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What

SAC operates a statewide Student Rights Helpline staffed by a caring team ready to help. Our Helpline is the only place in the state for special education AND general education students to receive no-cost support and education advice.

Why call? Families (and schools and caseworkers) call to get help navigating school discipline issues, educational access challenges, special education assistance, enrollment barriers, school-based discrimination, disability-related bullying and more.

Families have learned about us online, from the Michigan Department of Education, intermediate school districts, foster care workers, probation officers and others.

     Intake specialists assess client need with empathy and determine needed supports. This can include assigning the client to a staff advocate, SAC volunteer advocate, or providing information and resources. Our intake specialists have reviewed records, assisted in writing letters to schools, filing complaints, contacted school officials on family’s behalf, developed plans of action, researched resources and more.

Our goal is to help the student get back in school, avoid a long-term removal, find a better learning path, and ultimately experience more school success.

Successes

We can get a lot done by phone! Successes are many, such as the case with the foster parent of a 17-year-old student with refugee status. She called because her foster child had been denied enrollment at the local high school and referred instead to a GED program. SAC explained to the foster parent that the student was eligible for immediate enrollment in school under federal law. When she went back to the school with information on the law, the student was immediately enrolled. When staff followed up with the foster mom, she reported that the student was adjusting well and happy with her school placement.

We received a call from the parent of a 9th grade student  who had been expelled.  He applied for reinstatement but was denied.  Helpline staff contacted the school to get records and more information.  After this contact, the student was offered an alternative on-line program through the school.  Mom felt that it was our contact that prompted the alternative plan. The school had never offered services before.

A 4th grade student is faced expulsion for threatening another student. The student had been out of school 14 days when the dad called SAC. Helpline staff advised Dad of the student’s rights, allowing him to advocate for his son at a meeting the next day. At the meeting, it was decided that the student would be allowed to return to an alternate program next day.

Contact

Call (734) 482-0489 or if necessary, 1-855-688-1916
TTY (relay access service): Dial 711 and give the operator our number.

You can email us now at helpline@studentadvocacycenter.org!

 

Note

We do not have full-time staffing of the helpline, so please be patient with us. Currently, this service is funded completely by donors like you.

Consider a gift today to help us sustain and expand this work.

Educators

Educators struggling with how to support a student are welcome to call (734-482-0489) or email (helpline@studentadvoacycenter.org) our Helpline for support. You can share the Helpline information with a caregiver or student OR you can directly refer a student here.

Refer Your Student Here

Our Programs

Photo of student writing on a whiteboard.

We have a variety of programs to help students, including: Education Advocacy, Check and Connect, and more. View our Programs »