K-12 Students gain greater protections: Understanding the New Due Process Rights for Students in Lee County, Alabama and surrounding jurisdictions

Alabama students are now entitled to greater protection and rights when facing long term suspensions

4/26/20242 min read

Alabama has made a significant advancement in educational law by passing a bill that secures due process rights for K-12 students facing serious disciplinary actions. This law, effective from October 1, introduces crucial protections for students at Auburn and Opelika High School and other institutions across Lee County and the state, ensuring that their rights are upheld during disciplinary proceedings.

A Landmark Legislation for Student Rights

After four years of legislative efforts, Alabama joins other Southeastern states in providing legal protections for students. This law guarantees that students facing long-term suspension, alternative school placement, or expulsion have the right to a disciplinary hearing. Jerome Dees from the Southern Poverty Law Center highlights this as a "long-awaited victory," affirming that students' rights do not cease at the school door.

The Impact of the Law on Lee County and Surrounding Schools

The legislation mandates that schools, including those in Lee County, must:

  • Provide Advance Notice: Inform students and guardians about the charges and the hearing details.

  • Allow Legal Representation: Students may have a lawyer present, ensuring they are competently represented.

  • Ensure Access to Evidence: Students can review all related documentation and question witnesses, providing a fair chance to defend themselves.

These steps are vital in combating the disproportionate disciplinary measures that have historically affected Black students, as highlighted by recent reports showing a higher rate of discipline among these students.

How This Affects Your Child

For families in Auburn and Lee County, this law means that schools must now adhere to stricter standards of fairness and transparency. It protects students from unjust punitive measures and ensures they are treated equitably by the school administration.

Expert Legal Representation for Student Discipline Matters in Lee County

Navigating school disciplinary hearings can be complex and intimidating. As a legal professional specializing in student conduct matters in Lee County, I am dedicated to supporting students and their families through these challenging times. My extensive experience in educational law uniquely positions me to provide knowledgeable and empathetic assistance.

Are you facing a disciplinary hearing and feel overwhelmed? Don’t go through it alone. Contact me to ensure your child receives the representation they deserve and that their educational rights are fully protected. Whether you're dealing with a suspension at Auburn High School or any other school-related legal issue in Lee County, I'm here to help.

Call me today or reach out with the form at the bottom of this page. I look forward to speaking with you.