In New Jersey, threat and assault crimes can be taken quite seriously. Any minor—someone under the age of 18—can be charged with an assault or threat crime in several ways. Adults in higher education can also be charged.

A threat does not have to be a physical altercation—it can be a student stating they have the intent to inflict physical harm. Assaults are when a verbal or physical altercation happens on school property. The participating minors—or majors—can be punishable by law.

Here is everything you need to know about school disciplinary action in New Jersey:

What is School Disciplinary Action?

School disciplinary action is an official form that is prepared by management, the schoolteacher, or an authoritative figure on the school grounds. This document was created to notate the actions of students on school property.

When students break school rules, they can be punished. School disciplinary actions are taken as a response to students’ inappropriate conduct. This discipline can include:

  • Detention
  • Summer school
  • Suspension
  • Expulsion

School disciplinary action should not be taken lightly as the report can stay in the student’s permanent record and affect their continued education. Research shows that exclusionary disciplinary actions can place the students at a higher chance of academic success issues in the future—including increasing risks of dropping out altogether.

Common Student Discipline Allegations

Students can be alleged to have participated in several actions that may warrant discipline according to their policies and procedures. The most common include:

Academic misconduct

  • Plagiarism
  • Cheating
  • Falsification of records or data
  • Disrupting other students
  • Bribery
  • Sabotage
  • Advanced knowledge
  • Unauthorized collaboration/sharing materials

Professionalism Issues

Students must stay professional whilst in school. If professors or other school officials believe you are behaving in an unprofessional manner, they may take disciplinary actions against you.

Academic Progression Issues

All students are required to ascertain a specific academic standard i.e. GPA, credits earned, etc. Students who fail to meet this standard can be met with academic probation as they are not progressing in the way they should be.

Other common allegations include:

  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Sexual harassment
  • Bullying
  • Assault and battery
  • Hazing
  • Hate crimes
  • Computer crimes
  • Bringing weapons to school
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Sexual assault

What Happens When You are Facing School Discipline?

If you are facing school disciplinary actions in New Jersey, your future could be in jeopardy. Whether it be high school, college, or university, this type of discipline can impact your entire future and potential future career.

Schools do not conduct themselves the way courtrooms do. For example, if you are accused of committing a crime or wrongdoing, the school can discipline you on the preponderance of the evidence. You can be promptly suspended or expelled from your school—which wreaks havoc on your future.

Here is how being convicted of school misconduct can affect you:

  • Thousands of dollars tuition lost
  • Years of academic learning progress lost
  • Difficulty re-enrolling in school
  • Expensive restitution payments
  • A permanent mention on your academic record—which employees do see
  • Irreparable damage to professional and personal reputation
  • A chance of being criminally charged

If you are a student being disciplined at school, you must hire an attorney immediately. Most students and parents are unaware of their options, and schools are known to move quickly through the disciplinary process.

How Hiring an Attorney Helps Avoid Disciplinary Action

The majority of schools—including high school, college, and university—do not allow students to hire an attorney to represent them in school discipline cases. However, students are entitled to hire an attorney who behaves as an advisor. This can positively impact the case as professional legal advice can alter the course of events and reduce or dismiss the disciplinary action altogether.

You have the chance to protect your permanent record—and your future career. The attorney-advisor relationship can potentially rescue the student and their professional and personal reputation. Your attorney can help you in the following ways:

  • In-depth review of school’s procedures and policies
  • Review significance of school allegations against you
  • Gather essential evidence and witnesses to help your case
  • Create successful strategies with you to offer a compelling defense to allegations
  • Prepare you for disciplinary hearings
  • Analytical review of remediation offers to ensure they are appropriate for you
  • Assist with the correct way to appeal your grade or adverse action by the presiding school board

Our attorneys at Bianchi Law Group are prepared to help you through your school disciplinary actions. We will inform you of the best strategies to avoid having your permanent record marked—and future upended.

We are comprised of top-notch attorneys, certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court. We are here to help you get your future back and give you a fair shot at preserving your name.