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Virginia Education Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Education Law and Libel & Slander for Virginia on
Q: My spouse has been accused (verbal and In Writing) of “forcing subordinates” to falsify documents (student grades).

Additionally, her employer (for profit college) has been accused of violating Virginia Board of Nursing practices. The institution is being represented, and tell my spouse “not to worry, they represent her too”…I am afraid she will be made scapegoat. Do I need an employment or defamation attorney?

Steven Krieger
Steven Krieger answered on May 11, 2022

You may need both, but it depends on the allegations in the complaint and if she's a named party. If not, and she simply wants to sue for the defamation, then you only need a defamation lawyer. I don't think the company's lawyer could properly represent her as well. I'm sure... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury, Child Custody and Education Law for Virginia on
Q: medical malpractice, failing to give proper diagnosis

As a Single Mother of 4 children who all have lifetime disabilities including myself. Lets start with Myself. I was finally approved from the SSA with having a diagnosis of OCD, Bi Polar II disorder, PTSD, Depression, Social Anxiety, Other mood disorders, Autism spectrum disorder and Schizophrenia.... Read more »

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Jun 7, 2021

A Virginia attorney could respond best, but your post remains open for two weeks. You provided lots of detailed information. In reading your post, it looks like the central issue is eligibility of your son for a Special Education program... and a misdiagnosis was involved. If that is correct, one... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Education Law and Small Claims for Virginia on
Q: Can I take legal action against my school?

My college sent me an email with a balance back in December 2020. I have emailed them and never received a response even when I tried to make a payment. I was sent to collections and started receiving phone calls this month constantly. I have emailed my college and they claim to have never received... Read more »

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on May 1, 2021

A Virginia attorney could advise best, but your post remains open for a month. One could only speculate as to why the university is not responding to you. One reason could be (and this is only a guess) that once they send a matter to collection, they will stay clear - where the only line of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Education Law and Tax Law for Virginia on
Q: Can you go after The Department of Education for wrongfully taking full tax refund

My student loans were in default but through the department of education I was placed into a rehabilitation program. I made every single payment each month, I never missed a single one. I am out of default and made all required payments to the program. My tax refund was taken in full by the... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Apr 30, 2019

The Department of Education did not violate any laws by taking your IRS refund check as partial payment on your federally insured student loan. Regardless of whether or not your rehab program is up-to-date, the fact remains that you are still in arrears on the student loan debt. Additionally, since... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Education Law for Virginia on
Q: Can public schools start the day with a "prayer-like" service? They claim to be honoring the US, but it's sketchy.
Jay Braddock Jackson
Jay Braddock Jackson answered on Dec 12, 2018

There is really not enough information in your question. In Virginia, school officials may not impose prayers or organize prayer events, Additionally, a school's public meeting space or school auditorium may not be turned into a local church for religious celebrations.

The First...
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1 Answer | Asked in Education Law for Virginia on
Q: Hello! What is considered legal custody in § 22.1-3. Persons to whom public schools shall be free?

I have legal custody of my little cousin by Provisional Mandate (from Louisiana) after the death of my aunt. I had no issues enrolling her last year at a Loudoun County school, yet this year, months after classes have started, I was contacted and told that the Provisional Mandate is not enough.... Read more »

Jay Braddock Jackson
Jay Braddock Jackson answered on Nov 2, 2018

The Provisional Mandate may not be the real issue. Article IV, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution essentially gives effect in Virginia to judicial decisions of other states. Since the Provisional mandate is not a “judicial decision’ per se, it probably does not fall under this (“Full Faith... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Education Law for Virginia on
Q: If I have reason to believe the education standards at my son's school aren't up to par, what do I do?
Jay Braddock Jackson
Jay Braddock Jackson answered on Oct 3, 2018

That's a broad question, as "education standards" are generally measured by achievement. Is it a public school or private? Where, in your opinion, does the education fail? I would recommend that you make special note of the reasons that you feel that the school is failing, determine... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Education Law for Virginia on
Q: The school wants to handle a fight between my child and another within its system and says we shouldn't involve the

courts. Can I still choose to file a lawsuit against the other kid for medical bills?

Jay Braddock Jackson
Jay Braddock Jackson answered on Aug 24, 2018

If the fight between them occurred off of school grounds, you may do as you wish. Presuming that the fight occurred on school grounds, any rights you have to pursue a recovery should not be reduced. However, your lawsuit against a child is not likely to provide much in the way of a recovery, so... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Education Law, Workers' Compensation and Employment Discrimination for Virginia on
Q: PT told my wife her severe vertigo is related to multiple concussions she received from students at school, which were

claimed along with other hip, arm, leg, etc injuries (multiple incidents). She's a special education teacher in a public school system. She was already on sick leave about two weeks for an unrelated illness (not WC) when the vertigo sent us to the ER, about six weeks ago. During a recent... Read more »

Jerry Lutkenhaus
Jerry Lutkenhaus answered on May 16, 2018

If she has a disability due to a work-related injury, she first needs to have notified her employer of the accident giving rise to this disability within thirty (30) days of the accident. Then, she needs to have filed a claim with the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission for the accident... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Education Law for Virginia on
Q: Can I request a special needs evaluation for my kid at any time during the school year?
Lori E. Arons
Lori E. Arons answered on Mar 9, 2018

Absolutely, yes! Be sure to make the request in writing as the timeline within which they must meet with you to discuss the nature and scope of the evaluation starts to run the day they receive your written request. I like to hand deliver these types of letters, and have someone at school sign... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Education Law for Virginia on
Q: My son is autistic and in the special needs program at his elementary school. Can I have a say in making modifications

to his education program if I don't think it's meeting his needs?

Kevin Shields
Kevin Shields answered on Jul 29, 2017

Yes, absolutely. As the parent, you are a member of any group that meets to decide services or placement for your son.

The law is clear regarding parent participation in meetings:

The parents of a child with a disability must be afforded an opportunity to participate in meetings...
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2 Answers | Asked in Education Law for Virginia on
Q: can my private school ban me from talking to another student outside of school?

What about inside of school? We aren't causing any distractions to myself or others

Glenn B. Manishin
Glenn B. Manishin answered on Mar 6, 2017

Inside the school officials have very wide discretion even in public school. Where a private school is concerned, moreover, a student's First Amendment rights are more limited, because free speech is a right one has against the government, not private parties. But ban on talking outside of... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury and Education Law for Virginia on
Q: Can I sue my child's school for an assault on her by another child while she was on the playground at school?
Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Dec 21, 2016

Assuming you mean one kid hits another, generally no--unless the other kid was a known bad actor, to the point of it wouldn't be a question of if he'd hit someone but when, then the school has a duty,.

But they can't be everywhere at once.

That being said, if the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support and Education Law for Virginia on
Q: 1. Can the court mandate a child attend school in the non-custodial parent's district?

Non custodial parent has joint legal custody only. Parents live in different counties making tuition a factor, however they live only 20 miles apart.

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Jul 12, 2016

Yes, the judge could order that - whether it is likely depends on the facts and circumstances of the case.

If you have not already done so, consider consulting with a local family law attorney to review the specifics of your situation. Good luck.

1 Answer | Asked in Education Law, Family Law and Juvenile Law for Virginia on
Q: I want to move in with my boyfriend when I am 18. Can my guardian stop me if I am 18 and still attending school?

She said she was going to take me to court if I live somewhere she doesn't want me to live.

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on May 23, 2016

At 18, you are an adult in Virginia. The parents could file a petition for guardianship over you if you are mentally or physically unable to manage your own affairs - however, the mere fact you are moving and they don't like it is not a sufficient basis. If they do attempt this, you will be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Education Law and Employment Law for Virginia on
Q: If a teacher is suspended in VA, is that information made available to the public right away?
Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on May 4, 2016

I am not an education attorney, but it appears the Virginia Department of Education maintains a list of licenses that have been cancelled or suspended at this website: The PDF says it was updated as of 4/12/16, so there appears... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Education Law for Virginia on
Q: My boyfriend's parent moved to Texas and he lost his in state tuition to ODU. Is there anyway he can get in state tuitio

my boyfriends parent moved to Texas , he is still dependent but he doesn't want to move to Texas but he has to because he lost his instate tuition. Is there anyway he can get in state tuition for ODU in Norfolk ?

Gary D. Godman
Gary D. Godman answered on Apr 26, 2016

Students are bound by ODU's policy and Virginia law regarding in-state tuition. Here is ODU's webpage on the matter:

If the parents have abandoned their VA domicile, the student may be eligible to continue receiving...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Education Law and Contracts for Virginia on
Q: contract?

I signed a contract with a college saying that If I live in Z area, I must purchase a dining of X size or greater. I previously did not buy a dining plan due to me living in area Y. I moved into Z area late in the semester. The college then charged my account for a dining plan that is smaller than... Read more »

Mr. Michael O. Stevens
Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on Apr 21, 2016

Under your thinking then, they should just charge you X size plan, full price, as that is what you agreed to. Does that work better or worse for you?

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Education Law and Environmental for Virginia on
Q: What are the laws about leaving a dog on your porch?

I left my two chihuahua dogs on the porch for an hour in 76 degree weather with a blanket, food and water.

Robert Jason De Groot
Robert Jason De Groot answered on Oct 4, 2015

You have to look up the local ordinances to find out.

1 Answer | Asked in Education Law for Virginia on
Q: A student faces a 1st offense drug use charge and has cooperated with the investigation and goes before the schools

Judicial committee and is suspended from school for 6 months. The student was not allowed to speak and the proceedings took 5 minutes. The policy is the college follows the Virginia State first offender laws. Is this a far outcome as a first time offender?

Robert Jason De Groot
Robert Jason De Groot answered on Sep 9, 2015

Is it fair? Well, it is certainly much better than being completely expelled, isn't it?

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