Protecting Your Rights
K-12 · Higher Education · Special Education · Educators
From freedom of speech to due process, a student's rights within the educational system are not the same as they are in the outside world. In many situations, students do not even have the right to a lawyer when they are searched or interrogated, or even at a hearing regarding the imposition of discipline, including suspension or expulsion. Yet administrators and school boards can mete out punishments based on their biased and flawed investigations — with adverse consequences for your child's future.
There are legal remedies for resolving disputes or challenging actions by school officials. The Law Offices of Shelley L. Stangler, P.C., provides experienced representation in education law, from K-12 to higher education. Ms. Stangler can intervene in school-related controversies to negotiate solutions and for wringing justice from a system stacked against students.
Our Springfield, New Jersey, education lawyer counsels parents of preschool, grade school and high school students, as well as college and university students, in Union County and statewide. Arrange a consultation today to discuss your rights and legal options. A consultation fee generally applies to all education related matters, as well as hourly fees.
Experienced New Jersey Education Law Attorney
Shelley Stangler brings more than 28 years of litigation experience to bear in advocating for public school and private school students in a wide range of matters, including:
- Negligence and serious personal injury
- Expulsion, suspension and disciplinary measures
- Grades and academic issues (plagiarism, cheating)
- Athletics and extra-curricular activities
- Disputes with administrators, teachers or staff
- Special education eligibility and services
- Disability accommodations
- Failure of supervision
- Bullying and harassment
From preschool through secondary, disputes related to public education matters are governed by the education statutes in New Jersey and the Administrative Code of the New Jersey. In the public case of mainstreamed students in the regular education programs most disputes over disciplinary or academic matters must be brought before the New Jersey Department of Education, Bureau of Controversies and Disputes. There is a 90-day statute of limitations to bring conflicts before the Bureau, and the average parent cannot navigate this highly technical arena. Discrimination cases may involve others forums such as the Division of Civil Rights or a Superior Court suit under the Law Against Discrimination ("LAD"). There are also potential federal court claims under the Americans With Disabilities Act ("ADA") and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ("Section 504"). However, the harm must be sufficient enough to warrant complex litigation. Ms. Stangler is adept at bringing the parents and the school together to find a satisfactory resolution to conflicts without resorting to expensive litigation. However, when your child's continued enrollment or future career is jeopardized, she can provide skilled and effective litigation in administrative hearings, state or district court.
There are overlapping areas of law applicable to student issues and their legal relationship to the school, including an analysis of contract law, negligence law, constitutional law (1st amendment rights of association and 4th amendment rights regarding searches and drug testing, for example), administrative law, and associational law (your rights in a private group or club such as a the Knights of Columbus or a swimming club or health club).
Ms. Stangler is well-versed in these complex matters and provides competent assistance in tackling these numerous layers of analysis necessary to the proper handling of these cases.
Proven Advocacy When the Stakes Are High — A Case Study
We represented a third-year medical school student facing dismissal from the school for allegedly cheating on an exam. The proctor said he saw the young woman's eyes on another student's paper. Through photos of the classroom, a demonstration with mock students in the same positions, and the testimony of an ophthalmologist, Ms. Stangler proved that the proctor's scenario was impossible and convinced the dean to reinstate the student and clear her record.
The Law Offices of Shelley L. Stangler, P.C., has also pursued civil damages when students' civil rights were violated or due process was denied, especially in cases where the wrongful acts cost the student tangible opportunities such as college entrance, scholarships or loans, specific career paths or professional licenses.
Lastly, our firm also represents faculty, teachers and paraprofessionals in employment discrimination and wrongful termination matters.
Practicing in education law requires a thorough understanding of state and federal statutes, such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and staying abreast of case law. Contact our proven school law attorney at 877-267-9907 to discuss how she can help.