What to know about student disciplinary policies and how they can impact your future

On Behalf of | Feb 20, 2021 | Education Law |

If you think back to when your school first notified you of your admission, you’ll likely remember them providing you with a student handbook to read and then sign off saying that you’d done so.

While you may have glossed over its contents, you probably shouldn’t have. It spells out your school’s policies related to the behaviors they expect you to exhibit and what happens if you don’t. You could end up unintentionally getting kicked out of school if you allegedly violate the provisions contained within it. 

Standard provisions contained in student handbooks

Most colleges and universities have established morality and behavioral norms that they expect each student, faculty and staff member to exhibit. These handbooks list certain prohibited behaviors and the potential penalties for violating the school’s established policies.

These norms don’t generally only apply to students’ on-campus behavior but may carry over to what they do while off-campus as well. Schools may impose different rules upon those representing the school in an official capacity, whether laying a sports game or a conference and during their off time, such as while on vacation. 

How schools discipline students for policy violations

Administrators at each college or university set and enforce their student discipline procedures and impose varying penalties for violations. They may punish relatively minor offenses with a reprimand, whereas they may suspend a student for a more serious infraction. The disciplinary board may order the expulsion of any students who engage in particularly egregious acts, such as repeated violations or ones that harm others. 

The school’s disciplinary board generally convenes to discuss the matter and allow the student and any witnesses to provide their side of the story. Many schools have grievance processes that enable a student or employee to request a review of the penalties imposed.

Why it matters if you face disciplinary action

You likely worked hard to get into the school that admitted you. Know that if you end up facing disciplinary action, then it’s likely that both the new school that you apply to and prospective employers will receive your academic record as well as your disciplinary one. Problems such as this could affect your ability to get into another school and even limit your Pennsylvania job prospects. An education law attorney can help defend you in front of your Pittsburgh school’s disciplinary board when your future is on the line. 

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