Law in the Schools (5th Edition)

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9780130305466: Law in the Schools (5th Edition)

This unique book provides readers with information that will enable them to recognize and address potential legal problems, empower them to make informed judgments and decisions, and alert them when legal counsel should be sought. It thoroughly covers the legal principles governing American schools and discusses the origin and development of laws concerning schools. Updated to reflect the latest new statutes and Supreme Court decisions, this edition will intensify the reader's appreciation of how law results from the relations of educational policy and legal principles. Topics covered in the book are backed by concrete case examples and brief case excerpts that illustrate and reinforce several points discussed in the text. Topics include: education under the American Legal System, public schools, tort liability, rights, discrimination, private education, and more. Suitable as a quick-reference book for school administrators and readers wanting to learn more about school law.

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From the Publisher:

Addressing the brisk pace of litigation affecting education, especially in the areas of civil rights and school finance reform, here is a new edition of this comprehensive treatment of school law. Three new chapters and discussion of thirty-three recent Supreme Court decisions help bring students up-to-date with changes in the field since the previous edition. The text thoroughly covers the legal principles governing American schools, both public and private, and discusses the origin and development of laws pertaining to schools. Furthermore, it explores the many ways in which laws influence specific educational policies, practices, and goals. This edition arranges coverage topically, to allow for course coverage of the full range of the law...or, only the specific topics of interest to your students.

From the Inside Flap:

PREFACE

The need for this revised edition is best explained by the unusual number of law changes that have occurred since the last edition. Under the press of demands that schools achieve better educational results and better control of school-centered violence, drug use, and sexual misconduct, the courts and legislatures modified the rights and duties of all segments of the school community. Decisions breaking new ground, particularly from the United States Supreme Court, necessitate a fresh look at the law on teacher and student rights and on the counterbalancing rights and obligations of school officials and administrators. As the Supreme Court observed some years ago:

Maintaining order . . . has never been easy, but in recent years, school disorder has often
taken particularly ugly forms: drug use and violent crime in the schools have become
major social problems .... New Jersey v. T.L.O., 469 U.S. 325 (1985) (White, J.)

The emphasis on personal liberties of teachers and students, which followed the "rights" revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, has given way to "zero tolerance" policies and severe sanctions for their violation. The scope of changes that must be noted or anticipated by all concerned parties is indicated by the following sampling of new law.

The growing use of computer and Internet technology, particularly in distance learning projects, opens new vistas of legal problems as well as educational opportunities. The Dawson case in Chapter 1 probes new issues on the legality of commercially produced materials that are electronically transmitted into schoolrooms. The drive to wire all schools for computerized education may also have influenced the seismic shift, noted in Chapter 9, in Supreme Court reasoning on the constitutionality of state loans of computers for use by students in religiously affiliated schools.

Chapter 3 traces the latest constitutional rulings on student and community group uses of prayer and religious expression at public school sites and events. New materials on teacher employment discrimination in Chapters 5 and 9 include decisions that significantly alter and clarify the prior law on gender, disability, and age discrimination. New cases that revise the constitutional bounds of teacher freedom of speech and of random, suspicionless searches of teachers, including urinalysis testing, are reported in Chapter 6.

Kindred issues of student speech and of suspicionless student searches are revisited in Chapter 7 in light of recent court decisions. One first of its kind case there explores largely open issues on "Do not resuscitate" orders which pit normal school obligations, to give first aid to an afflicted student against the rights of parents to control medical decisions and treatment of their children. The changes in the rights of students with handicaps under the 1997 IDEA amendments and under the Supreme Court's 1999 decision on the scope of "related services" that school districts must provide under that act are also reported in Chapter 7.

Chapter 8 reviews the layers and interoperation of uncoordinated discrimination statutes. Of particular note are the new lead cases on school district or supervisor liability for student-on-student sexual harassment under Title IX (Davis); teacher sexual abuse of students (Doe); and student suicides (Hasenfus). The Walker case provides a good essay on the untidy state of discrimination laws regarding the allowance or disallowance of alternative or cumulative remedies under different civil rights statutes.

Chapter 9 on alternatives to public education updates the unique legal status of home education, private schools, and charter schools. New additions include the unresolved divisions among the states on the validity of tuition vouchers and the latest Supreme Court pronouncements on the use of government-employed teachers and government-supplied computers in parochial school classrooms.

The incorporation of the above and other updates reinforces the theme of prior editions—that law and educational practice develop and interact in response ; to changing societal needs or demands. Because educational judgments necessarily involve shared elements of educational policy and law, the text aims to provide readers with sufficient information and insights to identify and address potential legal problems without foregoing the use of sound educational judgment, and to recognize those instances where the state of the law is such as to suggest the need for expert legal advice. CHAPTER ORGANIZATION

This edition slightly reorganizes the chapter arrangement of the prior edition. The major changes involve the relocation of the torts chapter (previously Chapter 7) to Chapter 4; the addition to the renumbered Chapter 5 on teacher employment of topics on employment discrimination; and the consolidation of former Chapters 9 and 10 into one Chapter 9 on alternative education. But for these changes, the chapters cover the same general topics as prior editions. The chapter title and topical sections are listed in a detailed outline at the beginning of each chapter. Some' section headings were revised to provide more concrete specification of covered subjects.

To simplify reading the principal case opinions at the end of each chapter, we have omitted the court footnotes and dissenting opinions unless otherwise indicated. Omitted sections of case opinions are indicated within the text using a 3-diamond symbol. We also chose to employ a simplified, nontechnical form of case citation that indicates the case name and year of decision, and the particular state or federal court that rendered the cited decision.

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