fact, there's a legal doctrine called defamation per se, meaning some statements are just so outrageous as to always be deemed defamatory. A very classic example is an unfounded accusation of a criminal offense such as you're described. What is of particular concern to me is two factors. First, the fact that your son did not engage in the vandalism, and in fact did not enter the premises, seems to have be entirely overlooked. Secondly, the dissemination of such details is cause for serious concern, and I absolutely share your views in this regard.
Having carefully read and considered everything you posted, here is what I would recommend based on the information you have shared. I would have the case screened on the merits by a plaintiffs' trial attorney. If an attorney accepts the case pursuant to the customary contingency fee agreement there would be no up-front charges to you. Rather, your legal counsel would only get paid out of the proceeds of a verdict or settlement if he or she were successful in obtaining a favorable outcome and winning the case on your behalf.
This can only be done through having a lawyer review your circumstances, meaning it cannot be done in this online informational venue. In other words, you have done all you can do, your next step at this juncture is to confer with legal counsel, but the good news is that process is entirely free of charge to you.
I can only imagine what a stressful and trying time this is for you, so please believe me I mean it when I say I am glad to say there is a way to seek justice without having the burden of trying to pay attorneys' fees . To help folks in this online venue, I am required to follow site rules including refraining from accepting cases and/or making direct referrals to named attorneys.
However, I can tell you where I would turn were I in your very shoes. Toward that end, my very next step would be to take advantage of the resources of the non-profit, American Bar Association accredited, National Board of Trial Advocacy Division of the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification. Here is a listing of all such Board Certified Civil Trial Advocates practicing in your jurisdiction (please just click the following link):
New Mexico
There are many perfectly fine general referral resources available, but on account of the particular nature of your cause of action, the one I mentioned is definitely my personal preference. Given that this is a private institution, in particular, provides more incentive (for lack of a better description) for a reviewing attorney. Meaning, it's much more difficult to sue a public institution from both substantive and procedural points of view. Also, there's a legal doctrine called Respondeat Superior, which can make the employer liable to answer with its "deep pockets" in terms of monetary damages. The botXXXXX XXXXXne is that yes you do have every reason to proceed here.
If you have a follow-up question or need clarification, please just say the word by using "reply" to reach me.
I truly hope all works out for your son, and I send my best wishes to your entire family!
Take care,
Ben, J.D.
LawHelpNow, Attorney/Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 7593
Experience: Relax. Let's work together. Practical solutions.
LawHelpNow and 6 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 1 year ago.
Hello John,

I enjoyed working with you recently.

How are things going?

Is there anything else I can do to help?

Please just let me know.

Thanks!

Ben, J.D.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

We meet with the school tomorrow. Depending on the outcome, I may follow up with local support as you suggested above. Thanks again for your help.

Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 1 year ago.
Hi there John,

You are quite welcome. My pleasure entirely!

Thank you for the kindness of your favorable rating, which I greatly appreciate!
I'll hold a good thought for you folks.

Best regards,

Ben, J.D.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    19941
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    8189
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jespoag/2008-12-17_222355_jessepic.jpg JPEsq's Avatar

    JPEsq

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2132
    Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/gsenmartin/2008-04-22_214950_me1.jpg Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.'s Avatar

    Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    110
    7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PA/PaulmoJD/2013-10-10_195858_JAImage.64x64.jpg Law Educator, Esq.'s Avatar

    Law Educator, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    31621
    JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    15975
    Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
 
 
 

Related Legal Questions