Student challenges expulsion, not enough charges

At a school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, school officials may expel students after they commit six offenses. Robert Kushner, who attended 11th grade at Freedom High School has taken his school to court due to his recent expulsion. Kushner claims that he only committed five, rather than six offenses.

The school’s Code of Conduct specifies that an expulsion hearing is held after either five suspensions for the same infraction or six suspensions for the different offenses. Additionally, school officials immediately expel students who assault a district employee or bring a weapon to school.

Kushner admits to the five initial offenses, which included using profanity to a hall monitor, repeatedly being disrespectful to teachers, failing to appear at detentions, refusing to stop sleeping in class, inappropriately using a lavatory pass, not wearing his student identification pass and possessing marijuana in class. However, he claims the sixth offense of skipping detention was caused by a teacher.

According to Kushner, he reported to the detention but he left because a teacher said that he was not on the official list. The school denied his offer to “make up” the detention and then expelled him.

Kushner’s lawsuit also contends that on two occasions he was inappropriately suspended for not possessing his ID, when in fact he was simply not wearing it on the exact part of clothing required. Kushner would like the court to review these and the remaining suspensions.

Kushner may not like school but he gets an A for legal issues. By reading the exact specifications of the school code, he has figured out a way to challenge his school by using the school’s own regulations. His ingenuity is similar to the student who successfully challenged his suspension because he did not receive a written notice.

Get a copy of your school’s student code and take advantage of your rights as they are specified in the code. If your government school officials have left some things out, you can get a copy of The Bill of Rights and take them to court.

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