Ms. Diambri is a lawyer that has expertise in representing clients in a variety of legal services related to their education or their child's education. This includes children in grades K-12 in regular education or with special needs, post-secondary students, and K-12 or post-secondary students facing disciplinary issues or suspension/expulsion hearings. While Ms. Diambri's focus is on protecting the rights of students, she believes it is equally important to ensure her fully understand their rights, the process, and services that they or their child are entitled. Ms. Diambri's expertise lies in the following:
OTHER PRACTICE AREAS:
Unfortunately, we live in a world where school bullying does not stop outside the parameters of the school building. Often, bullying continues to follow students out of the school building and into the home through social media through cyber bullying. Legal services play a crucial role in combatting bullying.Victims are bullying can seek legal recourse through both state and federal laws, and schools may implement consequences for the perpetrators. Such legal protections not only hold responsible parties accountable but also promote a culture of respect and tolerance, fostering a more inclusive and secure educational experience for all students.
In Illinois, school districts, charter schools, and non-public, non-sectarian, and secondary schools must follow a bullying prevention statute as outlined by 105 ILCS 5/27-23.7 to ensure their institution is a safe and stable environment for all students. This statute requires schools to create, maintain, and implement a policy on bullying, which must be filed with the State Board of Education. If you believe your child is the victim of bullying and your local school district has not resolved your concern, you have options. Our lawyers offer consulting and representation of victims of bullying.
Are you navigating the complexities of special education for your child? We are her to support you every step of the way. In Illinois, special education is safeguarded by robust legal protections to ensure that every child with unique needs receives a quality education. The Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandates that eligible students are provided with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) tailored to their specific requirements. These legal provisions grant parents and guardians the right to participate in decisions concerning their child's education, ensuring transparency and collaboration between schools and families.
From IEP advocacy to dispute resolution, our expertise in Illinois special education law empowers us to effectively advocate for your child's rights and needs. Let our attorneys be your trusted partners in securing the best possible educational outcomes.
Release of School Records
In Illinois, the release of student records is governed by strict regulations to protect privacy and ensure transparency. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) grants parents, legal guardians, and eligible students the right to access and control educational records. Schools must obtain written consent before disclosing these records to third parties, with certain exception for authorized personnel. If you are seeking to obtain student records, we can guide you through the process, ensuring compliance with Illinois state law and FERPA guidelines. Trust our lawyers to navigate the intricacies of record release, safeguarding, both privacy and access to essential educational information.
Disciplinary Issues, School Suspension, School Expulsion
Legal protections for students subject to disciplinary issues, school suspension, and expulsion are crucial to ensure fair treatment and due process. If your child or you face threats of suspension, expulsion, or other disciplinary matters for misbehaviors such as fighting, theft, truancy, bullying, drug/alcohol use, threats of violence to other students, or any other disciplinary action, we can serve as an advocate for your child. In these circumstances, you have the right to request a suspension or expulsion hearing from the school district; our attorneys can represent your child or you at hearing.
Does your child have a disability such as ADHD or Autism Spectrum Disorder? Federal laws like the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act provide protections for students with disabilities, requiring schools to consider individual needs and potential accommodations before imposing severe disciplinary measures. These legal safeguards aim to prevent unject or arbitrary punishments, promoting equity and maintaining a supportive learning environment for all students.
School Residency Issues
Navigating school residency issues in Illinois requires a clear understanding of the state's regulations. In Illinois, a student's right to attend a particular school is often tied to their legal residence. However, there are certain differences in residency considerations for general education students and special education students when it comes to accessing public education services.
For general education students, school residency typically refers to establishing legal residence within a specific school district's boundaries. Students are generally required to live within the district's geographical area to attend its schools. Residency verification may involve providing documents such as utility bills, lease agreements, or driver's license as proof of residence.
For special education students, residency remains a factor, but the primary focus is on providing appropriate educational services as mandated by federal and state laws. special education services are designed to meet the individualized needs of students with disabilities, regardless of their residential location. Students' rights to these services are protected under the Individualized with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
Post Secondary Issues
Students do not forfeit their rights for reasonable accommodations and fair education once they graduate high school. We represent students at the university, college, and graduate level. Legal protections for post-secondary students encompass a range of rights and safeguards to ensure a fair and supportive educational experience. These may include protections against discrimination based on race, gender, disability, and other factors under laws like Title IX and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Students have the right to access their educational records under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which regulates the disclosure of these records. Additionally, colleges and universities, including graduate schools, must adhere to academic integrity and disciplinary processes that provide students with due process rights, ensuring fair treatment in cases of alleges misconduct.
Our attorneys offer services that include areas such as: academic probation and grade appeals; program suspensions, expulsion, and dismissal; plagiarism; cheating; Code of Conduct violations; and disciplinary actions.
College Accommodations & Testing
Individuals with disabilities may find themselves denied services or accommodations on college or graduate school entrance exams such as the SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, MCAT, PCAT, LSAT, or DAT. We also represent individuals who have been denied accommodations on licensure exams such as the USMLE, Bar Exam, or NCLEX. during the application process or while enrolled in a college or university.
Students might find themselves denied reasonable and appropriate accommodations by their university or college. In some instances, accommodations were not implemented appropriately. Denial of these accommodations and services may constitute a violation of the student's rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504, and state law. We offer consulting and representation for these matters. We also provide services to students who had not yet disclosed their disability to an institution.
Should you find that your child or you are subject to extra-curricular or athletic code violations, our lawyers can be of assistance. Legal protections against the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) are designed to ensure fairness and compliance within high school sports and activities. IHSA operates as a private non-profit organization overseeing interscholastic sports and competitions in Illinois. Students and schools engaging in IHSA-regulated activities are entitled to a certain level of due process and fairness, including the right to appeal decisions or sanctions imposed by the association. However, since IHSA is not a government entity, constitutional protections like those provided by the First Amendment may have limited applicability in their decision-making processes. Nevertheless, schools and students can still seek legal recourse if they believe the IHSA's actions are inconsistent with their own rules and bylaws or if there are issues related to discrimination, bias, or unfair practices. Legal safeguards ultimately work to maintain integrity and equitable treatment within high school sports and activities overseen by the IHSA.
Our lawyers represent individuals that are subject to IHSA appeals and hearings regarding eligibility, residency & transfer provisions, sanctions, disciplinary actions, and other issues.
School truancy in Illinois refers to the unauthorized absence of students from school, which can have serious implications for their education and future prospects. Illinois law mandates regular school attendance for children of specified ages. When a student accumulates unexcused absences, schools are required to intervene, often involving parents or guardians in the process. If your child is dealing with truancy issues, it is essential to be aware of both state and local policies, as well as potential legal consequences. Consulting with legal experts can help navigate this complex landscape and ensure a positive learning experience for students.
Our lawyers specialize in navigating the intricacies of Illinois truancy laws, working closely with families, schools, and authorities to find proactive solutions. Our goal is not only to resolve immediate truancy challenges but also to promote a supportive environment that encourages regular school attendance. If you are facing truancy issues, don't navigate them alone.
Section 504 Eligibility and Violations
Legal protections against Section 504 eligibility issues and violations are crucial for ensuring equal access and nondiscrimination for individuals with disabilities. Section 504 prohibits discrimination based on disability in programs and activities receiving federal funding. If a student is denied eligibility for Section 504 services or experiences violations of their rights, they and their families have recourse to a grievance process to address these concerns. In cases of unresolved issues, students and their families can escalate their concerns to the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR), which enforces compliance with Section 504. These legal protections are designed to uphold the rights of individuals with disabilities and ensure they receive appropriate accommodations and equal opportunities in education.
Our attorneys provide consultation services and representation for students who may qualify for services and accommodations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). We can assist you with anything from Section 504 Eligibility meetings to OCR complaints and investigations.