Principals Teaching the Law: 10 Legal Lessons Your Teachers Must Know

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9781412972222: Principals Teaching the Law: 10 Legal Lessons Your Teachers Must Know

Ensure your staff understands the most important principles of school law!

Research shows that most teachers are uninformed or misinformed about the rights of students and teachers and expect their principals to advise them. This book equips school leaders with a professional development curriculum for training teachers on legal topics that affect their everyday work. Organized into 10 ready-made lessons, this resource includes:

  • One-hour sessions on critical topics such as student discipline, special education, and freedom of expression
  • Warm-up activities, objectives, a summary of legal principles, application activities, and assessments for each session 
  • An online supplement with handouts and lesson plans

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About the Author:

David Schimmel is Professor of Education at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Visiting Professor at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. He is author of over 60 articles and co-author of 6 books about law and education including Teachers and the Law,7th edition (2007) and School Law: What Every Educator Should Know (2008) and is recipient of the Education Press Association of America’s Distinguished Achievement Award for Excellence in Educational Journalism. After graduating from Yale Law School, he briefly practiced law, was an Army Infantry Officer, and served on the Peace Corps staff for 6 years before starting his teaching career at UMass. His current research and writing focuses on promoting legal literacy for teachers.

Suzanne E. Eckes is an associate professor in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Department at Indiana University. She has published more than 70 articles and book chapters on school law, is an editor of the Principal’s Legal Handbook, and is a member of the board of directors for the Education Law Association. She is the recipient of the Jack A. Culbertson Award for outstanding achievements in education from the University Council of Educational Administration. Prior to joining the faculty at Indiana University, Eckes was a high school French teacher and an attorney. She earned her master’s degree in education from Harvard University and her law degree and PhD from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Learn more about Matthew Militello′s PD offerings
Matthew Militello is an assistant professor in the Educational Policy and Leadership Studies Department at North Carolina State University. He held a similar position at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he was also the educational administration program coordinator. Prior to his academic career, Militello was a middle and high school teacher, assistant principal, and principal. His research focuses on developing principals’ knowledge and skills in the areas of school law, school data, and collective leadership. Militello has more than 30 publications including articles in Education Policy, Education and Urban Society, Harvard Educational Review, Journal of School Leadership, Leadership Quarterly, Principal Leadership, and Teachers College Record. Militello also co-authored another Corwin book, “Leading with inquiry and action: How principals improve teaching and learning” (2009). He received his undergraduate degree and teaching certification from the University of Michigan and his MEd and PhD from Michigan State University.


“This pioneering book breaks new ground in an area traditionally considered too complex by school staff." (Neil MacNeill, Principal 2009-12-14)

"Principals are the key contacts for legal questions in their schools. Principals can use this book for professional development opportunities for staff, and school districts can use the book for training administrators.” (Darryl Williams, Principal 2009-12-14)

"Principals Teaching the Law will really help school law professors, too.  The book offers great class activities, and is specifically designed to teach school law to teachers. I do hope that the principal associations recommend this book to their members. As a building principal for 18 years – this book covers the things you need to know as a principal and teacher." (Robert J. Safransky, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor 2010-11-30)

“It is a fantastic book...easy to read, well-written, and easy to use.” (H. Jake Eberwein III, Superintendent 2011-03-30)

“All educators have had or will have experience with the legal aspects of the profession. This book not only provides immediate information and examples, it also leads the reader to additional support and research.” (Cathy Patterson, Former Assistant Principal 2009-12-14)

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