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While many people pursue their educational goals without any need for a representative, many people run into roadblocks to their education. Sometimes this is their own fault, other times the student struggles due to a disability, sexual harassment, racism, sexism, or other matters beyond their control. While a school must legally make accommodations for these issues, they often do not. It is important to have someone behind you that is knowledgeable with the process and the applicable law.
Educational representation generally takes one of two forms; matters related to a student's individualized education plan (IEP) or disciplinary matters. Occasionally, they take both forms.
Charles Langevin became familiar with IEP's through his own child. He found that many teachers and administrators were unequipped, unable, or unwilling to deal with an autistic child with various disabilities. Without the knowledge required to prevent it, his son was constantly being suspended, removed from class, and regressing educationally. Finally, after completing his paralegal degree, he landed a part-time job with an attorney who specialized in children with disabilities and their educational goals and objectives. After working with her for several months, he gained the knowledge to effectively ensure his own child was given every opportunity available to him and was provided with all of the benefits required by law.
IEPs are designed to ensure that every child receives a free and appropriate public education. The law requires that an IEP meeting be held no less than once per year. In addition, an IEP meeting is required prior to any disciplinary action. This meeting is your opportunity, as a parent or student, to ensure that the school and the student's teachers understand the needs of the child and set reasonable expectations for the student academically. Too often, parents go into the meeting without knowing their legal rights and just agree with the teacher or administrator. I cannot stress enough THE SCHOOLS INTERESTS DOES NOT ALLIGN WITH YOUR CHILD'S INTERESTS. Compliance with the law is expensive and the school does not want to spend any more money on your child's education than is absolutely necessary. If you do not exercise your rights they WILL be trampled.
If you are able to afford a knowledgeable representative, you should hire one. A representative should not be replacing you as the parent or student, but supplementing you with their knowledge and experience. A representative has an added benefit of not being as emotionally attached to the situation as you are. That means you will generally get better results.
Your child needs every opportunity to get a good education in a setting appropriate for his or her own needs. Every child is not the same and every child doesn't have the same needs or potential. It is our job, as parents, to ensure that they get every opportunity afforded to him/her. The further a child falls behind, the harder life will be as he/she grows into an adult. Give your child every opportunity to succeed possible! Call me today to discuss your specific situation.
My first disciplinary action was for a friend's daughter. She had successfully completed dental school at Marquette University. During one of her final labs, one of her professors initiated disciplinary action against her which would have required her return for (and pay for) another semester. This was devastating for a student who had never had any disciplinary actions throughout high school, college, and dental school. It also put the job offer that she had on the line. After reviewing her situation, it was clear that she was an exemplary student and had not committed the infraction that she was charged with. With my help, she was able to clear her name, receive her degree, and obtain her dental license in a timely manner.
Shortly thereafter, I was contacted by a student who had essentially been expelled for an altercation with another student at Saint Leo University. Again, this student did not have any disciplinary history and the expulsion was not in line with the University's disciplinary policy. To make matters worse, the university disciplined the student without the opportunity for a hearing, again, in clear and direct violation of their own policies. After retaining my assistance, the student was able to get the discipline reduced significantly and return to school.
I realized that these cases were not isolated incidents and that the schools were not using their own policies. The problem is, they are never challenged on their decisions and students simply accept the "punishment," occasionally without committing any crime. This is not acceptable.
Disciplinary actions are a little bit different than IEPs because the best tool for overturning a disciplinary action is often the schools own rules, handbooks, and bylaws. However, it is important to know the laws that apply to the school. Laws are different for public schools vs. private schools and failure to follow the law can result in fines and/or loss of certain types of funding (VA, Pell, Student Loans, etc.) for the school. For most schools, they would be unable to survive if this funding was stopped. If you are familiar with the consequences of a schools actions, you can convince them to do the right thing.
I am familiar with the laws that govern schools and universities and will use that as well as the schools own policies to help overturn or reduce your disciplinary action. Don't be duped into accepting a punishment blindly, call me today!
Educational Representation Fees
First 30 Minute Consultation..........................................................................................................FREE!
After the initial 30 minute consultation, all fees are billed on an hourly basis. My hourly rate is $50. I bill in 1/10 of an hour (6 minute) increments. I may require that you pay a retainer prior to any work being done.
If I travel during the course of my representation, you will be billed for any expenses that I incur. Depending on the case, this may be mileage (IRS standard mileage rate), airfare, hotels, meals, etc. I will make every reasonable effort to minimize these expenses. You may have to pre-pay for these expenses prior to travel plans being made.
The level of assistance I am able to provide depends on the case. Please utilize the free 30 minute consultation to discuss what I can and cannot do in your case.
We are not attorneys. Nothing on this site is intended to be legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.