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I work as a school principal. Can I prevent a grandparent from coming to the school and making accusations against a teacher?

Jamaica, NY |

The grandparent claims the teacher stole money that was sent in to pay for a PTA event. Before we (the school) were able to investigate the allegation, the grandparent came in screaming at the office staff and insisting the teacher be arrested. We did investigate and found that the teacher was absent when the money was supposed to have been sent in; there is no record of the money ever being received. The grandparent has come to the school each day and has been loud, beligerent and hurling accusations. Particularly after Sandy Hook, this behavior is frightening and very upsetting. Can the school prevent her from entering?

Attorney Answers 13

Posted

The grandparent does not have a right to yell and upset the teacher and students. He can state his claims in a calm manner. You should write a letter to the grand parent advising him that his comportment should be civilized or the next time he engages in such belligerent behavior he will be removed from the school by the police and a restraining order will be filed against him. This should take care of the problem. Best of luck.

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Posted

If you are concerned for the safety of your students and staff call the police.

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Posted

As part of Mr. Pascale's suggestion, perhaps you should be in contact with your district for guidance. I'm sure there is a policy in place that covers similar situations as there is always the threat of opening up you and the school to liability if things get out of hand.

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1 comment

Brian C. Pascale

Brian C. Pascale

Posted

I would concur with Mr. Post's suggestion.

Posted

That is an issue for your school board and your administration.

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Posted

Call the police ASAP and contact your school district administrator.

Good luck.

DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.

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Posted

Call the school board to discuss.

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Posted

Contact the school board and the lawyers for the school for assistance and advice. There may be some school board and district protocols to be followed.

If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or www.mynewyorkcitylawyer.com.

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Posted

The grandparent's conduct is totally inappropriate, unacceptable and should not be tolerated. I recommend you call law enforcement immediately to report the name and contact information of the grandparent at issue in addition to giving information and chronological dates as to all incidents of concern which have occurred. Keep an updated paper trail of what occurred and how you handled it. I also recommend you immediately send a certified letter, return receipt to the grandparent expressing your specific concerns, state that you have or are in the process of contacting law enforcement and that you will contact law enforcement if any further incidents such as those described occur on school grounds in the future.

There are children and families needing to be protected in this situation and even though some may think it excessive, it is advisable to err on the side of caution. We are living in times where it is not wise to take chances with volatile personalities, especially where children are concerned.

As a former teacher, I have seen situations escalate when they could have been prevented with proactive measures at the outset of the matter.

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Posted

the local school board needs to get involved and possibly get the board attorney involved. if you get no where with that, then i think the next time she comes onto the premises, you may have no other choice but to call police.

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Posted

You should be calling your superiors and asking them for guidance, not going rogue to an online web site for random answers from attorneys. And I find it hard to believe that a NYC School Principal does not know the school district's policies on building access or does not have their own policy that they enforce.

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

thank you - so I am clear, every school in NYC is not a part of NYC public schools, not are all part of a distict as there are charter and nonpublic schools in NYC.

Michael J Palumbo

Michael J Palumbo

Posted

As the principal you should still know your school's policy on whom has license to access the premises during and after hours. If there is a policy you should have been trained on it and if not you should implement one.

Posted

Yes, I think you should contact the administration officials for the school district, who should probably contact the lawyers they represent the school district. The administration also may consider contacting the police to prevent a person from coming back on campus and harassing staff. Also, since the teacher who was accused was actually absent, that teacher might have a claim against this grandparent for slander.

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Posted

The school district should have an attorney on staff or retainer who can guide you. However if you fear for safety of students and school staff you should report the matter to the police immediately.

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Posted

I think it can be done if there is a real risk of interfereing with school functions and operations. Try calling the cops next time the grandparent comes in and gets loud. Even if they don't arrest the person they still would have incident reports on file. The more documentation the better for you in later proving a civil suit for damages if it comes to that.

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