Can I be kicked out of college for excused absences?

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Can I be kicked out of college for excused absences?

I have 3 absences excused with a doctors note because of a chronic condition. I was late this morning and my teacher sent me home and said that I have exceed the allowed absence policy. The policy states 23 hours are allowed and I missed 22.5 before my tardy this morning. Including my tardy it is still less than 23 hours. However, they have removed me from my clinical arena and are not allowing me to graduate. I am scheduled to graduate in 2 weeks. What can I do?

Asked on April 13, 2011 under Business Law, South Carolina

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Sounds like it could be discrimination to me.  Do you have a documented condition that could be termed a disability?  If it has then you are being discriminated upon because of it.  This is what you need to do.  Get the medical documentation for the chronic condition fro your doctor (a note or report will have to do at this late a date).  Once you have it go and see the Dean of your department with the letter.  State that believe that you are being discriminated upon due to your illness.  I am hoping that it has been documented elsewhere in your student file and if it has then you need to make sure that that point is brought up.  You need to also make sure that you tell them that your teachers are aware of your condition because you told them. If it gets you no where you may need to start raising a ruckus and file a formal complaint against the college for the violation.  Good luck to you.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If there is a written policy in place and which the school has been following--and particularly if that policy is incorporated into the application or agreements by which you attend school--the school must honor that policy; therefore, for example, if there is a firm policy that you may have up too 23 hours of absences and you only have 22.5, it would seem that you must be allowed to still attend (however, look for how hours are calcuated under the policy; are they rounded up, for example). Also make sure you haven't violated any other grounds for being removed from your clinical area.

Generally speaking, if there is an explicit or even implicit (as clearly and unequivocally evidenced by student handbooks, behavior, etc.) contract in place, you can enforce that contract or agreement, though you made need to take legal action to do so. You may wish to consult with an attorney; bring with you all applications, agreements, handbooks, policy statements, correspondence, etc.


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