Knowledgeable Voorhees New Jersey Lawyer Explains What Parents Need to Know about Back to School Legal Issues
New Jersey public school districts offer children the highest quality education in the entire country. As per the NJ Constitution, all children between the ages of five and 18 are entitled to a “thorough and efficient” education. This means regardless of where in the state you reside – in the wealthiest community or the poorest inner city – your children have a right to learn in a safe environment free of any discrimination.
If you believe your child is being denied the type of education that NJ state law mandates, or if your child is being bullied or discriminated against in any way by teachers, school employees or other students, you have the right to protect your child by contacting a skilled education lawyer who will use the full weight of NJ student rights laws to protect your child. Contact Davis & Mendelson today for a consultation about your situation.
Skilled Education Attorney Protects the Rights of Students and Parents in School Districts in Cherry Hill, Medford, Moorestown and throughout Camden County, NJ
September might be “back to school” season when all eyes are on scheduling and conferences and various other legal educational issues. However, NJ State Education Law ensures that parents have a right to ask questions, offer concerns and request explanations and reviews of all issues pertaining to their children throughout the entire school year.
It’s critical that parents know that they have a voice and the right to legal representation regarding any situation involving their child in schools throughout Camden and Gloucester counties and throughout South Jersey. Every child is different, of course, and the school environment is often a breeding ground for personality conflicts. Further, teachers have a huge responsibility in protecting and providing a solid education for two dozen or more students throughout the school day. It’s not uncommon for challenging issues to arise in the classroom, the schoolyard, the hallways, the cafeteria, etc. Teachers are in charge but, by law, they cannot act arbitrarily in their treatment of students.
If your child is experiencing any of the following issues, it’s imperative that you contact Howard Mendelson at Davis & Mendelson in Voorhees, NJ right away. If your child is being bullied or discriminated against, it’s not going to get better without parental – and often legal – involvement. Don’t let your child suffer. Call Mr. Mendelson and he will fight for your child’s rights.
1. Discrimination – Teachers are people, too. There are times when a teacher doesn’t appreciate a child’s behavior and must offer reasonable discipline to keep order in the classroom. However, if you are constantly hearing your child complain that the teacher is picking on them or doesn’t like them, or if they are sharing details of obviously inappropriate treatment, parents have the right to hold teachers accountable for an attitude that makes a child uncomfortable. This includes clear discrimination as well, such as comments about race, color, religion, sexual orientation or special needs classification.
2. Child is being left behind – The child is in school, first and foremost, to learn. State law requires each child to be assessed and classified based on their own academic abilities. Communication is critical in this regard. If you believe your child needs additional help, academically or socially, in school, speak to the teachers and administrators right away. If you aren’t getting anywhere, Mr. Mendelson will make sure you know your legal rights and will fight for your child.
Additionally, it is the teacher’s responsibility to bring to light concerns about a child’s lack of academic progress. You can hold any educator who fails to meet these responsibilities accountable for allowing your child to be “left behind.”
3. Bullying – New Jersey is home to one of the strictest and most comprehensive HIB (harassment, intimidation and bullying) laws in the entire United States. There is a no-tolerance policy regarding HIB in New Jersey’s public schools and all reports of this type of behavior must be taken extremely seriously by the schools. If you believe your child is being bullied and the school administrators are not dealing with it to your satisfaction, get involved and call Mr. Mendelson for legal assistance.
4. Safety Issues – In the wake of far too many school shootings in the US, New Jersey schools have put safety plans in place in case the unthinkable ever happens. As a parent, you have a right to know and review those safety plans and procedures. If your child is physically, emotionally or psychologically impaired, you have a right to know how the schools will handle your child’s special needs in an emergency situation. Further, the issue of bullying is an issue of school safety. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, putting students in a situation where they don’t feel safe is unacceptable and must not be tolerated. Mr. Mendelson will help your family and protect your child.
5. Special Needs – No one is perfect and we all need a bit of assistance now and then to help us succeed. In New Jersey schools, there are several categories of special education classification so all students, regardless of their academic, physical and behavioral level, are able to receive a free and appropriate education. You have a right to get your child tested if you want them to receive special education services. You also have a right to request certain accommodations, known as 504 accommodations, to assist your child. Examples of this might be untimed testing or extra time getting to and from classes.
6. School Records – You have every right as a parent to review your child’s school records. There are two federal statutes, FERPA and OPRA, that protect these rights. FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) and OPRA (the Open Public Records Act) give parents access to school records and any other information regarding their child’s education.
If anything is substantially interfering with your child’s ability to learn, you have a right to get a lawyer involved to protect your rights and fight for everything your child is entitled to receive while at school. Mr. Mendelson has been fighting for the rights of families in Cherry Hill, Mt. Laurel, Medford and Moorestown for 20 years. He fully understands NJ education law and will put his years of experience and knowledge to work for your family.
Contact a Successful Camden County Education Lawyer Today to Protect Your Child’s Rights in Schools
Many parents think that the decisions school teachers and administrators make are final – that they cannot be challenged or overturned. This is simply not the case. All decisions can be challenged and overturned if they are found to be unreasonable.
For more than 20 years, Howard Mendelson has been successfully fighting unreasonable decisions, or egregious omissions, on the part of educators and other school employees. He will not sit by and allow your child to be discriminated against for any reason. He will fight tirelessly to make sure your child gets the benefits of the education New Jersey requires.
For a consultation about your child’s situation, contact the law office of Davis & Mendelson in Voorhees, NJ today. Mr. Mendelson is the lawyer of record for the Voorhees Township Board of Education, so you can rest assured he knows the responsibilities school districts have toward each and every student and family.