However you may feel about COVID restrictions, school administrators are taking this public safety threat very seriously. As a result, you could actually face school expulsion if you ignore the rules.

For example, University of Illinois requires all students, employees and visitors to wear masks inside any university facility, building or classroom. Masks must also be worn outdoors where social distancing of six feet apart cannot be maintained. Students who test positive for COVID must isolate for ten days.

While disobeying COVID policy may not be listed as a specific offense in a school’s student code, most schools have catch-all language for unspecified bad behavior. This language may include1) threatening anyone’s health or safety (including your own), 2) substantially interfering with maintaining order or 3) violating published rules.

If you are facing discipline charges, contact an experienced school law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for your best possible defense. Did you commit the offense? Does your act clearly violate COVID policy? Is the school following its own procedures? Is there any mitigation such as an otherwise spotless disciplinary record? An attorney can help you navigate the often confusing disciplinary process. At many schools, an attorney may not attend or speak at the school hearing. Even so, the attorney can help prepare you to make a more favorable impression.

If you have questions about this or another Illinois school matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)