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

Asked almost 2 years ago - 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)

  1. Craig A. Post

    Contributor Level 17

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    Answered . 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.

    Disclaimer- The information you obtain at our web-site or through postings on such sites as this is not, nor is it... more
  2. Brian C. Pascale

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

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

    Mr. Pascale is licensed to practice law in the State of New York. The response herein is not legal advice and does... more
  3. Manuel Alzamora Juarez

    Contributor Level 20

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    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . 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.

    This answer is provided by Manuel A. Juarez, Esq., El Abogado de Accidentes de Autos de California: 510-206-4492.... more
  4. David J. McCormick

    Contributor Level 20

    9

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    Answered . 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... more
  5. Jayson Lutzky

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . 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.

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  6. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . Call the school board to discuss.

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  7. Chris Matthew Limberopoulos

    Contributor Level 16

    7

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

  8. Michael J Palumbo

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

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    Answered . 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.

  9. Carolyn Mae Gramlich

    Contributor Level 7

    5

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    Answered . 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.

  10. Timothy Leo Bowden

    Contributor Level 14

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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.

  11. Joseph Allen Bollhofer

    Contributor Level 12

    3

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    Answered . 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.

    Unless specifically stated otherwise, this communication shall not be deemed to be legal or tax advice, and no... more
  12. Rafael Omar Gomez

    Contributor Level 10

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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.

  13. Jeffrey Jose Estrella

    Contributor Level 13

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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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    The answers posted herein are not legal advice and no attorney-client relationship exists. Call for a free 20... more

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