Higher Education and Law

Legal site creates toolkit for parents of students 'facing discipline'

August 22, 2017
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A website that provides free legal assistance for simple civil matters now offers a toolkit for parents of children who are in trouble at school.

The toolkit is a landing page on the Michigan Legal Help website’s education section called, “My Child is Facing Punishment or Expulsion from School.”

It consists of articles, answers to common questions, and local referrals for issues relating to special education accommodations, discipline and student rights. It also includes a do-it-yourself letter for students receiving special education services who are being suspended or expelled.

Site content

The toolkit has a drop-down menu that allows users to filter results by Michigan county. Resources and referrals vary based on the user’s location.

Self-help centers and community assistance programs listed on the site for users in Kent County include the Legal Assistance Center in the Kent County Courthouse, Heart of West Michigan 2-1-1 Call Center, Michigan Alliance for Families and the Association for Children’s Mental Health.

Common questions listed on the site include “Do I have a right to know if my child is being disciplined?” and “My child has a disability; can the school punish him or her?”

Articles in the toolkit, which are authored by the Michigan Legal Help Program leadership, include “School Discipline: Rights for All Students,” “School Discipline: Rights for Students with Disabilities,” “Mandatory Expulsion from School,” “Free Appropriate Public Education” and “Due Process Hearings and Education-Related Complaints.”

Michigan Legal Help

Michigan Legal Help is a website created to help people handle simple civil legal problems without a lawyer. It offers articles to help people learn about specific areas of law and toolkits to help them prepare to represent themselves in court. Self-help tools are included for families and those seeking information about housing, public benefits, income tax and protection from abuse.

The Michigan Legal Help website and affiliated local self-help centers are part of the Michigan Legal Help Program. The program works with judges, courts, lawyers, bar associations, nonprofit legal aid agencies, legal self-help centers, libraries and many others to assist people representing themselves in civil legal matters in Michigan.

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