School suspension isn’t a trivial matter and it’s an indication that your child has done something seriously wrong. In many cases, it’s just one step away from being expelled from school. This situation may come as a shock for many parents and it’s important for them to get everything back on track. Here are things that parents can do:
- Write relevant information down: Write down everything that you hear in initial call and during meetings, so you can keep all essential information handy. Make sure that you note down what’s alleged to have happening, who you are talking to, where the event took place, when it happened, what your chid has done and how everything eventually went down.
- Be active and stay on the offense: Many parents become defensive in this situation and they think that there’s nothing they can do about it. It’s not true to say that you as a parent has no control. Parents can always do something about this and stay on the offense. By staying positive, parents can garner good results.
- Continue interacting with school administrators and witnesses: You need to contact them regularly and gather facts. Even if it’s proven beyond doubt that your child is the actual perpetrator, it will be easier to defuse the situation and negotiate with your children.
- Read carefully before signing anything: Parents shouldn’t sign the suspension form too willingly. Again, even if your child is proven to be at fault, make sure that the terms of suspension won’t make it harder for your child.
- Give your child a chance to defend: During the whole suspension process, make sure that your child has the chance to write statement and answer questions. Make sure that your child don’t deal with intimidating adults or do anything that can cause increased punishments. Most of the time, children are anxious or even scared, even if they refuse to show it. Parents should be aware that anything they and their children say could be used for the eventual expulsion. So, it is important to be careful with what you say during the suspension investigation. Parents and children need to discuss things that they would say to avoid making matters worse.
- Ask for lesser or no punishment: If parents believe that their children are not fully at fault, they can ask for lesser punishment. As an example, children can be encouraged to do something wrong due to external pressure or verbal abuse.
- File an appeal: Schools and districts may allow parents to have an appeal on the suspension or expulsion process. If your district doesn’t formally have an appeal process, negotiate with the staff, so they can look closer at the matter. If there’s an appeal process, you should check it immediately and follow it up. Make some polite and respectable noise, so the suspension can be shortened or even overturned.
This situation can happen to any parent, even if parents think that they have nice kids. External pressure can be immense enough to cause children do something unexpected.