Cases & Deals

Jones Day secures dismissal of criminal misdemeanor charges filed against 7th-grader for allegedly arguing with teacher

Clients T.H.

Jones Day secured a complete dismissal of the criminal misdemeanor "Disruption of Class" charges filed against its client, a 13-year old, 7th-grade student.  The student had allegedly argued with his teacher about whether he had already completed a math worksheet. The teacher complained about this incident to the school police officer, who charged the student with a criminal misdemeanor, subjecting the child to prosecution in a court system designed for handling adult criminal cases.

Prior to the scheduled trial, the Jones Day team argued that it was unjust to subject a child to adult criminal prosecution for the alleged behavior, which neither threatened the health or safety of others, nor would have been criminal outside of the school walls.

The prosecutor agreed with Jones Day’s argument and dismissed the charges four days before trial, explaining that he was doing so "in the interest of justice." As a result, the child was spared the experience of being treated as a defendant in an adult criminal trial setting.

The Jones Day team consisted of Basheer Ghorayeb, Chiji Offor, Mimi Yu, and James Wang. The case was referred to Jones Day by Texas Appleseed, a Texas-based organization that researches and reports on the impact of school discipline policies, ticketing, arrest and use of force in public schools and court involvement in student discipline.