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Should I hire an attorney? (related to teacher misconduct)

Oak Creek, WI |

My daughter was yanked by her hood during lunch by a food aid. A red mark was left on her neck yet the principal tries to treat it as if it's not a big deal. I asked that they sign a document stating the food aid have no contact with my daughter yet they refuse. I have filed complaints with the superintendent and police. My daughter has not been to school since.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

A lawsuit on this claim is likely to be lengthy, expensive, and ineffective to achieve meaningful results. A more effective solution lies in a complaint or appeal to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. They have demonstrated in the past that they are very student & parent-friendly in dealing with appeals of school district determinations and complaints regarding actions of school employees. The internet site to contact and obtain information from the Wisconsin DPI is: http://www.dpi.state.wi.us/ .

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Posted

You'll have to provide more detail. How hold is your daughter? Is this a private or public school (I assume public since you mention the superintendent)? Why did the aid do this? Was your daughter in a fight and she was trying to break it up? For a lawsuit you need damages, and the red mark on her neck is not going to be a basis for a successful lawsuit. However, if this is an ongoing problem, or your child has special needs, then you can hire an education law attorney to deal with the school. Whether or not you agree with the rationale, we need to know why the aid said she did this. Public entities are very hard to sue since there are many hoops to jump through. So usually, unless there is catastrophic personal injury, an attorney will not take it on contingency. For school procedures and discipline, it would be the education law attorney.

I will tell you that the vast majority of the time when parents come on these boards and say that a school employee/teacher "assaulted" their child and the cops and school did nothing, they later come back after pressing by the attorneys and say that either the kid was in a fight, or has special needs and the school employee was trying to control them (and that is why the education law attorney is useful, to come up with a safety plan).

Otherwise, we are to believe that out of nowhere, without any provocation, with no reason whatsoever, a food aid decided to walk up to your daughter and yank her hood, and the cops, principal, and superintendent did not take action.

We do not have an attorney-client relationship. I am not your lawyer. The statements I have made do not constitute legal advice. Any statements I have made are based upon the very limited facts you have presented, and under the premise that you will consult with a local attorney. This is not an attempt to solicit business. This disclaimer is in addition to any disclaimers that this website has made. I am only licensed in California.

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5 comments

Asker

Posted

My daughter is in 2nd grade, this is a public school, and the aid did this because she was under a table. While the aid was yanking my daughter by the neck she was yelling, "Stop you're hurting me!"

Golnar Sargeant

Golnar Sargeant

Posted

And she's not special needs? I need to know.

Asker

Posted

Yes she has a speech delay.

Golnar Sargeant

Golnar Sargeant

Posted

That should have been in the heading and body of your question. I have answered 3,540 questions on AVVO and not once have I ever answered a question with your fact pattern where the parent did not come back (after being pressed) to say the child has special needs. I will never understand why the questioners feel the need to suppress this most germane information, and it usually takes more than one "pressing". I'm not sure if they're trying to "steer" the lawyer into responding in a desired fashion, but as you see, with our training, we'll see the gap and ask you to fill it anyway. Now to your question: The reason that the speech delay issue is so important is that the aide's actions are really emblematic of a larger problem--schools are often ill equipped to deal with special needs kids--from inadequate training, improper staff reactions, ignorance about the child's condition etc. The only way to really make a difference in your child's life is to hire an Education Law attorney. Use the "find a lawyer" tool on AVVO. These attorneys are specialists in dealing with the schools--IEPs, 504s, and the maximum amount of benefits, training, and accommodations that your child is entitled to under the law, in addition to protecting your child's rights. Once these protections are in place, there are legal ramifications to the school not complying. Parents are often shocked at what they were entitled to that they did not know about, and also, in the difference they see in their child. The alternative is to fight tooth and nail with the school on every thing for the next decade, with no benefit to your child. The red mark is the symptom, spend your money and your efforts on treating the bigger problem. As for affordability, there are times in life when you can not afford not to have an attorney, this is one of them. If you continue withholding your daughter from school, she is vulnerable to expulsion and you could be criminally prosecuted for truancy. For the reasons I stated in my original response to you, there is no successful lawsuit for the red mark on her neck despite the aide's improper behavior.

Asker

Posted

Thank you Golnar you have been very insightful. I will take your advice to heart believe me. Sorry I did not tell you she is special needs I don't consider her to be though technically she is. Again thanks.

Posted

Respectfully, what you describe is not a sound basis to keep your child out of school. Your daughter is being injured far worse by keeping her out of school than by the the effort to remove her from under the table.

No legal advice here. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as if they were legal advice. I give legal advice ONLY in the course of a formal attorney-client relationship set forth in a written document executed by the client and by me or a member of my firm. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. My law firm does not provide free consultations. Please do not call or write to me with a “few questions” that require me to analyze the specific facts of your history and your license application and prescribe for you how to get a State license. I can give advice, make recommendations and answer specific questions only after reviewing the evidence and documents applicable to a specific client and following a personal meeting in my office in which the relevant facts can be developed and analyzed. My law firm presently accepts cases involving State and federal licenses and permits; discipline against State and federal licenses; and disciplinary and academic challenges to universities, colleges, boarding schools, and private schools. We take cases of wrongful termination or employment discrimination only if the claims involve peace officers, universities or colleges.

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