As a parent, you may be wondering whether you truly need an attorney to assist you with your child’s education law needs. You may be of the opinion that your child’s school and the school district want the best for your child in the same way that you do. However, I always inform parents that their idea of what is “best” for their child may not always align with the school or the school district’s idea of what is “best” for their child. As a result, many parents are left to navigate the complex and oftentimes emotionally taxing process of securing an appropriate education for their child.
Like most parents, you probably started out trying to work with your child’s teacher and school administrators to resolve your dispute, but you were faced with limited success. As a result, some parents work for months, or longer, on their own to try and resolve issues with the school. At this point, some parents become discouraged and look to an attorney as a last resort. I encourage parents to take a proactive approach when considering whether to hire an attorney. One option is to schedule a consultation with an attorney. During a consultation, a parent can receive helpful knowledge and information on how to resolve their issue. In the alternative, there are a number of circumstances in which a child can benefit from a parent retaining an attorney.
These circumstances may include:
1) School Refusing To Follow An IEP
An Individual Education Program, commonly referred to as an IEP is a document that spells out your child's learning needs and the services the school will provide to meet those needs. However, the school may fail to comply with the IEP or provide the services as often as needed. If you become aware that your child is not receiving the services to which he or she is entitled based on the IEP you may benefit from the help of an attorney.
2) School Refused To Change IEP
IEPs should be created with great care and attention to detail. However, a child may not be making the positive achievements that a parent or school anticipated under an existing IEP plan. As a result, the IEP may need to change. While an IEP must be reviewed annually it can also be reviewed more often if you request it. If you see a need for a review, but the school refuses to grant it an attorney can help you with securing changes to your child’s IEP.
3) Disagreement with IEP or Placement
The school may have created an IEP with which you do not agree or places your child in a classroom setting that you feel is not best. An attorney may be helpful if you are unable to communicate your concerns to the school successfully or if the school does not respond.
4) Suspensions or Expulsions
If a school administrator recommends discipline or suspension from school for ten days or less a student is entitled to oral or written notice of the charges and, if he or she denies them, an explanation of the evidence and an opportunity to present his or her side of the story. However, if the school administrator recommends expulsion or suspension from school for longer than ten school days, the student is entitled to written notice and a formal disciplinary hearing prior to the imposition of the expulsion or long-term suspension. Under Georgia law, a student is entitled to retain counsel to represent him or her in a disciplinary hearing. An attorney can help to ensure that a student’s rights are not violated and that they receive proper representation before receiving what can be a detrimental punishment.
When your own efforts to achieve results have proven to be futile or when you simply need guidance, S.Council Law Firm is here to help. For a consultation and to learn more, call S.Council Law Firm at (678) 629-2913 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to working with you and helping to ensure that your child’s education rights are safeguarded.