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Jane T (LLC)
Jane T (LLC), Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 8435
Experience:  Experienced attorney; contracts, internet, business, finance, employment, RE, consumer, & more.
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My son is a junior at a private school on Long Island in New

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My son is a junior at a private school on Long Island in New York. Their policy is that only seniors are allowed to drive to school. My son called from the nurse's office this morning. He had a sore throat and wanted to come home. He has a valid, clean NYS driver's license, and he drives to school every morning. He does not park on the premises. I spoke to the principal at Holy Trinity High School, Mr. Gene Fennell. He said that William, my son, shouldn't be driving to school at all, and that I had to come to pick him up. I had to leave work to do so. I told Mr. Fennell that I would fax him my permission to drive home. He threatened to pull him out of the school. I have already paid a full year's tuition. I gave in and picked him up. Of course, I simply drove him a half a block to his car and he drove home anyway. Is this a violation of his civil rights?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Jane T (LLC) replied 8 years ago.



There is not a civil nor "legal" right to drive, it is a privilege the state may grant. Further, if students and parents enter into agreements/contracts to send their children to private schools and those schools create rules or policies which, through those agreements/contracts, they require parents and students to agree to abide, those rules become enforceable.



Customer: replied 8 years ago.
But how can a school, private or public, prevent my son from driving on public streets if he has a valid license and the state granted him the privilege of driving?

Are you still there, Jane?
Expert:  Jane T (LLC) replied 8 years ago.



Technically, a school may not, of course, if a state has given someone a legal right to do something, such as drive on public streets prevent a minor from driving but a school whose rules are not followed may, in turn, terminate a student's right to attend. However, if parents and students sign agreements with a school that say that, for example, a student will not "drive to school" or "will abide by all school rules and requirements" (one of which is not to drive to school or school events), the restriction is not one that keeps students from driving on public streets, but one that ties the restriction to school functions/activities. Such a line is a fine one and, if the school were public (meaning it was a government actor, not private) then there may be a violation of legal rights as one government agent (a school) would not normally be able to ignore the laws of a state. But, again, if the agreement signed when parents contract to send a child to a school includes an agreement to follow those rules or states the rule itself, then people are seen to willingly contract themselves into abiding by such rules.





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