Law in the Schools

Law in the Schools
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  • ISBN-13: 9780131141551
  • ISBN: 0131141554
  • Edition: 6
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall


Valente, William D., Valente, Christina M.


This new edition is required by sea changes in statutory and case law that have occurred in the past few years. New legislation and judicial rulings have displaced, overturned, or substantially altered the law reported in the prior edition. These changes represent new trends regarding the control and uses of school property, with correlative changes in the rights and liabilities of school managers, teachers, students, parents, and community groups. They also herald divergent movements in school law. On one hand, school authorities have been given broader leeway to adopt strict security and disciplinary measures and to restrain certain forms of school-site speech in order to reduce school violence, drug trafficking, and sexual abuse. To some extent, the expansion of teacher and student liberties following the "rights" revolution of the 1960s and 1970s has given way to "zero tolerance" policies. On the other hand, school authorities risk expanded liability for infringing on the civil rights of students and teachers, especially in the areas of sex abuse and of race, gender, and disability discrimination. The latest Supreme Court opinions on topics of sexual orientation and the uses of racial criteria for employment or other benefits are as noteworthy for the new questions they raise as for their guidance on old questions. Legislation and regulation for private schools, charter schools, and home schooling also continue to grow. Courts and legislatures are still attempting to catch up with issues presented by the rapid growth of charter schools and home schooling. With regard to religiously affiliated schools, the latest Supreme Court decisions revise and in some instances reverse older constitutional law regarding some forms of government assistance to those schools. The scope of these changes and the need for a fresh study of school laws are reflected in the cases listed in the Select Table of Cases. There are more than 20 new decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court and more than 14 significant new decisions by the federal Courts of Appeal. Some of those appeals are, at this writing, pending review and decision by the Supreme Court. The use of computer and Internet technology for in-house and distance learning projects raises new problems as well as new opportunities. TheDawsoncase in Chapter 1 addresses the legality of electronic transmission of combined commercial and educational materials into public schools. The drive to wire all schools for computerized education may have also influenced the Supreme Court's approval of state loans of state-purchased computers to religiously affiliated schools. Chapter 3 traces the latest constitutional rulings on religious speech and activities at public school sites and events by students and community groups. New materials on employment discrimination in Chapters 5, 6, and 9 include cases that significantly alter or clarify the law on gender, disability, and age discrimination. Chapter 6 presents cases that delimit constitutional protection for teacher speech and suspicionless teacher searches, including urinalysis testing. Kindred issues are revised in Chapter 7 with regard to student speech and searches. One first-of-its-kind case explores the enforcement of parental "do not resuscitate" orders, which pit school obligations to aid an afflicted student against the rights of parents to control medical treatment of their children. Chapter 7 also reports the changes wrought by the 1997 IDEA amendments on the rights of students with handicaps and the 1999 Supreme Court decision on the mandatory school provision of "related services" to such students. Chapter 8 updates the interpretation of overlapping but uncoordinated discrimination statutes. The new lead cases on school district or supervisor liability for student-on-student sexual harassment under Title IX (Davis,Chapter 7), for teacher sexual abuse of- students (Doe,Chapter 8), and fValente, William D. is the author of 'Law in the Schools', published 2004 under ISBN 9780131141551 and ISBN 0131141554.

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