To get ready for an informal or formal hearing, follow these steps:
- Ask to see your child’s complete school record. You have a legal right to a copy of the student’s complete school file.
- Try to talk to as many of the witnesses as you can before the hearing to find out what they are going to say.
- Make a list of people who can be witnesses to help your side.
- Plan your strategy for the hearing to prevent and/or minimize the expulsion length. Talk to the school about a shorter suspension or expulsion period, community service, or other ways to make amends for a rule violation.
- Ask for help if you need it! Friends, family, and advocates can help you prepare. Please contact Vermont Legal Aid with questions or if you are interested in legal representation.
If a student is under threat of suspension or expulsion (suspension of more than 10 consecutive days), you should:
- request a formal hearing from school officials in writing
- demand continued inclusion of the student until the hearing is complete
- contact an attorney or advocate to be present at the informal or formal hearing
Call Vermont Legal Aid as soon as you think your child might be suspended or expelled.