Court: Student Handbooks Are Contracts

GEORGIA — The Fulton County Superior Court rejected Valdosta State University’s request to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a former student against the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia for expelling him without a hearing.

Thomas Barnes was attending Valdosta State University when he was expelled by then-President Ronald M. Zaccari in 2007, the Student Press Law Center reports. Barnes was not given a hearing or allowed to contest the expulsion, which he claims is a breach of contract, since the university failed to follow the disciplinary procedures outlined in its student handbooks.

The court found that student handbooks can represent contracts between students and their schools, and therefore, Barnes can continue with his lawsuit.

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