Education is a fundamental right in New Mexico. This means that education cannot be denied or withheld from your child without certain protections.
School discipline can be formal or informal. For instance, your child’s school may have formally suspended your child after holding a hearing, or your child’s school may have informally disciplined your child by, for example, removing your child from their classroom for periods of time because of their behavior. We recommend you keep detailed notes about each time the school accuses your child of misbehavior and removes them from the classroom.
If the school is excluding your child because of alleged misbehavior, the school is required to follow certain procedures, depending on the type of exclusion. We recommend that you call our office to speak with an attorney who can advise you of your and your child’s rights. The school may be required to provide you with written notice regarding the school’s decision to remove your child and/or the school may be required to hold an administrative hearing before suspending or expelling your child.
If you have an upcoming suspension or expulsion hearing, we can help your family prepare. Even if the suspension or expulsion hearing has already happened, you may still have important appeal rights. One of our attorneys can explain these various protections to you. We provide these services at no cost, and one of our organization’s ultimate goals is to remove these harsh disciplinary practices from public schools in New Mexico.
For more information on how to advocate for children and youth in general education school discipline proceedings, click here.