School Board Hearings Vs. Juvenile Court Hearing ~ What's The Difference?

If you are the parent of a child who has begun to exhibit behavioral problems, you are likely worried about potential consequences of their actions. Perhaps you have already been contacted by your child's school. Some schools have security officers or police officers on their campuses. It is possible that you may have been warned that your child could be subjected to a school board hearing or a juvenile hearing if their behavior does not improve. Many parents faced with this type of situation wonder what the differences between the two are and whether their children may be required to appear before both. The following points will help you to better understand this matter.

School Board Hearings

This type of hearing will usually occur when students commit acts that are against school district code of conduct policies. Your child could be subject to a hearing of this nature even if their alleged actions did not happen on school grounds. For example, a child might get into a fight, be insubordinate, or use drugs or alcohol while on a field trip that has been organized and supervised by school officials. If a hearing is arranged, chances are other misconduct will also be brought up, which can make it difficult for you and your child. These hearings are serious because they often carry stiff penalties such as expulsion. 

Juvenile Court Hearings

Your child might be referred to a juvenile court hearing if they are accused of breaking the law. It is also possible that they can be referred to the court system as an unruly child if they do things such as miss curfew or frequently argue with you to the point that police intervention is required. Sometimes juvenile court and school board hearings are required for the same charges. This can happen when a child is accused of committing an act on school property/supervision that is also a violation of the law. An example would be possessing drugs or alcohol. The hearings would be held separately, and it is possible for them to have different outcomes such as charges substantiated at one and unsubstantiated at the other.

A juvenile lawyer like Jack Weatherill Law Offices is a good resource to use for school board and juvenile court proceedings. This is because they are familiar with state laws that pertain to juveniles. They will likely also be familiar with the school system policies in local your area and know the intricacies of dealing with schools administrators. Perhaps there is not substantiated proof regarding the allegations against your child, and a juvenile lawyer could be beneficial in getting the charges dismissed.