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Hello Jacustomer,The law defines self defense differently from the way many non-lawyers see it. In many states there is a duty first for the victim to try to retreat from the aggressor. Your school is saying that your son had an opportunity to avoid the fight and so it wasn't self-defense.Presently Maryland does not have what they call a "Stand your ground law" which allows victims to fight back without first having to try to run away when they are confronted with force outside of their home. It's apparently something that the state is hoping to rectify in 2014. Right now, however, the law of your state supports the school. YOu can see this in the news here.(see link)You may have a case against the school if your son is being bullied and the school was negligent in their protection of him. You would have to take that up with a civil lawyer where you could sit down and give the whole history between your son and this bully as well as what the school knew about it and failed to do.As for the criminal matter, although there is a duty to retreat, that does not mean that your son actually could have retreated, in which case he would be allowed to defend himself. The actual facts surrounding the incident would be a matter that would have to be weighed by the finder of fact -- that is, judge or jury -- if your son wants to plead not guilty and fight his case.
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