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Zero Tolerance
Prevent a Nightmare

Action to Take:

Step 1: Inform the School District.

Write a letter to your child's school
Superintendent that says:

If my child is a witness to, or if his/her involvement is suspected in any incident in your schools that would warrant suspension or other disciplinary action for my child or any other child, I am to be immediately notified. The ___________ School District, its employees or agents acting on their behalf, including on-site police officers, do not have my permission to search, question or suspend my child without my knowledge, presence or participation. Letter to School Superintendent

If they write or call back that your request would cause "undue hardship" or "we don't want parents interfering in the investigation" use it as part of your complaint to send to the Office for Civil Rights.

Step 2: Educate Your Child.

  • Provide a copy of your notification letter to have with him/her at all times.
  • Tell your children not to say anything about the incident to school officials or the police. (Principal, Asst. Principal, Student Services Supervisors, Teachers, Counselors, even other students.) Tell them not to answer any questions unless you (the parent) are there. Your child has the right to remain silent! (Miranda)
  • Your child has the right not to say or write down anything that may incriminate or be used to incriminate him/her later. He or she does not have to fill out or sign their name to any witness statement or any other document given to them without your being there. If it can be used as a "confession" it will. Your child has the right not to be held against his will during a school investigation.
  • As school investigations and witness statements are turned over to the police to file subsequent charges, it is even more imperative that you and your child know your rights and exercise them accordingly. The police use the principal's investigation (even unsworn statements) in Delaware as a basis for filing criminal charges!
  • In this Zero-Tolerance world, telling the truth and owning up to any part, however slight, in an incident is the absolute worst thing your child can do, because the school district will use his own testimony to throw your kid out of school and into a substandard "alternative program" and/or jail. They are not above exaggerating or misrepresenting charges to appear far worse than the actual offense.

(Adobe .PDF format)

The latest scam: offering a "plea bargain."

School Districts are now getting crafty--offering to "drop the expulsion" in return for your agreeing to send your child to their garbage "alternative school."

Understand if you go this route,
your child will effectively be punished without a trial, you have signed away your rights, the school gets money for the referral and the alternative school makes it's quota...and all without an expulsion being on their record so they won't be marked down as a school at risk. Pretty sneaky.

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