Somehow kids broke into the driver's compartment in the back of the bus, and stole personal items and broke DVDs from an unmonitored, after school activity, 52 seater chartered bus while in motion. The principal suspended my child and two others from the bus for 5 days. The driver noticed the items after his duty day was over and did not see who did it. The principal took reports from two kids, however my child insists he did not do it and requested I advocate for him. In fact, he has witnesses he was sitting in the front with two friends. The suspension is over, but he is highly upset his teachers are gossiping about my son stealing and vandalizing. One teacher said "everyone" was talking about it. I am very upset about the shoddy investigation, and want his reputation reinstated.
There were no video feeds and there were about 30 students on the bus. I tried to appeal the suspension that was emailed to me. No one responded to my appeal so my son had to fulfill the suspension. It has been 2 weeks and no one has responded to my calls or emails. According to the bus policy, the principal does not have to notify the parents for any discipline issues and decisions made. However, my son insists he DID not do this and feels his reputation is tainted.
Administrative Law Lawyer
You need to arrange a meeting with the principal and district administrative staff to discuss the issue. I recommend that if you do not have an attorney at this meeting that you have a witness who will take notes as to what is stated. You cannot "reinstate" your child's reputation but you can insist that appropriate investigative and disciplinary standards be followed. In most communities a parent can challenge a disciplinary action through an appeal process. You need to find out what the process is in your school district. If your child's explanation is confirmed by witnesses, then the principal and teaching staff owe you and your child a written apology and the suspension should be removed from his records.
This is not a substitute for a consultation with a civil rights or education law attorney in your community.