Chapter 8. Student Discipline 78 results (showing 5 best matches)
- in loco parentis
- Because of this fact-specific disruption standard, four United States Courts of Appeals have issued what appear to be conflicting opinions as to the legal message of in identifying a “reasonable forecast of disruption” for intrusive, invective Internet communication launched from off-campus computers and directed toward teachers, administrators or fellow students. Thus, the law regarding what actually constitutes “disruption” lacks clarity, leaving school officials in a quandary as to the boundaries of off-campus speech. The Eighth, Second and Fourth Circuits have given school officials greater latitude and discretion in calling students to account for off-campus electronic incursions into the management of the public school. The Eighth Circuit decision involved a case where high school students created an off-campus website that was replete with racist bullying. After two school hearings, the student perpetrators were suspended from school for 180 days but were permitted to enroll...
- If students violate school academic rules or teachers’ classroom academic requirements, then a reduction in grades or, even, a denial of promotion may be justified. In a case where four students submitted a paper for a history project that had to be largely copied verbatim from reference sources, the students were given a grade of zero. The parents sued claiming the teacher’s instructions had been unclear. At a hearing, the school superintendent found that the teacher had explained plagiarism and its consequences. The court held for the school district finding that the assigned grade was not inappropriate. The process afforded the student was reasonable and the assignment of a grade of zero was fair.
- In spite of the Supreme Court’s approval of the common law justification for corporal punishment in the schools, the public’s acceptance of corporal punishment in the public schools has apparently declined rather dramatically. During the recent past there has been substantial debate about the appropriateness of corporal punishment in schools. During the 1970s, two states prohibited corporal punishment, and during the decade of the 80s other states enacted legislation abolishing such punishment. Today all but 19 states prohibit corporal punishment. Those states that have no statutes regarding corporal punishment are governed by the common law right of school personnel to reasonably punish students. The theory is that the individual interests of the parent and the child may be subordinated to the interests of the state in good conduct and decorum in the schools. Parental permission is not necessarily required. In the absence of state statutes to the contrary, teachers or...
- Implicit in common law authority is the power of the state to control student conduct for the welfare of the school. Statutes or regulations may place limits on the teacher’s authority to discipline students. Where statute or rule limits the teacher’s discretion, the teacher must act accordingly. The authority of school officials acting within their state prescribed powers has been consistently reaffirmed by the courts. “School officials are afforded broad discretion in enforcement of school codes because of the important interests and responsibilities affiliated with school administration.”
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Chapter 12. Civil Liability 127 results (showing 5 best matches)
- One seldom mentioned provision for such protection in federal law is in the omnibus No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act (20 U.S.C. §§ 6731–38). This part of the law, the Paul D. Coverdell Teacher Protection Act of 2001, reinforces state laws protecting teachers and staff from liability in controlling student behavior that may harm other students. As with common law and state statutory provisions, the school, teachers, and staff will not suffer liability if the control over students is exercised “within the scope of the teacher’s or staff member’s employment.” The federal Coverdell law provides that teachers and staff will not be held liable so long as they act in conformance with law “in furtherance of efforts to control, discipline, expel, or suspend a student or maintain order or control in the classroom or school,” and that the teacher or staff member does not act with gross negligence, reckless misconduct, willful or criminal misconduct or flagrant disregard for the student’s rights...
- Assault and battery in schools are most often found in actions for excessive punishment of pupils. As discussed elsewhere in this book, teachers and school administrators have the authority by virtue of the doctrine of
- Spontaneity by a student that results in the injury to another is usually determined by the courts to not incur a duty owed by the teacher or school.
- The teacher, however, will not be liable unless a “special relationship” exists between an injured student and the teacher or school. While a “special relationship” is usually presumed to exist between students and teachers (or school administrators), the student’s connection to the school may be so remote as to create a legal nexus between teacher or school and the injured student.
- The bottom line with regard to the legalisms of bullying is that: first, schools are responsible to act reasonably in the exercise of their
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Chapter 2. The Instructional Program 92 results (showing 5 best matches)
- School boards and teachers have substantial discretion in determining what level of academic attainment will be required of students. School boards set general course requirements and teachers evaluate the students in achieving the objectives. Seldom will courts intervene to overturn a teacher’s academic evaluation of a student. Only where school boards or the teachers act in bad faith or are found to be arbitrary or capricious will their actions be overturned. Students, thus, may be placed in alternative classes or retained at a particular grade level depending on their academic performance. (See Student Testing, Chapter 14.)
- The power of the state to compel attendance at school and to require all students to take instruction in the English language has been long recognized. Yet, the courts have not condoned the states’ overreaching their authority to prohibit the teaching of any other language. In a landmark case rendered in 1923, , a statute forbidding the teaching of foreign languages to students who had not completed the eighth grade in public, parochial, or private schools was challenged by an instructor in a parochial school who was retained by parents to give their child instruction in the German language. The statute was enacted in 1919 when the thoughts of the nation’s legislators were still much influenced by World War I. Constitutional basis for the plaintiff’s action was found in the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment which provides that “No state… shall deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law.” In holding for the teacher, the Court said that the...
- In these cases, where the Court has enunciated its doctrine of judicial restraint, it has been careful to delineate the boundaries between “academic decisions” and “disciplinary decisions.” Disciplinary decisions are quite different in that they can be evaluated based on the facts of particular controversies, and the courts are able to clearly see where faculties and administrators of educational institutions have deprived a student of a liberty or property interest by not adhering to requisite legal standards of procedural due process. Such judicial deference to public school officials was pointedly illustrated by a Supreme Court of Arkansas decision in which a student’s test grades were not recorded for a reading assignment because the teacher and the school principal suspected the student of cheating and not actually reading the books on which he was tested. In holding for the school district, the Court said that recording of the test scores in question was a matter best left to...
- The 1988 Supreme Court decision in
- As a general rule, school officials have the authority to prescribe the method of teaching, decide on what curriculum shall be offered, and what books shall be used in the school. Such authority is vested in public schools either expressly or implicitly by state law. However, this authority is not absolute and may be curtailed or modified by the courts if school officials proceed beyond the bounds of their legal authority or act arbitrarily in violation of the constitutional rights of students or teachers. The courts, however, will not intervene in resolution of conflicts which arise from the daily operation of the schools and which do not directly involve basic constitutional values.
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Chapter 6. Student Publications 56 results (showing 5 best matches)
- prohibited students from publishing materials that were obscene, libelous or slanderous, and in general furthered students’ rights against censorship in student publications by disallowing school censorship unless an article “encourages specific unlawful acts or rules violations.” Where a journalism teacher at a school permitted students to publish a photo-shopped picture of a baby smoking a cigarette with a caption saying “Students Chew, Use Tobacco” and another picture showed a student wearing clothes prohibited by the school dress code, captioned, “Jay Z because he is a gangster,” the journalism teacher was reprimanded, drawing a two-day suspension that was later retracted. However, the teacher sued the school district anyway arguing that the school had violated the statute and therefore
- As mentioned earlier in Chapter 4, parents frequently attempt to use the public school as a forum to proselytize their own particular beliefs, both political and religious. Schools must tread carefully to remain secular and not become inadvertent clearing houses for dogmas that may be misinterpreted as having the imprimatur or sanction of the school. Such an example was the case in Michigan where an eighth-grade child came to school with red tape over his mouth and wrists, wearing a sweatshirt emblazoned with the words, “Pray to End Abortion,” and a bunch of leaflets rife with abortion statistics. The student did not have the school’s permission to distribute the leaflets, which the boy had strewn throughout the school hallways. A teacher sent the boy to the office for causing a disruption and a guidance counselor required him to remove the tape and change his apparel or hide the message. The school agreed not to press the sweatshirt issue, but adamantly rejected the parent’s...
- In spite of the fact that most public schools are considered to be limited open forums for speech purposes, school authorities still have considerable discretion as to processes and procedures over distribution of literature and materials by students and others. In way of guidance for public school administrators and teachers, in the face of the United States Supreme Court’s rather confused signals, the following may be helpful for regulation of the distribution of literature (religious or otherwise) on school premises or at times and places when students are under the jurisdiction of the school:
- In recent years, litigation concerning student publications and their distribution have fallen into three categories: (1) school-sponsored newspapers; (2) non-school or underground newspapers written and distributed by students; and (3) materials distributed by students at school but written and published by non-students. The majority of the cases in the third category concerned the distribution by students of non-student written religious materials. The actions in this last group have resulted in a substantial amount of litigation regarding free speech versus Establishment Clause restrictions and what the courts call forum analysis.
- Whether the school is a public forum was the heart of a controversy precipitated by a school election in which one of the candidates campaigned by handing out condoms with stickers bearing his slogan. The school had a rule that required prior approval of all campaign flyers and posters used in school elections. Upon complaint the school principal disqualified the student for not obtaining prior approval of the condom campaign tactic. In reviewing the case, the federal court ruled that the school election took place in the context of a non-public forum that was part of the school curriculum, and therefore the school could limit student speech in such school activities that were integral to legitimate pedagogical interests. Even though some other students had campaigned by distributing candy and gum, the court distinguished the condom tactic because the school legitimately did not want to give the impression that it approved such a tactic.
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Chapter 7. Search and Seizure 115 results (showing 5 best matches)
- In a Pennsylvania case, a student had a cellphone turned on at school in violation of a school policy. When a teacher confiscated the phone, a text message appeared on the screen from another student requesting drugs. The teacher and assistant principal then discovered on the cellphone’s directory names of nine students. The students were called in to determine if their cellphones were also turned on in violation of school policy. Further investigation by the teacher and school official found that the student who was originally the source of the investigation was accused of being a drug peddler and made such known to the press. Parents of the student whose phone was first confiscated sued in federal court claiming that the teacher and school officials had violated the student’s privacy in violation of the Fourth Amendment. The federal district court found for the student and parents holding that by accessing the phone directory, voicemail, and text messages, and the use of the phone...
- In a Kentucky case,
- In Maryland where state law permitted reasonable searches of a student based on reasonable belief that a student had in his possession something that would constitute evidence in a criminal offense, the court held that school lockers could be searched by school officials. The state law made it clear that a student could not have had an expectation of privacy in the school locker that was temporarily assigned to him.
- Teachers and principals have frequently found it necessary to search students and remove from their possession items which may be harmful to them or to others. Several years ago most searches were found to be necessary to remove slingshots or pocketknives from a student’s possession, or to detect and retrieve the fruits of minor thievery. Such searches remained almost entirely an affair internal to the school and seldom, if ever, involved outside authorities. Today, however, the prevalence of drugs, handguns, bombs, and/or bomb threats have broadened the importance of school search and seizure to include offenses which may subject the student to criminal prosecution. Moreover, in today’s world students have the ubiquitous means of the Internet to spread disruptive messages throughout the school at the speed of light, and the school is forced into the unhappy position of identifying the senders, searching for cellphones, and capturing the essence of the offending messages. A majority...
- The problem of drugs in today’s society continues to be a major concern of teachers and officials in public schools. As the above mentioned cases involving government employees indicate, the taking of urine samples to test for drugs constitutes a search under the cognizance of the Fourth Amendment. The question, thus, arises as to whether school officials can search individual students, and, secondly, can the school search several students or groups of students? Previous case mentioned above, including clearly indicate that individual student’s persons and things can be searched if there is reasonable suspicion that drugs are secreted there. As
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Introduction 5 results
- This book is designed as a textbook for courses of study for teacher training programs, undergraduate and graduate, and as a handbook for on-the-job teachers and practicing school administrators. In concise and non-technical terms it explains the prevailing law as it governs the operation of America’s public schools. As we all know, professional personnel in today’s public schools are to a great extent reluctant recipients of the legal overburden emanating from our litigious society. Parents and students frequently see the school in a legalistic adversarial context that is obviously contrary to the cooperative community perspective originally envisioned for the common school. In spite of these diversions endemic to our modern social existence, school teachers and administrators very effectively carry forward the essential school function of conveying worthwhile knowledge and cultural values to each succeeding generation. Sometimes these duties of educators are carried out in spite...
- Noteworthy detail is devoted to the rights of teachers as protected by various constitutional provisions. The terms and conditions of the teacher’s employment relations with the school board are fully explained, encompassing contracts, tenure, and processes for dismissal, including incompetence, insubordination, neglect of duty, moral turpitude, etc. In particular, civil rights legislation is discussed with appropriate attention given to teacher employment rights as required by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other federal statutes protecting teachers against gender, age, and disability discrimination. Further, the current and emerging issues pertaining to search and seizure are expanded upon in considerable detail. Any book about education law would be remiss if it did not fully explain the potential for civil liability that accompanies employment as a teacher or school administrator; this book pays special attention to that topic. Also, a good reading of the tort...
- While the encumbrances of the manifold laws and regulations that flow down upon the public schools from both state and federal governments are sometimes excessive and not always necessary, by-in-large these laws have worked to vastly benefit both the children who partake of education and teachers who are the purveyors of a vast store of knowledge and skills. The network of these laws ultimately works to bestow upon the next generation abilities and capacities that enable each fledgling citizen to obtain personal autonomy and to understand, value, and defend our basic liberties and freedoms.
- The pages of this book explain in simplified non-legalese the laws that protect children, enhance their learning opportunities, and assure teachers of the academic freedom and security to pursue the teaching profession without fear of undue restraint. As a practical guide to the legal aspects of public schools, this book includes explanations of laws that govern such important issues as student rights and prerogatives pertaining to compulsory attendance, pupil suspension and expulsion, discipline, child abuse, personal appearance, academic testing and grading, drug testing, search and seizure, freedom of speech, publications, records, and religious observances. Too, importantly, the emerging law of social media, i.e., cyberbullying is explained. Considerable attention is given to the federal and state statutes and court cases having to do with education of children with disabilities and the many aspects of the laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity,...
- All projects of this nature are dependent on the support of a few key players. With this book Shari Hall was the indispensable person who managed the entire undertaking of manuscript preparation. Her scheduling, editing and research skills were essential, indeed critical, to the entire process. Moreover, the speed and accuracy of her typing was beyond comparison. Too, we are very much indebted to Lydia Allen who provided ready assistance and support throughout preparation and production of the book. Finally, we wish to include our thanks to Louis Higgins and Mac Soto of West for their allowing us the flexibility that we found necessary in the completion of this project. Without all their good works, the book could not have come to fruition.
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Chapter 11. Student Gender Discrimination 52 results (showing 5 best matches)
- In a female student was sexually harassed by a teacher. The student said the teacher “… engaged in sexually-oriented conversations … forcibly kissed her on the mouth … [and] subjected her to coercive intercourse.” School officials were aware of the sexual harassment but took no action. The student filed an action against the school board for monetary damages and the U.S. Supreme Court held damages were available under Title IX for intentional violations of the law. The Court noted that without damages the student would basically have no remedy for her injury.
- The necessity for a school district to show that it was not “deliberately indifferent” to a student claim of sexual harassment was demonstrated by a 2012 case from the Eleventh Circuit where the parents of a high school boy sued a school district under Title IX alleging that a female teacher had sexually harassed their son. The boy had dated the teacher’s daughter, was a frequent guest at the teacher’s house, and the teacher had shared a towel with the boy at a pool party and touched legs with him at her house. The court held that although the teacher’s conduct may have been inappropriate it was not sexual in nature so as to arise to the level required for Title IX damages. Moreover, the court found that although the school principal may have been aware of some of the interaction between the teacher and the boy, the principal and school district could not be found to be “deliberately indifferent.”
- The deliberate indifference test expanded on in was established by the Supreme Court in 1998 in
- Pursuant to the and liability standard, a school district was found to be deliberately indifferent where a girl over several years was repeatedly propositioned, groped, threatened, and stabbed in the hand; the male student-perpetrator removed her shirt, pulled her hair, took his pants off and told her he would have sex with her.
- In another example of deliberate indifference, a student was sexually abused by a teacher over a period of years and subsequently sued the school district. The principal had been told the offending teacher was a pedophile and advised to watch his behavior. This warning had come from a former student who had been molested. Later a librarian informed the principal he observed the student sitting on the teacher’s lap. The molesting teacher told the principal it was a “father-son chat.” The evidence, therefore, was of such magnitude to indicate that the principal “… had constructive knowledge of the risk of sexual molestation but acted with deliberate indifference”; therefore, money damages were allowed under 42 USCA § 1983. However, the superintendent and personnel director who did not know of the situation were found not to have acted with deliberate indifference.
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Chapter 16. Constitutional Rights of Teachers 84 results (showing 5 best matches)
- In view of and , teachers and school administrators are well-advised not to publicly criticize school policy in a way that could be detrimental to the operations of the school. One federal court, in taking a very restrictive view of teachers’ free speech rights, has said that a “school system does not ‘regulate’ teachers’ speech as much as it hires that speech.” In that regard, teachers must teach the prescribed curriculum and cannot use the classroom as a forum to express personal viewpoints, even of public concern, that is outside the curriculum content as prescribed by the school board. This court rejected the teacher’s claim that ‘academic freedom’ gave her a special forum to express her views.
- A teacher’s expression of political views is not unlimited, however, and cannot be so aggressive as to exploit the obvious considerable power and influence over students in the restricted environment of the school. Where a school district advised employees that state law prohibited school districts from sponsoring and distributing partisan election campaign material on school grounds, a representative of the teacher’s union objected and suit was filed. The court in holding for the school district pointed out that teachers represented the school district in the classroom and that it was not unreasonable to restrict their wearing of campaign buttons in the classroom because school authorities must have the power to disassociate the school district from political controversy and the appearance of approval of political messages.
- A teacher does not have an expectation of privacy in his desk or file cabinet. Moreover, all tests, quizzes and other educational material belong to the school and are not private property of a teacher.
- A teacher’s religious freedom may extend into several aspects of the educational program. For example, if the tenets of a teacher’s religion are violated by the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag, the teacher cannot be compelled to recite the pledge, but, the teacher, in accordance with school board rules, must conduct the pledge ceremony for student participation. Religious freedom of teachers will be sustained by the courts so long as the exercise of the freedom does not encroach on the rights of
- A high expectation of privacy exists for teachers and others in their public employment with regard to their health and other personal matters.
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Chapter 14. Student Testing 40 results (showing 5 best matches)
- The administering of tests is considered to be a “discretionary” function of teachers and school administrators. As discussed elsewhere in this book, a “discretionary” function relies on choice and judgment, where, on the other hand, a “ministerial function” is a duty imposed by law or regulations requiring a specific action and does not permit the exercise of judgment by the teacher or administrator. With regard to testing of students, a state requirement that students be tested on a state-approved achievement test is a “ministerial duty”; however, teachers and test proctors have “discretion” as to when and if an emergency exists that would permit a student test taker to leave and return to the room while the test was being administered.
- “Under such circumstances, we decline to ignore the historic judgment of educators and thereby formalize the academic dismissal process by requiring a hearing. The educational process is not by nature adversary; instead, it centers around a continuing relationship between faculty and students, ‘one in which the teacher must occupy many roles—educator, adviser, friend, and, at times, parent-substitute.’ … In , this Court concluded that the value of some form of hearing in a disciplinary context outweighs any resulting harm to the academic environment. Influencing this conclusion was clearly the belief that disciplinary proceedings in which the teacher must decide whether to punish a student for disruptive or insubordinate behavior may automatically bring an adversary flavor to the normal student-teacher relationship. The same conclusion does not follow in the academic context. We decline to further enlarge the judicial presence in the academic community and thereby risk deterioration...
- Reluctance of the Courts to substitute their judgments for those of teachers, administrators, and publicly elected school board members is a basic tenet of judicial philosophy, even though examples to the contrary are legion. The enunciated policy of nonintervention by the courts, however, normally remains the rule where schools act rationally pursuant to a legitimate academic purpose and a fundamental constitutional right of a student is not denied. For a student to sustain a claim against a school board for academic decisions such as denial of promotion because of failure on tests or grades, the student must document a cognizable constitutional loss. A student’s mere showing that he or she was not promoted does not constitute such a loss.
- The Supreme Court in
- In 1978, the Florida Legislature enacted a law requiring that public school students pass a functional literacy examination in order to receive a high school diploma. Shortly afterward students challenged the test maintaining that it violated both the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. A federal district court held for the students and enjoined the use of the test to withhold diplomas until the 1982–83 school year. , 474 F.Supp. 244 (M.D.Fla.1979). On appeal the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s findings.
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Chapter 17. Teacher Dismissal 107 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Where a teacher was investigated by the police for possessing candid pictures of teenagers that had been taken at his home, the school district removed him from his extracurricular duties yet retained him as a teacher. The police did not charge the teacher with a crime. The teacher sued the school board claiming denial of due process and sought damages. The federal court held that the school board’s action was reasonable in light of its obligation to protect the safety of students, particularly in view of the fact that the employee was a teacher and a coach of students who were about the same age of the persons in the photographs.
- A teacher’s willful disobedience of a school board regulation may, of course, constitute insubordination. One such good example was present where a 14-year veteran teacher persisted in teaching creationism and intelligent design, gave students religious materials, challenged scientific textbooks that conflicted with biblical accounts of creation. The school principal advised the teacher in writing to stop displaying a Bible and religious materials before students in class. The teacher continued to do so and the school board terminated the teacher’s contract. The teacher sued and the case went to the Supreme Court of Ohio which held for the school board. The court found that the teacher’s willful disobedience constituted “blatant insubordination.”
- Because of the exemplary nature of teaching, the courts have left little question about the seriousness of sexual involvement with students. Teachers must be pure in intent and act when dealing with students. In one instance, a tenured teacher, while on a field trip, tickled and touched female students on various parts of their bodies including between the legs. He was observed lying on a motel bed with one of the female students, watching television. The teacher made sexual remarks and innuendos to the female students and was subsequently dismissed for immorality. Upon being charged with immorality, the teacher responded that the activities were “good-natured horseplay.” Later, some students apologized to the field trip coordinator because they considered their behavior was “pretty gross.” The teacher, who had enjoyed a reputation as a good teacher with excellent student rapport, contended there was no nexus between his classroom effectiveness and his conduct. The court determined...
- Prior sexual misconduct of a teacher in another school district may be grounds for dismissal from current employment. Where a teacher got a 15-year-old student pregnant and later moved to another teaching position in another state, the new school district in which he was employed, upon gaining knowledge of the earlier situation, terminated his employment. The teacher challenged the dismissal arguing that a school district could not take action against him for an offense he committed in another school jurisdiction. The court disagreed pointing out that a teacher’s prior immoral conduct, and the failure to disclose the conduct upon his new employment, provided ample evidence of the teacher’s unfitness.
- The Internet has mesmerized teachers and students as it has most persons in the civilized world. Case law reveals that not only students but some teachers have been found to inappropriately convey lewd pictures of themselves and, in addition, have occasionally made suggestive comments via social media about their students and others. The result has been that teachers have on sometimes lost their teaching positions and their licenses. Instances of this unprofessional behavior may be accompanied by lawsuits launched by the teachers who brought the situation upon themselves. Court records indicate that some teacher’s excuses mostly reflect naiveté in the permanency and the viral nature of the Internet. For example, in one case, a teacher, after a trying day at school, posted on Facebook “I’m not a teacher—I’m a warden for future criminals.” The teacher was dismissed because of parental uproar. She sued and argued that her postings were protected by the First Amendment Free Speech...
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Chapter 4. Freedom of Speech and Expression 96 results (showing 5 best matches)
- In another case with application, a fifth grader while in school, along with other students, was asked by a science teacher to write their wishes on the picture of an astronaut. The student wrote that he wished to “blow up the school with the teachers in it.” School officials also found that the student had earlier discipline problems, pushing and shoving in hallways, and had submitted art work and stories about guns and violence. The student was then suspended for one day in school and five days out of school. In upholding the suspension of the fifth grader, the Court said that
- In another illustrative case, teachers went on strike and the school board employed replacement teachers. Children of the striking teachers arrived at school with buttons and stickers stating, “I’m not listening, scab” and “Do scabs bleed?” and were threatened with discipline. The court used and and ruled that in the absence of disruption, wearing of the emblems was constitutionally protected because the students’ actions were related to a political message which was of public concern and therefore fell under the protection of
- Teachers and school administrators must be constantly on guard to recognize and prevent harm to students. The fact that student speech is protected complicates the problem of discerning an utterance of harmless speech from dangerous menace and warning of actual impending peril. Columbine, Paducah, Virginia Tech and other tragedies are constant reminders. An utterance may with some certainty portend injury, or an utterance itself may inflict outrage or harm. Such speech by students can be restrained and prevented by actions of teachers and school administrators, without offending constitutional rights of the offending student. True threats of violence, racial epithets, or “fighting words” are not protected speech. In such instances, prior restraint preventing the speech is within the prerogative of a teacher or school administrator. Appropriate conduct of the school and preservation of the school’s learning environment is good legal cause to prevent “fighting words” and racial epithets.
- Many of the student speech, expression and publication cases are clearly founded on parental guile and cunning employing children’s naiveté at the forum of the public school. An example is a case decided by the United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, where plaintiffs were parents on behalf of their children. In this instance, church pastors and parents in a fundamentalist church engaged high school students to “put God back in schools,” and one of their initiatives was to distribute 2,500 rubber fetus dolls at school to protest abortions. The school district had a policy that required preapproval of any non-school-sponsored material that was to be distributed on school grounds. The dolls were distributed at two high schools in the district. The fetus dolls were designed to be a realistic representation of a human fetus, and an attached card explained that it was the actual size and weight of a “12-week-old baby at gestation” in addition to a “quotation” by the fetus...
- In considering , one may ask what controls, if any, can reasonably be placed on students’ conduct. In
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Chapter 15. Terms and Conditions of Teacher Employment 76 results (showing 5 best matches)
- A board may require a teacher to establish residency in the school district. In recent years, urban school districts have utilized this authority to prevent mass movement of teachers out to the suburbs. Teachers have challenged the residency requirements as violation of their liberty rights. The courts have upheld the policies as rational. The courts have accepted the school boards’ rationale that teachers who live in the district have a better understanding of the students and the community and, therefore,
- Teaching certificates, therefore, may be annulled, but only for serious offenses that are detrimental to students or the teaching profession. There must be a between the outside activity and the performance of teaching duties. The general rule of law is that a teacher cannot be dismissed for behavior of nonschool activity unless such activity can be shown to be detrimental to the conduct of the school. For example, where a female teacher was convicted of first degree criminal mischief for ramming her car into the car of her husband’s lover, the Supreme Court of Oregon ruled for the teacher, holding that the conviction did not “render (the teacher) unqualified to perform her professional duties” because her crime did not bear a demonstrable relationship to her ability to perform school duties. There was no nexus. Absent a link or nexus the state licensing agency is without authority to remove certification from a teacher.
- Only a school board may make a valid offer to contract with a teacher. The offer has to be made to the teacher and within a reasonable time; the teacher may only accept the offer that has been tendered. If a school board tenders an offer for a specific salary and the teacher accepts the offer but requests the salary be increased, then there is no valid offer and there cannot be a valid acceptance. In essence, the teacher has made a counter offer. There has been no meeting of the minds as to conditions and terms of the contract; thus, no contract can be formed without further action by the school board.
- If, however, tenure is not interpreted to be a contract between the state and the individual, but rather an agreement conditioned upon the teacher’s maintenance and upgrading of teaching skills, then a school district may be justified in the nonrenewal of a tenured teacher’s contract. In the case where a teacher persistently refused to comply with her district’s continuing education requirements and over the years forfeited salary rather than obtain the training, the school district finally threatened her with dismissal if she did not satisfy the requirements. She did not and was fired. The teacher sued claiming denial of Equal Protection and the U.S. Supreme Court, finding no merit to the teacher’s claims, ruled for the school district. The Court reasoned that there was no denial of Equal Protection because all the teachers were equally obligated to acquire the continuing education credits, and the school district’s rationale for such training was related to the district’s...
- A board must act in good faith and may not terminate a teacher under the guise of need to reduce the teaching force. Some cases have arisen over whether a true financial exigency existed or whether the teacher’s position was eliminated because of some teacher action that offended the board. In
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Chapter 13. Student Records, Defamation, and Privacy 76 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Where a teacher conveys erroneous information about a student but believes the communication is truthful then the privileged occasion of the teacher will not be foregone. Statements by teachers must be motivated by a desire to protect the interest of the student or the school and, if so taken, then an honest belief that the communication is true will be protected. The fact that the teacher is unintentionally mistaken is, in this case, immaterial. Too, the teacher may be compelled to show that reasonable or probable grounds were available to support the truthfulness or belief in the truthfulness of the communication.
- If the plaintiff is unable to bring his or her case under one of these categories, he or she must resort to proving special harm or actual damages by the communication of defamation requires that the plaintiff prove actual damage. The plaintiff must show that publication of the defamation was the legal cause of special harm. The distinction between defamation and may rest on whether a crime is imputed. For example, the law holds that it is defamation and special damages must be proven if the words imputed to a teacher appear to harm the teacher’s reputation but do not relate to conduct of a crime, moral turpitude, unchastity, or damage the teacher in his or her profession. To say that a male teacher seduced a female student would, of course, be defamation
- In order for the privilege of the teacher or administrator to withstand challenge, the communication must have been made (1) in good faith, without malice, and within the scope of the students, teachers, or public’s interest in the good conduct of the school; (2) in the honest belief that the information conveyed was true, with knowledge that any communication brought about a student was made with reasonable, and probable grounds; and (3) in response to a legitimate inquiry by one with the right to know about a student’s educational or
- Can a teacher have students grade other student’s papers or does FERPA prohibit such classroom practices? In answer to this question, the U.S. Supreme Court in a unanimous decision ruled that FERPA does not prohibit the practice of peer grading.
- Legitimate inquiry regarding a student’s educational performance may be made by other teachers, school administrators within the same school or school districts, as well as by educational and employment agencies outside the school or school district proper. The Buckley Amendment (FERPA) discussed above in this chapter gives good guidelines in this regard. At common law, a teacher is protected if communication is given in response to proper inquiry.
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Chapter 10. Education of Children with Disabilities 113 results (showing 5 best matches)
- In 2004 IDEA was reauthorized by H.R. 1350, and several key provisions were added; among these were: (1) Schools must provide a child with a free appropriate public education in the interim but can conduct an evaluation of a child who transfers from out-of-state before becoming required to adopt the current IEP or craft a new IEP; (2) Where parents refuse to provide consent for an initial evaluation of their child, the school is relieved of the obligation to provide a free appropriate public education consisting of special education and related services to the child because of the parents refusal to provide consent for the evaluation; (3) Parents have a two-year limitation for filing of IDEA due process complaints; (4) Parents or the school district has 90 days under federal law to appeal an adverse decision of a hearing officer, or the time as stated in state law; (5) School districts must provide parents with notice of their and their child’s rights once a year, including the...
- The IEP statement describing the child’s educational goals and specifying required services is developed by a multidisciplinary team. The IEP team must have as members an individual who can provide or supervise the provision of special education services, is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum and division resources, the child’s teacher(s), a special educator, parents, the student, if appropriate, other person(s) qualified to interpret evaluation results, and additional individuals, invited by the school division or parent, who have information concerning the student, inclusive of related service personnel, as appropriate. Because the IEP must be jointly prepared by school staff and parents and reviewed annually, a condition of possible contention is staged. Contests between parents and school districts over the nature of the IEP have created a plethora of disability litigation in
- Manifestation determinations are essential to “stay-put” considerations when discipline is an issue. In cases of discipline the decision as to whether the offense by a student is a manifestation of a disability is essential. A manifestation review by an IEP team is required if a school wants to remove a student to an alternative educational setting in excess of 10 days. The IEP team determines the conduct to be a manifestation of the student’s disability if the behavior was caused by or had a direct and substantial relationship to the student’s disability or if the behavior was the direct result of the school’s failure to implement the IEP. Should the team decide that the offending behavior is not a manifestation of the student’s disability, the disciplinary action taken against the student with a disability can be the same as that applied to the student without a disability. Offenses related to drugs and weapons are a special category as provided under IDEA. A student with a...
- IDEA gives children with disabilities the right to a free appropriate public education (FAPE). The key to meeting the requirements of IDEA is to determine what constitutes an appropriate education. In the most authoritative statement yet made in interpretation of IDEA, the United States Supreme Court in
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Chapter 1. Attendance in Public Schools 100 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Schools must extend to homeless students the same access, free appropriate public education, as to other children. Education of the homeless student must continue in the student’s “school of origin” or the school district must enroll the student in a school that is attended by other students in the same attendance zone. Importantly, the federal law requires that a homeless student must be immediately admitted to the school of the student’s choice, pending resolution of a dispute. Schools must notify homeless parents of their child’s statutory rights under NCLB’s school choice provisions. By virtue of the McKinney-Vento Act, homeless students have a private right of action to enforce its provisions. This means that an action in damages may lie against a school district that denies this statutory right to a homeless student. In addition to legal action under the Act, homeless students and parents can proceed against a school district under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth...
- The North Dakota case set a precedent almost precisely opposite that of in Ohio. , 294 N.W.2d 883 (N.D.1980). Here defendant parents were convicted of violating compulsory attendance laws for sending their children to a church-affiliated private school which was not approved by the state. The school had no certified teachers and employed a widely used self-study curriculum made up of a series of Bible-oriented learning packets. The school showed, as was the case in , that the students of the private school scored higher on achievement tests than did their counterparts in public schools.
- The legal competence of the state to compel children to attend school is well established, but the power of the state is not unlimited. The state, for example, cannot require attendance solely in public schools. In
- With the ongoing immigration debate in the United States gaining momentum and complexity, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the United States Department of Education and the United States Department of Justice in 2011 issued a letter of guidance for school districts in the enrollment of undocumented students. After explaining that prohibits states from denying access to public schools to any students in residence in a state, and that public school attendance is irrelevant as to the undocumented status of a student or a parent, the letter says that school districts should not inquire into the immigration or citizenship status of a student or parent as a criterion for establishing whether the student is a resident of the school district. The school can require a birth certificate, but cannot deny attendance based on the fact that the student has only a foreign birth certificate. A birth certificate, however, can be required to verify the age of the student. Parental inability or...
- Of course, state legislatures may modify compulsory attendance statutes in any way they please from completely doing away with compulsory attendance statutes to permitting part time use of public schools for about any constitutional purpose the legislator’s fancy. Thus, it is a legislative prerogative to discredit their own state’s compulsory attendance laws as they desire and to de-school society as they wish so long as neither state nor federal statutes or constitutions are violated. Presently, nineteen states allow as a statutory right homeschooled students access to interscholastic activities, five states allow homeschooled students to participate with the approval of the local school district in which the student resides, five states permit homeschooled students such participation if they are enrolled part time or dually enrolled in a public school, and twenty-one states prohibit homeschooled students such latitude, requiring that students must attend the public school, be...
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Chapter 3. Due Process Rights of Students 105 results (showing 5 best matches)
- The courts have generally held that hearsay evidence is admissible in a formal school disciplinary hearing. In the leading case on the subject, a school principal read before the school board statements made by teachers regarding a student’s conduct. The board in using this evidence ultimately suspended eight students for a week and expelled eight for their part in a school boycott. The students maintained that the information was hearsay and could not be used as a basis for dismissal. The court disagreed saying:
- Following the Supreme Court’s standard of “conscience shocking,” the United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, upheld a school giving “Fs” to two students in band class who ignored class rules and teacher orders by departing from the planned musical program and interjecting into the band performance impromptu and disruptive guitar solos. Even though assignment of an “F” to one of the students prevented him from graduating with honors, the court concluded that no substantive due process right had been violated. The court found that the assignment of an “F” was not constitutionally inappropriate because the school’s interest in maintaining order and providing an education was rationally related to its disciplinary action against the students and was not of such a nature as to “shock the conscience.”
- The value of cross-examining student witnesses in school disciplinary cases, however, is somewhat muted by the fact that the veracity of a student account of misconduct by another student is initially assessed by … the school principal who has, or has available to him, a particularized knowledge of the student’s trustworthiness. The school administrator generally knows firsthand (or has access to school records which disclose) the accusing student’s disciplinary history, which can serve as a valuable gauge in evaluating the believability of the student’s account. Additionally, the school administrator often knows, or can readily discover, whether the student witness and the accused have had an amicable relationship in the past. Consequently, the process of cross-examining the student witness may often be merely duplicative of the evaluation process undertaken by the investigating school administrator. The value of cross-examining student witnesses in pre-expulsion proceedings must...
- set in motion the standard that a student’s interests in education and the student’s liberty to be educated could not be taken away without procedural due process. Many subsequent cases sanctified this principle of law, but the most influential of the later litigation is found in wherein the United States Supreme Court explained in detail what constituted due process of law under the Fourteenth Amendment as applied to public school education, in both its substantive and procedural contexts. In the Court ruled that even a ten-day suspension or less in depriving a child attendance in a public school required procedural due process. Importantly, the Court explained that all suspensions from public school required appropriate procedural process to ascertain the basis for the allegations against the student and to give the student an opportunity to refute the charges. The Court, effectively, confirmed the standards for procedural due process as set forth earlier in
- However, rulings on the admissibility of hearsay in a student hearing do vary considerably. Examples are as follows: Student was not denied procedural due process when the school district failed to reveal the identity of a fellow student who had reported that the student had cut herself.
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Chapter 5. Religion in Public Schools 87 results (showing 5 best matches)
- The Supreme Court in striking down the practice said that state tax-supported facilities could not be used to disseminate religious doctrines whether it aided only one or all religions. Too, the Court noted that the state’s compulsory attendance law provided a valuable aid to religion in that it brought the children to a central location at which the churches could capture the students’ attention. According to the Court, there existed too close a cooperation in that (1) the weight and influence of the public school was cast behind a program for religious instruction, (2) public school teachers provided the attendance accounting and policed the process, (3) the school kept track of students who were released, and (4) the normal classroom activities came to a halt. For these reasons the practice was held to violate the First Amendment.
- , the City of New York devised another release-time program in which students were released from public schools during the school day to attend religious services off school grounds. A period was set aside each week when students could leave the public school grounds to go to a church or church school to attend religious services. The program was entirely optional, the school authorities were neutral, and teachers did no more than release the students when so requested by parents. In upholding this plan the United States Supreme Court said that the state could accommodate religion without aiding religion, and it would too severely “press the concept of separation of Church and State” to condemn this New York law where the state assistance was so minimal. Accordingly, in this instance, for government to fail to accommodate this type of release-time plan would constitute callousness toward religion which is not required by the First Amendment.
- As noted above, in 1997 the United States Supreme Court took another giant step in totally revising the law as it pertained to providing tax money to religious schools. In that year the Court handed down , 473 U.S. 402 (1985), which had barred New York City Board of Education teachers from providing services to parochial school students in the private schools under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The Court did not stop there, they also overruled
- Prayers before and after athletic contests are common and often little is said about such exercises. One such instance emerged in Texas where school football games were preceded by carefully orchestrated religious invocations. The activities were designed to skirt constitutional prohibitions. The United States Supreme Court, in this case, confronted the issue of whether student-led and -initiated prayers at the games violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The students who initiated the prayers before school football games were elected by the student body by an election process instituted by school officials. At trial the school district defended the practice by asserting that the election allowed the majority of students to prevail, and if the majority decided to have pre-game prayer, then it was their prerogative. The United States Supreme Court, however, looked behind the scene and observed that the practice still had the
- Thus, where a school permits the use of school facilities for various non-curricular clubs, religious and civic organizations, access must be provided to all without regard to content of their messages. The Equal Access Act (EAA), in tandem with Supreme Court interpretations of the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment, effectively utilizes the access theory to override earlier tenets of separation of church and state that had prohibited use of public school facilities for inculcation of religion. The EAA, however, by its very breadth, has resulted in certain unintended consequences that the conservative Congress that enacted the law probably did not foresee. One example is a case where a student group, Straight and Gays for Equality (SAGE), sought access to school facilities, including the school’s public address system, yearbook, and other forms of communication. In spite of the fact that the EAA does not require a school to provide a forum for student groups whose purposes do...
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Chapter 9. Racial Segregation 69 results (showing 5 best matches)
- The United States Supreme Court was never able to clearly enunciate what constituted “equal” in the context of “separate-but-equal.” It was, though, generally understood that the entire absence of facilities would violate equal protection. As a result, states made some provision, though in most cases quite modest, for black students to have some type of facility. Educational facilities at the graduate and professional school levels were, generally, not available in southern states for black students. Where this was the case, the state legislatures usually provided some type of tuition assistance for black students to attend colleges in other states. In , 305 U.S. 337 (1938), an African-American plaintiff who did not want to attend law school in another state challenged the State of Missouri because it had no law school for black students. Justice Hughes, writing for the majority of the United States Supreme Court, ruled that Missouri must either permit plaintiff to attend the white...
- Thus, narrow tailoring, according to the Court in the case, must include a more “holistic” view than just race or ethnicity. Racial classifications must be a part of a “broader assessment of diversity and not simply an effort to achieve racial balance.” ( . Thus, if diversity is the goal, the school district should seek to achieve a student body in each school that reflects “talents, experiences and potential,” not just race of the entire student population. Some of these “holistic” elements might be grades, travel, language, and/or income level of family. Income is not a suspect class as is race and ethnicity; therefore, there is no constitutional prohibition on balancing student enrollments based on the students categorized by percentages of free and reduced-price lunches. Therefore, if a school district desires to create greater student body diversity in each of its schools, then it must not by
- Several earlier lower court decisions had used ratios of black to white in the total school population to establish racial quotas for each school. A federal district court had established that racial imbalance could not be justified at substantial variance from a 71–29, white to black, ratio for schools in Charlotte-Mecklenburg County, and ruled that no school could be operated with an all black or predominately black student body. The Supreme Court said that if it was, in fact, the lower court’s intent to establish a “mathematical racial balance reflecting the pupil constituency of the system” then the approach would be disapproved and the lower court would be reversed. The Supreme Court said: “The constitutional command to desegregate schools does not mean that every school in every community must always reflect the racial composition of the school system as a whole.”
- One device used to circumvent the effects of was to close the public schools and to provide vouchers for students to attend private schools. When this method of maintaining segregation was challenged, the Supreme Court held that the ill effects of such a system bore more heavily on African-American students because the white students had access to accredited private schools while the African-American children did not. Thus, the Court concluded that to close public schools and contribute tax funds for students to attend segregated private schools was a violation of equal protection.
- Narrow tailoring is terminology that has come into more frequent usage by the United States Supreme Court when it examines state action that might impinge on a constitutional interest. The objective is to permit government latitude to achieve a particular objective without diminishing individual constitutional rights or interests. With regard to race, the Court, as explained in , was troubled by affirmative action policies that favor one person over another simply because of the color of their skin. As the Supreme Court has become more conservative with the appointees of Reagan and the Bushes, there has become discernibly less concern for the correction of historical racial discrimination that earlier so negatively affected the social condition in America. The Supreme Court today effectively discourages governmentally prescribed affirmative action policies, but does acknowledge that diversity is a permissible goal of school districts if it is not simply pursued to mix the races, and...
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Chapter 18. Employment Discrimination 117 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Employees’ work schedules have also come in conflict with religious worship in other cases. In one such case a teacher was dismissed because of absence from the job, without permission, to attend a religious festival. The teacher had arranged for a substitute teacher, instructed the substitute on lesson plans, and so on, and the classes had in fact run very smoothly. The court determined that to accommodate the teacher resulted in no undue hardship to the school and rendered judgment for the teacher.
- The Supreme Court has provided some guidance as to the boundaries between affirmative action and reverse discrimination under the Equal Protection Clause. In
- As with other aspects of Title VII, the burden of proof to show religious discrimination is borne by the plaintiff who must show that the employer’s decision was religiously related. If the plaintiff sustains this burden, then the employer must in turn show that the encroachment on the employee’s religious beliefs could not be reasonably accommodated without undue hardship to the employer. The issue of religious discrimination frequently conjures strange situations; the magic rock episode in Missouri is one such example. Here an apparently rather innocent second-grade teacher failed to receive a renewal of her contract from the school board because of pressure from religious fundamentalists. The evidence indicated that the teacher had a game she played with the second graders where they would rub a magic rock and make positive statements about themselves. The idea presumably was to help the children to have confidence and feel good about themselves and others. The religious...
- If a teacher establishes a case of discrimination, the school board must show that its rationale for the employment decision was based on nondiscriminatory reasons. Where a school board defended its decision not to promote a black female teacher on the subjective factors of her “lack of interpersonal and management skills which are necessary for an administrator to have” as well as “abrasive” personality, the court found that these reasons “articulated legitimate nondiscriminatory reasons” for the board’s decision. If a plaintiff establishes by direct evidence that an employer acted with discriminatory intent, the defense will fail unless the employer can show “that the same decision would have been reached absent illegal motive.” Where a female plaintiff presented direct evidence of discrimination, the board’s defense in showing that “she would not have been promoted if she were a man” provided the defendants with a complete defense to plaintiff’s charges. In other words, the...
- Also, an employer is held responsible for acts of sexual harassment between fellow employees where the employer “knows or should have known of the conduct, unless it can show that it took immediate and appropriate corrective actions.” In 1992 the U.S. Supreme Court in
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Copyright Page 5 results
- Nutshell Series, In a Nutshell
- The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal or other professional advice, and this publication is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. If you require legal or other expert advice, you should seek the services of a competent attorney or other professional.
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Table of Cases 636 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Hunterdon Central High School Board of Ed. v. Hunterdon Central High School Teachers’ Ass’n…………615
- California Teachers Association v. Governing Board of San Diego Unified School District…………599
- California Teachers Association v. Oxnard School District…………579
- American Federation of Teachers-West Virginia, AFL-CIO v. Kanawha County Board of Education…………613
- Massachusetts Federation of Teachers v. Board of Education…………558
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Outline 176 results (showing 5 best matches)
Advisory Board 12 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law
- Professor of Law, Yale Law School
- Professor of Law, Chancellor and Dean Emeritus, University of California, Hastings College of the Law
- LAW SCHOOL ADVISORY BOARD
- Professor of Law, Michael E. Moritz College of Law,The Ohio State University
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- Publication Date: March 6th, 2015
- ISBN: 9780314288851
- Subject: Education Law
- Series: Nutshells
- Type: Overviews
- Description: This text captures the key points of the precedents governing student rights and responsibilities relating to attendance, speech, expression, religion, discipline, grades, tests, drugs, search and seizure, the emerging law of social media, i.e., cyberbullying, and the range of procedural due process interests. The book further addresses the range of constitutional rights and protections for teachers as well as employment terms and conditions, including contracts, tenure and potential liabilities.