Legal Question in Education Law in Texas

My 17 year old son made an obscene gesture to one of his friends as he passed him in the hall. A female teacher saw and took him to the office. He now faces 6 days in ISS as well as possible expulsion if the teacher decides to file a grieveance against the school for being subjected to a sexual situation. The principal then took my son for drug testing without any probable cause (which was negative). My son has no discipline record at the school. What can we do?

Asked on 3/29/10, 5:45 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Mark Dunn Mark D. Dunn

My understanding is that, under the current state of the law, public schools can get away with almost anything in the name of "maintaining order." Usually, a lawsuit against the school will go nowhere, and the final decision will be that the school "acted reasonably."

On the other hand: I suggest that your son write a PAPER letter to the teacher and apologize to her, something like this:

"Dear Ms. Jenkins: I very much regret that you were present when I made a certain hand gesture toward one of my classmates at school. I did not know that you were in the vicinity and had I known you were there, I would not have engaged in this form of non-verbal communication. Young people such as myself frequently err when drawing the line between innocent coarse joking and offensiveness."

My personal opinion is that this teacher and this principal should just get over it.

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Answered on 4/03/10, 6:41 am

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