Student Tribunal Project/Foster Child Representation
Under Georgia law, K-12 public school students faced with proposed out-of-school suspension of more than ten days, or with expulsion, are entitled to dispute the proposed disciplinary action at an administrative hearing often called a "tribunal." The statute provides basic due process protections related to notice, the opportunity to present witnesses and evidence, and the right to representation by counsel. Given the impact a long-term suspension or expulsion may have on a student's academic success, it's essential to justice that the tribunal process provide meaningful due process to a student.
When Georgia Appleseed heard concerns expressed about the objectivity of presiding officers and the availability of qualified counsel to assist students, especially indigent students, in the proceedings, our Young Professionals Council responded. The YPC created the Representing Students in School Tribunals in Georgia Attorney Training Manual to provide attorneys who are not experienced education lawyers with an understanding of the laws and procedures involved in a Georgia school tribunal hearing. It provides tools to navigate pro bono attorneys through the process of representing a student throughout the tribunal process.
The Manual was published in March 2013 to coincide with a CLE opportunity presented by YPC members. View the video of the CLE course here.
Watch this video explaining our inspiration for representing foster children and to learn more: