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Discipline Advocacy Tools

Frequently Asked Questions about School Arrests

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Q: What are my child’s rights if he/she is arrested at school?


A: Your child has basically all the same rights if arrested at school as in the community. This means that police officer arresting your child must inform your child of his/her Miranda rights. Miranda Rights include:

  • Right to remain silent. Your child has the right to not give any information to school officials, police, security, or anyone else until he/she has talked to a lawyer. Tell your child to request a lawyer if he/she is ever facing arrest. Once a lawyer is requested the police have to stop their questioning.
  • Right to not sign anything. As part of the right to remain silent, your child does not have to sign any papers until a lawyer is consulted.
  • Right to an attorney. Your child has the right to a lawyer. This lawyer can be hired by you, if you can afford it, or the court will appoint a public defender in the event that you can’t afford a lawyer.


Q: What should I do if the school calls to tell me my child is being arrested?

A: Here are some suggestions.

  • If possible, go to the school. Do not reprimand your child in front of law enforcement or school officials.
  • Tell your child to remain silent. Tell police and school officials that your child will choose whether or not to speak with them after consultation with a lawyer.
  • Do not sign anything until you consult with a lawyer. Your child will be assigned a lawyer once they are booked.This person can help you.
  • If your child is receiving Special Education service, be sure to tell your child’s lawyer!

Q: Is the school required to call me if my child is being arrested?


A: Yes, if the child is under 17 years old. If your child is 17 or older, the school is not required to notify you.



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