SWLAW Blog | Future Students
June 22, 2022
Children's Rights Clinic Students Help a Young Student Stay in School
Children's Rights Clinic students Jessica Garcia and Sara Kim represented a 4th-grade student who was suspended and ultimately recommended for expulsion.
For the past few months, their client had been bullied by a classmate and had difficulty navigating the situation. The client should have reached out to the appropriate school personnel to seek support but was concerned that doing so would cause further harm by the school bully. She decided to bring a kitchen knife to school to scare the bully away from her. She showed it to a classmate teasing her and was suspended several days after doing so. Their client immediately admitted to bringing the knife to school and taking it out of her backpack. Jessica and Sara fiercely advocated for the school board not to expel their client for her poor decision but to consider other means of correction. This incident was their client's first time getting in trouble, and she recognized the gravity of her mistake and was very remorseful.
Jessica recounted her experience and the outcome of the case, "Sara and I understood the long-term detrimental effects that an expulsion on our client's record would have on her education. While the evidence was not the most favorable for our client, Sara and I convinced the LAUSD board not to expel her. We zealously advocated that other means of correction were more appropriate than expulsion."
"It was such a fulfilling experience to know that I made a small difference in my client's life. I felt proud that she knew someone believed in her and believed in second chances."
— Jessica Garcia '23
Sara also shared, "Participating in the Children's Rights Clinic during my last semester of law school was an incredibly rewarding experience and a great way to end my law school career. The time spent advocating for our clinic's clients reminded me of my time working as a case manager in a personal injury firm before law school — an experience that fueled my desire to come to law school in the first place."
"Ending my law school career with more hands-on experience advocating for clients really felt like coming full circle, and being able to secure a victory for our eleven (11) year old client who was facing expulsion with extremely disadvantageous circumstances was just the cherry on top."
— Sara Kim '22
Because of Jessica's and Sara's advocacy, the school board decided not to expel their client and to allow her to enroll at a comprehensive elementary school. Jessica and Sara helped this young child stay in school and learn from her mistake. Thank you, Jessica and Sara!