Youʼve been accused

You've been accused

What to do now that you have been accused

  1. Be polite!
    This may seem obvious, but it is incredibly important and all too frequently forgotten.For lesser violations especially, the way the accused student behaves determinesa lot about how the incident is handled.Even if you think the person accusing you is being hostile or rude, you should do everything you can to be polite and respectful throughout all your interactions with that person.If you believe that you were not polite in your initial interaction, reach out to the person to apologize and let him or her know you understand he or she is just doing what he or she has to do.
  2. Ask politely to have a copy of the incident report.
    While you are not necessarily entitled to see the notes taken, you should be able to get a copy of the incident report itself, which is the official version of what happened.This will let you know the extent of your accuser’s understanding of the situation and prepare you for conversations to come.
  3. Read over your policies and find all the ones that you think you may be accused of violating.
    You may be written up for something as simple as underage drinking, but your school may have additional related policies, such as providing alcohol for minors, unregistered events, noise violations, guest policies, compliance policies, and general conduct codes.Knowing how your actions might be treated will help you prepare for future conversations.All of your school’s policies should be available either online or in your student handbook.
  4. Do not try to offer any explanations for your behavior in the heat of the moment, do not challenge the policy you are being accused of violating, and do not try to talk your way out of anything.
    This is a variation of “be polite” but a little more specific.We have seen students accused of minor violations make things worse when their attempts to resolve situationsin the moment was seen as belligerent, threatening, or harassing.You will have plenty of time to make your position known, so do not try to do so at this point.EXCEPTION:If your school has an honor code you may not have the option of keeping silent.In that case you should ask if you can talk about the situation the next day when things are calmer, but if you don’t have that option, make sure you say nothing which could be considered misleading!Our natural inclination when we are caught doing something wrong is to deny it, but that initial denial can be the difference between a “slap on the wrist” and more serious consequences down the road.
  5. If you have said anything or have had a conversation regarding this incident, you should write down what was said as soon as possible.
    Your conversation will be used in the future and you will not remember the conversation more accurately at any time than right after you have it.This is especially true if you are tired, emotional, or under the influence of any substances.