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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>School Liability In Preschool Expulsion?
Enrico 11:12 AM 09-14-2018
Good morning,

I would like an opinion on whether there is any legal liability on the private school that expelled my son from their preschool program.

Long story short my son was suddenly expelled at a time when we were led to believe that things were going fine (we got a phone call at 8:15am while driving him to school in which we were told that that would be his last day there).

We exchanged several emails with the president of the board of the institution. We explained that while we agree that this institution wasn't a good fit for our son, we disagreed on the modality of the expulsion which didn't allow us a smooth transition elsewhere.

In one of these emails the president wrote (I removed all identifiable references):
"
The other way in which we failed you was in, as you point out, not following our own policies and procedures (which are available in the Policy Manual on the website, I believe).

First, I don't believe we brought in other leads to observe MYSONSNAME's behavior. That could have been done. We are working now on hiring a Director of SCHOOLNAME Programs who will oversee our classrooms and teachers from a philosophical and curriculum standpoint; this situation reinforces the need for that position.

Second, the board was not involved in the expulsion. Personally, I do not believe that the board should be involved in student and classroom issues, in that members of the board bring conflicts of interest (insofar as we may have personal relationships with children and families), for the most part have no SCHOOLNAME or educational training, and have a decidedly high level operational role to play in the school, rather than classroom and student-specific. That said, the SCHOOLNAME policy, written in 1989, which all of us overlooked, dictates board involvement in matters of mid-year expulsion. PRINCIPALNAME did tell me in our regular meetings about MYSONSNAME's expulsion, but I am very sorry that none of us remembered that that policy was on the books. It isn't often used, and it doesn't seem logical to me, but it is there, and we should have reviewed the expulsion before it went into effect.
"

So: are they liable in a court of law?

Thanks!

A concerned father.
Reply
Cat Herder 11:26 AM 09-14-2018
Originally Posted by Enrico:

1. private school

2. preschool program.

3. we agree that this institution wasn't a good fit for our son

So: are they liable in a court of law?

Thanks!

A concerned father.
Liable for what exactly?

They already apologized for not following their expulsion policy exactly but feel expulsion was the correct choice. Even you agreed that the school was not a good fit. Preschool is not school, it is preparation for school.

Are you wanting your deposit back?
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Cat Herder 11:35 AM 09-14-2018
"didn't allow us a smooth transition elsewhere"

Also, daycares and preschools are not legally required to provide a smooth transition. It is a parents responsibility to have backup childcare at all times.

Sure, it would have been great had it gone more smoothly, but some situations call for immediate termination of the contract and we reserve the right to do so.
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mommyneedsadayoff 11:36 AM 09-14-2018
Originally Posted by Enrico:
Good morning,

I would like an opinion on whether there is any legal liability on the private school that expelled my son from their preschool program.

Long story short my son was suddenly expelled at a time when we were led to believe that things were going fine (we got a phone call at 8:15am while driving him to school in which we were told that that would be his last day there).

We exchanged several emails with the president of the board of the institution. We explained that while we agree that this institution wasn't a good fit for our son, we disagreed on the modality of the expulsion which didn't allow us a smooth transition elsewhere.

In one of these emails the president wrote (I removed all identifiable references):
"
The other way in which we failed you was in, as you point out, not following our own policies and procedures (which are available in the Policy Manual on the website, I believe).

First, I don't believe we brought in other leads to observe MYSONSNAME's behavior. That could have been done. We are working now on hiring a Director of SCHOOLNAME Programs who will oversee our classrooms and teachers from a philosophical and curriculum standpoint; this situation reinforces the need for that position.

Second, the board was not involved in the expulsion. Personally, I do not believe that the board should be involved in student and classroom issues, in that members of the board bring conflicts of interest (insofar as we may have personal relationships with children and families), for the most part have no SCHOOLNAME or educational training, and have a decidedly high level operational role to play in the school, rather than classroom and student-specific. That said, the SCHOOLNAME policy, written in 1989, which all of us overlooked, dictates board involvement in matters of mid-year expulsion. PRINCIPALNAME did tell me in our regular meetings about MYSONSNAME's expulsion, but I am very sorry that none of us remembered that that policy was on the books. It isn't often used, and it doesn't seem logical to me, but it is there, and we should have reviewed the expulsion before it went into effect.
"

So: are they liable in a court of law?

Thanks!

A concerned father.
Legal liability? For what? It wasn't a good fit and that was made clear, so move on. If you paid for care/tution that was not rendered, it may change my opinion. In that case, admission of not following procedure puts the preschool in a position to repay funds.
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Enrico 12:18 PM 09-14-2018
Well. Private schools are controlled by Contract Law. When our son started there we signed a contract and they admitted in an official email that they are in violation of this contract. Usually when people are in breach of a contract there is a liability of some kind or another: one could sue for damages. For instance, had they respected the contract we would have been able to move our child to another school avoiding unnecessary hardship on him. He didn't need to know that he had been expelled.

I'm asking whether this is a complete misreading of the legal situation and whether the school didn't actually breach any contract.
Reply
Leigh 12:22 PM 09-14-2018
Originally Posted by Enrico:
Good morning,

I would like an opinion on whether there is any legal liability on the private school that expelled my son from their preschool program.

Long story short my son was suddenly expelled at a time when we were led to believe that things were going fine (we got a phone call at 8:15am while driving him to school in which we were told that that would be his last day there).

We exchanged several emails with the president of the board of the institution. We explained that while we agree that this institution wasn't a good fit for our son, we disagreed on the modality of the expulsion which didn't allow us a smooth transition elsewhere.

In one of these emails the president wrote (I removed all identifiable references):
"
The other way in which we failed you was in, as you point out, not following our own policies and procedures (which are available in the Policy Manual on the website, I believe).

First, I don't believe we brought in other leads to observe MYSONSNAME's behavior. That could have been done. We are working now on hiring a Director of SCHOOLNAME Programs who will oversee our classrooms and teachers from a philosophical and curriculum standpoint; this situation reinforces the need for that position.

Second, the board was not involved in the expulsion. Personally, I do not believe that the board should be involved in student and classroom issues, in that members of the board bring conflicts of interest (insofar as we may have personal relationships with children and families), for the most part have no SCHOOLNAME or educational training, and have a decidedly high level operational role to play in the school, rather than classroom and student-specific. That said, the SCHOOLNAME policy, written in 1989, which all of us overlooked, dictates board involvement in matters of mid-year expulsion. PRINCIPALNAME did tell me in our regular meetings about MYSONSNAME's expulsion, but I am very sorry that none of us remembered that that policy was on the books. It isn't often used, and it doesn't seem logical to me, but it is there, and we should have reviewed the expulsion before it went into effect.
"

So: are they liable in a court of law?

Thanks!

A concerned father.

I don't understand what you are wanting from the preschool. Could you elaborate on what you were hoping to sue them for?
Reply
Cat Herder 12:28 PM 09-14-2018
Originally Posted by Enrico:
Well. Private schools are controlled by Contract Law. When our son started there we signed a contract and they admitted in an official email that they are in violation of this contract. Usually when people are in breach of a contract there is a liability of some kind or another: one could sue for damages. For instance, had they respected the contract we would have been able to move our child to another school avoiding unnecessary hardship on him. He didn't need to know that he had been expelled.

I'm asking whether this is a complete misreading of the legal situation and whether the school didn't actually breach any contract.
Typically breach of contract means you are entitled to your deposit back. It should be outlined in your contract. I would have refunded your deposit and any tuition overpayment to date.

I disagree that your son did not need to know he was expelled. There are consequences in life, it would be my parenting goal to make him understand those and how to avoid such things going forward in life. I don't see that as a damage, I see that as a parenting opportunity.

What other damages do you feel you incurred?
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Blackcat31 12:46 PM 09-14-2018
Originally Posted by Enrico:
He didn't need to know that he had been expelled.


What was he expelled for?
Reply
mommyneedsadayoff 01:30 PM 09-14-2018
Originally Posted by Enrico:
Well. Private schools are controlled by Contract Law. When our son started there we signed a contract and they admitted in an official email that they are in violation of this contract. Usually when people are in breach of a contract there is a liability of some kind or another: one could sue for damages. For instance, had they respected the contract we would have been able to move our child to another school avoiding unnecessary hardship on him. He didn't need to know that he had been expelled.

I'm asking whether this is a complete misreading of the legal situation and whether the school didn't actually breach any contract.
I'm not sure if they breached contract. But I guess I would seek out what it is I'm looking for...Money? Retribution for your childs pain and suffering? Is it worth it to pursue? Why did they get expelled? Expulsion is pretty intense, so I doubt it was a first time offense. Was it a behavior issue? So many unknowns, so hard to give advice.

I think of daycare or private school as a service. I would expect a refund for services unrendered, but I would never expect to be paid by them if care could no longer be provided.
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MyAngels 02:26 PM 09-14-2018
An attorney can tell you whether you have any recourse under the contract. It will also most likely depend on your state. For instance, if you're in Illinois a child can't be expelled from preschool unless certain steps have been followed.

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/bill...0&SessionID=91
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hwichlaz 04:25 PM 09-14-2018
Was he expelled for unsafe behavior?

If so, and you want to protect him from that...YOU ARE THE PROBLEM.
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Ariana 05:05 PM 09-14-2018
It would depend on your contract and the terms of termination. It sounds like behavior was the cause and if they have an immediate termination due to behavior clause you are not entitled to much.
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Michael 05:29 PM 09-14-2018
I'm not a lawyer but in my opinion the "business" has the right to terminate for any reason that they feel is covered in their parent handbook/contract. Even you mentioned that the school and your son are a "bad fit". That alone would show that this was an agreeable reason for both parties.

Liability would have to be considered by a court which in this case would be small claims court. If they violated the terms of your contract, the only damages owed would be the money you paid as a deposit or paid for services that can be somehow redeemed. Then again, the business is most likely covered by the terms of your agreement.

You or your son's emotions do not get covered as damages, though I'm sure you are both feel hurt by the school's decision. I went through the same thing with my son and it stings, but you just need to move on and find the right fit. You can't take these types of issues too personally. Good luck
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Unregistered 06:53 PM 09-14-2018
I feel as though the most important question here should be ď how can we, as parents, handle this situation so that my son learns to accept change in a positive way, and not turn into a child who cries ďno fairĒ every time life presents him with a challenge.
Reply
Enrico 07:56 PM 09-14-2018
Few points:
- We leave in Indiana and I'm not sure whether there is a piece of legislation equivalent to the one in Illinois.
- All of this happened in March 2017 and we did work very hard on our son to make him understand what happened.
- The reason for which the school hired an extra person to make sure this never happens again is that (1) there was a revolt of many parents and (2) one of the other teachers in my child classroom threatened to resign over his expulsion.
- In the rule book immediate expulsion is contemplated but, if one reads the words of the president of the board I pasted in the first post, she candidly admits that those conditions WERE NOT APPLICABLE TO MY SON EXPULSION. In fact, she says that the school DID NOT RESPECT THE RULE BOOK PROCEDURE.
- There is no issue with any reimbursement: we paid until the last day of school (last month was pro-rated) and we got back the deposit.
- I want to know if the there is potential criminal liability. They ignored parts of the contract put in place to protect the child from unnecessary pain and trauma. Had they invoked the immediate expulsion part of the contract things would be much more tricky because one would have to prove that they were wrong which is probably impossible; but they admit that they mistakenly kicked him out with a day notice instead of engaging in a long process which would have taken several weeks at least. I have no idea if in Indiana there is any recourse.

Thanks to everybody for replying!
Reply
Unregistered 09:50 PM 09-14-2018
Criminal liability? No. If law was broken.
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hwichlaz 06:35 AM 09-15-2018
Originally Posted by Enrico:
Few points:
- We leave in Indiana and I'm not sure whether there is a piece of legislation equivalent to the one in Illinois.
- All of this happened in March 2017 and we did work very hard on our son to make him understand what happened.
- The reason for which the school hired an extra person to make sure this never happens again is that (1) there was a revolt of many parents and (2) one of the other teachers in my child classroom threatened to resign over his expulsion.
- In the rule book immediate expulsion is contemplated but, if one reads the words of the president of the board I pasted in the first post, she candidly admits that those conditions WERE NOT APPLICABLE TO MY SON EXPULSION. In fact, she says that the school DID NOT RESPECT THE RULE BOOK PROCEDURE.
- There is no issue with any reimbursement: we paid until the last day of school (last month was pro-rated) and we got back the deposit.
- I want to know if the there is potential criminal liability. They ignored parts of the contract put in place to protect the child from unnecessary pain and trauma. Had they invoked the immediate expulsion part of the contract things would be much more tricky because one would have to prove that they were wrong which is probably impossible; but they admit that they mistakenly kicked him out with a day notice instead of engaging in a long process which would have taken several weeks at least. I have no idea if in Indiana there is any recourse.

Thanks to everybody for replying!
Breaking a contract is NOT criminal. Itís civil. And Civil penalties are based on financial loss. You didnít lose anything financially. So you are not due anything....and suing would be a waste of money.
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hwichlaz 06:35 AM 09-15-2018
The law is not there for you to punish someone that has angered or disappointed you. You donít get to ďmake them payĒ because you donít like how they handled this.
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Ac114 06:53 AM 09-15-2018
Originally Posted by Enrico:
Few points:
- We leave in Indiana and I'm not sure whether there is a piece of legislation equivalent to the one in Illinois.
- All of this happened in March 2017 and we did work very hard on our son to make him understand what happened.
- The reason for which the school hired an extra person to make sure this never happens again is that (1) there was a revolt of many parents and (2) one of the other teachers in my child classroom threatened to resign over his expulsion.
- In the rule book immediate expulsion is contemplated but, if one reads the words of the president of the board I pasted in the first post, she candidly admits that those conditions WERE NOT APPLICABLE TO MY SON EXPULSION. In fact, she says that the school DID NOT RESPECT THE RULE BOOK PROCEDURE.
- There is no issue with any reimbursement: we paid until the last day of school (last month was pro-rated) and we got back the deposit.
- I want to know if the there is potential criminal liability. They ignored parts of the contract put in place to protect the child from unnecessary pain and trauma. Had they invoked the immediate expulsion part of the contract things would be much more tricky because one would have to prove that they were wrong which is probably impossible; but they admit that they mistakenly kicked him out with a day notice instead of engaging in a long process which would have taken several weeks at least. I have no idea if in Indiana there is any recourse.

Thanks to everybody for replying!
Criminal liability? What law did they break? And why are you still obsessed with this a year later?

Your son was in preschool and they terminated services. Move on already.
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boy_mom 07:27 AM 09-15-2018
Another parent who didn't like hearing NO 😂😂
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Blackcat31 07:52 AM 09-15-2018
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:


What was he expelled for?
Again....what was your son expelled for?
Reply
nannyde 10:11 AM 09-15-2018
Originally Posted by Enrico:
Few points:
- We leave in Indiana and I'm not sure whether there is a piece of legislation equivalent to the one in Illinois.
- All of this happened in March 2017 and we did work very hard on our son to make him understand what happened.
- The reason for which the school hired an extra person to make sure this never happens again is that (1) there was a revolt of many parents and (2) one of the other teachers in my child classroom threatened to resign over his expulsion.
- In the rule book immediate expulsion is contemplated but, if one reads the words of the president of the board I pasted in the first post, she candidly admits that those conditions WERE NOT APPLICABLE TO MY SON EXPULSION. In fact, she says that the school DID NOT RESPECT THE RULE BOOK PROCEDURE.
- There is no issue with any reimbursement: we paid until the last day of school (last month was pro-rated) and we got back the deposit.
- I want to know if the there is potential criminal liability. They ignored parts of the contract put in place to protect the child from unnecessary pain and trauma. Had they invoked the immediate expulsion part of the contract things would be much more tricky because one would have to prove that they were wrong which is probably impossible; but they admit that they mistakenly kicked him out with a day notice instead of engaging in a long process which would have taken several weeks at least. I have no idea if in Indiana there is any recourse.

Thanks to everybody for replying!
This happened a year and a half ago?
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Silly Songs 01:09 PM 09-15-2018
I think I need the watered down version of this. What is OP talking about ?
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Enrico 07:15 PM 09-15-2018
Thanks to all. I came here to see if there is any legal recourse and the answer seems to be a resounding no. I won't waste money on an attorney. I just didn't want to leave any chip on the table and wanted to be sure before moving on.

Good bye and thank you again for taking time to answer.

Take care.
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Pandaluver21 10:02 PM 09-15-2018
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
Again....what was your son expelled for?
I'm thinking someone doesn't want to answer that...
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Blackcat31 07:20 AM 09-16-2018
Originally Posted by Pandaluver21:
I'm thinking someone doesn't want to answer that...
I think youíre right

It would definitely influence my reply but OP seems to be avoiding the question
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Rockgirl 08:21 AM 09-16-2018
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
I think youíre right

It would definitely influence my reply but OP seems to be avoiding the question
That question, and the question of what, exactly, he is seeking. He said itís not money, so.....what?
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amberrose3dg 11:47 AM 09-16-2018
Originally Posted by Enrico:
Thanks to all. I came here to see if there is any legal recourse and the answer seems to be a resounding no. I won't waste money on an attorney. I just didn't want to leave any chip on the table and wanted to be sure before moving on.

Good bye and thank you again for taking time to answer.

Take care.
Oh my. The thoughts that are in parent's heads are scary. This happened 1.5 years ago. You do not want to elaborate on why your child was expelled. Sounds like it was a behavior issue. In that case how dare you think the school owes you because your child was most likely terminated to protect the safety of other children. I myself have terminated on the spot over safety concerns.
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Enrico 12:34 PM 09-16-2018
In case anybody is interested I found an interesting document that explains contract law between daycare and parents.

http://childcarelaw.org/wp-content/u...California.pdf

It focuses on California but almost everything applies to other states. As an example it covers my case and it explains that the only recourse is that I'm entitled to a refund for the days I prepaid and the deposit (both of which the daycare refunded).
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Blackcat31 04:20 PM 09-16-2018
Originally Posted by Enrico:
In case anybody is interested I found an interesting document that explains contract law between daycare and parents.

http://childcarelaw.org/wp-content/u...California.pdf

It focuses on California but almost everything applies to other states. As an example it covers my case and it explains that the only recourse is that I'm entitled to a refund for the days I prepaid and the deposit (both of which the daycare refunded).
Answer the questions please...

What was your son expelled for?

What do you want from the daycare? Money?
Punishment for the daycare for terming your son?

Dude... judging by your posts I already know why your son was termed and Ill say right now, although I know you wonít listen... drop it and move on. Your kid got termed from a daycare. Heíll survive... life will go on and he wonít be scarred by any of this unless you choose to continue pursuing it.

Be careful though because in the process heíll also learn his parent isnít fighting for whatís right but fighting to be right.

BIG difference between the two
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MarinaVanessa 05:51 PM 09-16-2018
Originally Posted by Enrico:
In case anybody is interested I found an interesting document that explains contract law between daycare and parents.

http://childcarelaw.org/wp-content/u...California.pdf

It focuses on California but almost everything applies to other states. As an example it covers my case and it explains that the only recourse is that I'm entitled to a refund for the days I prepaid and the deposit (both of which the daycare refunded).
I live in CA and from experience, CA has some of the strictest laws in the nation in many areas. Keep that in mind because many times some states are more strict and others more lenient on matters. You will have to check the laws in your own state.

As far as the link you posted, here's a part of it ...
"If one side does violate the contract, the other side may decide to sue in small claims court for money that is owed. This usually occurs when the parent has paid in advance or when the provider asks the child to leave care without giving enough notice.

For example, if the contract requires the provider to give parents two weeks’ notice before terminating a child from the program, the provider is in breach if she dismisses a child from care without giving two weeks’ notice. A parent who sues because of this breach may be entitled to stop paying the provider, to a refund of any advance payment, and possibly also to payment of any wages lost because the parent missed work while arranging replacement child care."

So pretty much what everyone here has already said. There's nothing criminal about your issue, it's civil. Indiana has a 2 year limit on filing a small claims court case so I'm assuming that's why you are asking now, your deadline is almost up. The only thing that no one mentioned that was in the link you posted was the part about possibly being able to sue for loss of wages if you missed work trying to find daycare. If you did and they did and if the reason that your child was expelled was for reasons other than for unsafe behavior or behavior that goes against the contract/policies you agreed to then you might have a case. That depends on why your son was expelled and what is in the contract and policies. It's hard to say without knowing the specifics.
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daycarediva 11:21 AM 09-18-2018
This thread though.

I'm dying to know WHY child was booted, effective immediately. I did it to a daycare child who decided to pick up a (toy, but 'actual tool') shovel and smash a glass window, causing it to need replacing. My contract states that I CAN and WILL terminate at will for violent/aggressive and/or destructive behavior without refund. I was brought to small claims court and not only won the judgement, but won my counter claim for court costs, lost work, and defamation.

If your child's behavior was so severe that it warranted immediate expulsion, you need to evaluate your child. In addition, pursuing this over a year later makes you seem just vindictive and angry.

There are things to carry a torch over in regards to your child, this is not one of them.
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daycarediva 11:23 AM 09-18-2018
There is a ton of talk lately about preschool expulsion rates. Could you be insinuating this is a race related issue, by chance?
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Tags:expulsion, lawsuit, liability., parent - its a verb, preschool, terminate - bad fit, termination, termination - bad fit, termination - gone bad
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