Presentation on theme: "Students and the Law EDLD 611. Winthrop Educational Leadership2 Student Discipline Law Most schools have student codes of conduct –Generally define the."— Presentation transcript:
Students and the Law EDLD 611
Winthrop Educational Leadership2 Student Discipline Law Most schools have student codes of conduct –Generally define the infraction, what the punishment will be and who will administer the punishment –Typically the more serious the punishment the more need there is for complete due process –Minimal due process is the only requirement for minor suspensions (10 days or less) –Educational disability also plays into the need for extended due process (manifestation determination hearings etc.) –Basic fairness is the typical requirement of all discipline actions
Winthrop Educational Leadership3 Corporal Punishment Allowed in some states, banned in others Many schools do not use it due to the legal ramifications possible When Corp. Pun. is used it must conform to state/local laws and board policy
Winthrop Educational Leadership4 Courts have spelled out ten guidelines that must be used: –Must be allowed by state statute (either directly or by inference) –Must be implemented consistent with state statutory requirements –Must be used as a method of correction (not vengeance or retaliation) –Must not be cruel or excessive –Must not involve anger or malice –Must suit the age, gender, and physical condition of the child –Must involve use of an appropriate instrument –Must not leave permanent or lasting injuries –Must be appropriate for the offense –Must not be used as the first line of discipline
Winthrop Educational Leadership5 Baker v. Owen (1975) –Did not require parental approval –Four Procedural Guidelines –Students were warned that they would be subject to corporal punishment if they misbehaved in a certain manner –Corporal punishment was not the FIRST LINE of punishment –School personnel must witness the punishment, cannot be done in private –Parents were furnished with a written notice of the punishment (on request of the parent)
Winthrop Educational Leadership6 Ingraham v. Wright (1977)☼ –Use of corporal punishment did not constitute a violation of the Eighth Amendment (Cruel and Unusual Punishment) –Student is not afforded a hearing prior to Corp. Punish.
Winthrop Educational Leadership7 Hall v. Tawney (1980) –Corporal punishment did not violate a child’s protected rights –Force used must not be disproportionate to maintaining order and discipline in the school; nor should it be the product of malice, sadism or brutality –Student should be given the opportunity to tell his/her side of the story – and reaffirmed that the act should be witnessed by an impartial adult
Winthrop Educational Leadership8 Student Discipline Hearing and Due Process
Winthrop Educational Leadership9 Goss v. Lopez (1975) This is the leading case in regards to procedural rights (due process) of students. –Established the difference between short and long term suspension (anything less than 10 days would be considered a short term suspension in which minimal due process rights would be afforded) In excess of a 10 day suspension “more complete” due process rights must be afforded to the student. i.e. discipline hearing held by the Supt or other Central Office personnel (Explain procedure)
Winthrop Educational Leadership10 The Relevance of a Miranda-Type Warning Boynton v. Casey (1982) –Students are not required to be “read their rights” nor are the parents required to be at the questioning of their child
Winthrop Educational Leadership11 Gathering of Information Concerning the Infraction Witnesses generally come from teachers, other administrators or students. All information should be submitted to the administrator who is in charge of the discipline
Winthrop Educational Leadership12 Completing the Investigation of the Allegations First step is to always ask the person involved for their side of the story. If they agree, then the administrator has the prerogative to go ahead with the punishment. If they disagree the administrator should investigate further.
Winthrop Educational Leadership13 Ascertain Whether the Misconduct Warrants Minor or Severe Punishment –Goss determines that only minimal due process is required for minor infractions. –Most schools do not afford an appeal of the disciplinary action for minor infractions of In School Detention or short term suspension (10 days or less) –Some schools afford an appeal on even minor infractions; most likely this is not practical in most school settings
Winthrop Educational Leadership14 –Even in the case of minor infractions/short term suspensions, a letter should be sent home to the parent specifying the act and the punishment –More serious infractions may result in long term suspension; this will require a hearing with the Supt or his/her designee. The Principal may suspend the student up to 10 days immediately, and require them to meet with the Supt prior to them returning to school. This meeting may be the opportunity for a due process hearing for the Supt to determine if long term suspension will be necessary. If long term suspension is necessary, then due process rights and the opportunity for a hearing with the Board of Education must be presented
Winthrop Educational Leadership15 If a hearing is held with the Board of Education, both parties may be represented by an attorney, and the parents/guardians may choose to have this in open or closed session. All policies, rules, regulations and documentation of the incident must be provided to the parents prior to the hearing with the Board. Both attorneys may request additional information and may call and question witnesses
Winthrop Educational Leadership16 Preparing for the Hearing: Expulsion or Long-Term Suspension –Always have the first hearing with an administrator before going to the Board. Take it to the lowest level first. –Whoever hears the cases should not be part of the investigation. –School Board will act as the “Impartial Tribunal”
Winthrop Educational Leadership17 Conducting the Hearing –Burden of proof is the administrations’; however, beyond a reasonable doubt is not the standard –Transcript should be made, stenographer if absolutely necessary; however, generally a tape recording will suffice. –Hearing officer (Board President) establishes the ground rules, reads an outline of the proceedings.
Winthrop Educational Leadership18 –School administration presents their case, presents evidence, calls witnesses etc. Student/Attorney may cross examine these witnesses. (Witnesses may be required to stay out of the room while others are being questioned) –After Administration is complete, the student/parent/attorney has the right to present their case –Do not establish time limits, however, repetition and redundancy may be prohibited
Winthrop Educational Leadership19 –Decision of the Board should consist of two parts. Did the student commit the infraction? What is the punishment for the infraction? –Any decision made should be submitted in writing –A registered letter to the parents should be mailed specifying the specifics of the Board’s decision and what the procedure will be if the parents/students want to appeal the Board’s decision
Winthrop Educational Leadership20 The Processing of the Initial Decision –The Board should adopt “specific findings and conclusions of law” similar to those made by the school administrator. –The Board should make a motion and show in the official Board Minutes the decision of the Board
Winthrop Educational Leadership21 Further Appeal Outside the School District Most states allow an appeal of the Boards decision through the courts system. If this is the case, the Board/Administration should provide in writing the procedure for this appeal to the parents.
Winthrop Educational Leadership22 Suspension and Expulsion of Student with Disabilities 1988 – Supreme Court instituted the “stay put” provision of the Education of All Handicapped Children Act (renamed in 1990 as I.D.E.A.) – This prohibited schools from unilaterally excluding disabled children from the classroom for dangerous or disruptive conduct growing out of their disabilities during the pendency of a preview proceeding.
Winthrop Educational Leadership23 Schools may suspend students up to 10 days maximum for disciplinary reasons; however, this is not a per instance rule. This is a 10 day yearly maximum. Anything beyond this amount is considered a change of placement the “stay put” rule would be in effect. If a student is recommended for suspension for more than 10 days, a manifestation determination hearing must be held prior to the suspension hearing with the Supt. This hearing should determine if the discipline act is related to the handicapping condition of the student. If the M.D.H. determines that it is not related to the handicap then the student may be disciplined as any other student. If this is the case, services must be provided to the student on a change of placement
Winthrop Educational Leadership24 Recommendation for Practice – Student Due Process The legal duty to control a school must be balanced with the procedural due process entitlements of students. Due process is neither a fixed nor stagnant concept because it changes from situation to situation and is dependent upon a continuum of factors. Fairness is the basic precept of contemporary procedural due process in public schools. The technicalities of criminal procedure, including a Miranda-type warning, presence of an attorney, as well as confrontation and cross-examination of witnesses, do not automatically transfer into school disciplinary procedures.
Winthrop Educational Leadership25 Timely and adequate notice, an explanation of the charges against the student, and a chance to be heard are the minimal elements of procedural due process in student disciplinary episodes. Procedural due process requires school administrators to be predict able and consistent and to exercise caution, thoughtful restraint, and common sense when disciplining students. Student discipline must incorporate sanctions for misbehavior that were previously announced to students and their parents, directly linked to modes of misbehavior, and must follow the dictates of reasonableness.
Winthrop Educational Leadership26 Courts have recognized the rights of students to be informed of prohibited behavior and afforded certain procedural safeguards prior to the imposition of punishment. In discipline cases, several rules should be followed. The administrator should move forward with an investigation by gathering additional information on any disciplinary infractions reported. Administrators should make further inquiry of other wit nesses to ascertain the facts concerning the event. The administrator must determine the nature of the punishment, as the necessary steps will be modified with increasing severity of punishment. The scenario changes significantly for long-term suspensions of eleven days or more and expulsions. More thorough due process is required before imposing these punishments.
Winthrop Educational Leadership27 A letter should be sent to the student's parents, outlining the charges against the student and informing them of the student's rights under the appropriate school policies and law for more severe punishments. If the administrator acting as a hearing officer becomes actively involved in the investigation, he or she should request that the school district superintendent appoint another administrator to hear the matter. Principals should become fully familiar with applicable state laws and regulations and school district policies impacting their schools.
Winthrop Educational Leadership28 Students who represent an imminent threat of harm to themselves or others or those who disrupt the school or its classrooms should be dealt with immediately with appropriate sanctions. Students who are covered by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (2004) and whose misbehavior is a manifestation of their disability are not automatically subject to a school system's suspension and/or expulsion process as applied to general education students. These students have additional protection afforded under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (1973) to ensure fairness and equity of treatment. Suits for damages may result if administrators knew or should have known that their actions violate the procedural due process entitlements of their students.
Winthrop Educational Leadership29 Class Cases Wood v. Strickland, No , SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES, 420 U.S. 308; 95 S. Ct. 992; 43 L. Ed. 2d 214; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 37, October 16, 1974, Argued, February 25, 1975, Decided ☼ Palmer v. Merluzzi, No , UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT, 868 F.2d 90; 1989 U.S. App. LEXIS 1715, October 18, 1988, Argued, February 17, 1989, Filed ☼
Winthrop Educational Leadership30 Freedom of Expression
Winthrop Educational Leadership31 Protected Speech Tinker v. Des Moines (1969)☼ –Students do not shed their Constitutional Rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate. –Courts say that “Since schools are “educating the young for citizenship,” they should protect the “Constitutional freedoms of the individual, if we are not to strangle the free mind at its source and teach youth to discount important principles of our government as mere platitudes”
Winthrop Educational Leadership32 Disruptive Speech –“Tinker” also established that there were exceptions as to what could be allowed. Any student conduct that “materially disrupts class work or involves substantial disorder or invasion of the rights of others” –A Principal may restrict student expression when there is significant evidence of a “reasonable likelihood of substantial disorder” Dodd v. Rambis (1981)
Winthrop Educational Leadership33 Obscene or Vulgar Speech –Bethel v. Fraser (1986) ☼ Case established some parameters with which school administrators must follow: Must appeal to the prurient or lustful interest It must describe sexual conduct in a way that is patently offensive to community standards Taken as a whole, it must lack serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value
Winthrop Educational Leadership34 –“Bethel” finally gave the administration a way to offset “Tinker” It held that administrators did have a way to discipline students who used “offensively lewd and indecent speech” –Heller v. Hodgin (1996) Allowed the suspension of a student who said “I am not a fucking bitch” even though someone else had allegedly called her that name.
Winthrop Educational Leadership35 Class Cases Walker – Seranno v. Leonard, 325 F.3d 412 ☼ Brown v. Hot, Sexy, & Safer Productions, Inc. 68 F.3d 525 ☼ S.G. v. Sayreville Bd. Of Ed. 333 F.3d 417 ☼
Winthrop Educational Leadership36 School –Sponsored Curricular Publication Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier (1988) ☼ –Courts ruled that a “curricular” newspaper was not a public forum and the school officials were entitled to regulate the contents…in any reasonable manner” –“Hazelwood” was the first break through for schools in regulating first amendment rights of students in regards to free speech. The court ruled that administrators had the right to prohibit articles that are “ungrammatical, poorly written, inadequately researched, biased or prejudiced, vulgar or profane, or unsuitable for immature audiences” Teachers and administrators do not violate first amendment rights by “exercising editorial control over the style and content of student speech in school-sponsored expressive activities as long as their actions are reasonably related to legitimate pedagogical concerns.”
Winthrop Educational Leadership37 “Hazelwood” does not permit educators to censor school sponsored publications unless they have a valid educational purpose. In 2003 the courts found that an Arkansas school district did violate first amendment rights by banning the Harry Potter books because of fear that they might promote disruption, witchcraft and disobedience to parents”. Counts v. Cedarville School Dist. (2003)
Counts v. Cedarville Sch. Dist., Civil No , UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS, FORT SMITH DIVISION, 295 F. Supp. 2d 996; 2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9533; 31 Media L. Rep. 2590, April 22, 2003, Decided, April 22, 2003, Filed Winthrop Educational Leadership38
Re-affirming Tinker “BONG HITS 4 JESUS” Morse v. Frederick, 127 S.Ct (2007) The Court ruled 6-3 that school officials may "restrict student expression that they reasonably regard as promoting illegal drug use. However, Chief Justice Roberts indicated that Tinker was still good law, and he rejected the broad interpretation of Fraser that would allow schools to prohibit any student speech that officials considered "plainly offensive." Winthrop Educational Leadership39
In addition, a significant concurring opinion by Justices Alito and Kennedy emphasized the narrowness of the majority opinion and wrote that not all student messages advocating illegal activity can be punished if they com ment on political or social issues and do not cause disruption. For example, these justices said they would protect student views that criticized the war on drugs or advocated the legalization of marijuana. Thus, Morse reaffirmed Tinker and perhaps expanded the rights of students to criticize current laws and promote controversial political or religious views. Winthrop Educational Leadership40
Winthrop Educational Leadership41 “Student Dress” Class Cases Boroff v. Van Wert City Bd. Of Ed. 220 F.3d 465 ☼ Chandler v. McMinnville School Dist. 978 F.2d 524 ☼ Canady v. Bossier Parish School Bd. 240 F.3d 437 ☼ Hines v. Caston School Corporation. 651 N.E. 2d 330 ☼
Winthrop Educational Leadership42 The Confederate Flag! Castorina v. Madison County School Board. 246 F.3d 536 ☼ Melton v. Young. 465 F.2d 1332 ☼ West v. Derby Unified School District No F.3d 1358 ☼ Scott v. School Board of Alachua County. 324 F.3d 1246 ☼ Sypniewski v. Warren Hills Regional Bd. Of Ed. 307 F.3d 243 ☼
Winthrop Educational Leadership43 Students’ Underground Publications Hazelwood does not give the school officials control over the style and content of underground student newspapers that are published outside of the school curriculum Tinker will govern these publications and then only if it can be proven that they substantially disrupt the school environment.
Winthrop Educational Leadership44 Administration can ask students to submit their publications prior to distribution. This allows for determination if the publication will cause a disruption to the school’s environment. Content neutral policies are the best Depending on the State, there have been rights granted to students that are “more expansive” than the first amendment.
Winthrop Educational Leadership45 Controversial Computer Use Tinker still prevails. Schools should not punish students unless it causes substantial disruption at school
Cell Phones Concerns about inappropriate student use of cell phones have led ten states to prohibit such phones in school, and seventeen states have granted local districts explicit authority to prohibit them. Even in states without such legislation, schools may prohibit cell phones that disrupt education or interfere with the rights of others. Although there is little case law on this topic, if administrators know of improper use (such as taking secret photographs) and do not try to stop it, they might be charged with negligent supervision. Winthrop Educational Leadership46
Winthrop Educational Leadership47 Student Cases Emmett v. Kent Sch. Dist. No. 415, CASE NO. C C, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON, SEATTLE DIVISION, 92 F. Supp. 2d 1088; 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4995, February 23, 2000, Decided, February 23, 2000, Filed, Entered ☼ ☼ J.S. v. Bethlehem Area Sch. Dist., No C.D. 1999, COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA, 757 A.2d 412; 2000 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 402, April 10, 2000, Argued, July 14, 2000, Decided, July 14, 2000, Filed, Petition for Allowance of Appeal Granted March 13, 2001, Reported at: 2001 Pa. LEXIS 489. ☼☼ Killion v. Franklin Reg'l Sch. Dist., Civil Action No , UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA, 136 F. Supp. 2d 446; 2001 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3490, March 22, 2001, Decided ☼☼
Winthrop Educational Leadership48 Recommendations for Practice – Freedom of Expression When a student speaks or writes as an individual, such expression is protected by the First Amendment and cannot be restricted un less it causes substantial disruption or interferes with the rights of others. Students may not be punished for expressing their personal opinions about controversial political, religious, social, or educational issues-even if their views are unpopular and in conflict with the ideas of most students, teachers, and administrators.
Winthrop Educational Leadership49 Administrators have broad discretion in regulating student speech or writing that is part of the school curriculum. Supreme Court decisions have clarified the scope of such control. In Bethel, the Court ruled that educators can define and punish vulgar and offensive language in classrooms, assemblies, and probably in any other educational activity. In Hazelwood, the Court held that educators may exercise broad editorial control over curricular publications and plays when there are legitimate educational reasons for doing so. And Morse permitted schools to prohibit student speech that promotes illegal drug use, but not speech that advocates changes in drug laws.
Winthrop Educational Leadership50 Educators in most states can control student publications that are not part of the formal curriculum if they are school-sponsored, teacher supervised, educational activities. However, some states provide greater protection for students' rights than Hazelwood requires. Therefore, principals should check relevant state statutes, regulations, judicial opinions, and district policies before developing school rules or imposing punishments that restrict student expression.
Winthrop Educational Leadership51 Administrators usually may control student speech in curricular activities, even if the student's views are not disruptive or obscene and do not interfere with the rights of others. In such cases, courts will tend to presume that administrative control is valid, and it will probably be upheld unless students can prove that the school's control or punishment of their views was unreasonable, arbitrary, or unrelated to legitimate educational goals.
It is not clear whether courts will apply the principles of Hazelwood or Tinker to school-sponsored extracurricular activities. Therefore, to be constitutionally safe, cautious administrators should follow Tinker more than Hazelwood in establishing policies governing school- sponsored publications that are not part of the curriculum. The Tinker principles apply to students who wear controversial message T-shirts to school, and such shirts should not be banned unless they disrupt education or interfere with the rights of others. Winthrop Educational Leadership52
Although administrators have broad discretion to restrict the use of computers in school, they should not punish students for posting offensive messages on their home computers unless they substantially disrupt school activities. Related to the right to speak is the right to remain silent, especially in matters of conscience. Thus, schools may not require students to salute the flag or stand at attention while the flag is being saluted." Winthrop Educational Leadership53
Schools cannot ban student distribution of publications because they advocate a particular religion, political, or social view. However, administrators can establish policies that regulate the time, place, and manner for distributing materials in the schools. Such rules must be viewpoint neutral and cannot be so restrictive that they prevent the dissemination of student opinions. Winthrop Educational Leadership54
Administrators should distinguish between what they have authority to do legally and what it is wise to do educationally. For example, Hazelwood allows schools to censor almost all articles in curricular publications. But this, of course, does not mean that censorship is the best way to train students to exercise their First Amendment rights in a fair and responsible manner." Winthrop Educational Leadership55
Winthrop Educational Leadership56 Searches in Public Schools N.J. v. T. L. O., No , SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES, 469 U.S. 325; 105 S. Ct. 733; 83 L. Ed. 2d 720; 1985 U.S. LEXIS 41; 53 U.S.L.W. 4083, March 28, 1984, Argued, January 15, 1985, Decided, Reargued October 2, 1984 ☼ ☼
Winthrop Educational Leadership57 Reasonable Suspicion for a Search –Makes a difference who the source or informant is –Must be more than just intuition. In the Interest of Doe, No , SUPREME COURT OF HAWAII, 77 Haw. 435; 887 P.2d 645; 1994 Haw. LEXIS 98, December 16, 1994, Decided, December 16, 1994, Filed
Winthrop Educational Leadership58 Permissible Scope of a Search –As a general rule, the closer the search is to the person, the more evidence a school official must provide in order to establish a reasonable basis for the scope of the search.
Winthrop Educational Leadership59 Pat Down Searches –Same standard applies. Must have a reason and should not be any more intrusive than necessary.
Winthrop Educational Leadership60 Strip Searches –Most intrusive form of search –There have been some that have been upheld, but only when strong evidentiary basis supported the individualized suspicion Jenkins by Hall v. Talladega City Bd. of Educ., No , UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT, 115 F.3d 821; 1997 U.S. App. LEXIS 12658; 11 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. C 1, June 2, 1997, Decided, As Amended. Certiorari Denied November 10, 1997, Reported at: 1997 U.S. LEXIS 6726.
Winthrop Educational Leadership61 Exception to Strip Search –Investigation of Child Abuse Inspection may be held Photos may be taken Should be witnessed and performed by same sex administrators and witnesses
Winthrop Educational Leadership62 Searches Off School Grounds –More and more lenient – Allowed search of “handbags” before going on a field trip –Voc Tech Students Shade v. City of Farmington, No , UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE EIGHTH CIRCUIT, 309 F.3d 1054; 2002 U.S. App. LEXIS 23037, March 15, 2002, Submitted, November 6, 2002, Filed ☼☼ –Trip to Disney World Discovery of Marijuana and Alcohol
Winthrop Educational Leadership63 General Searches –Like a strip search, these are difficult to justify –Drug dogs and metal detectors are minimally intrusive and used screening devices –Cannot “sniff” a student (even this was viewed differently by different Courts of Appeals) –Searches for weapons receive more consideration from the courts.
Winthrop Educational Leadership64 Urinalysis Testing –Vernonia Sch. Dist. 47j v. Acton, No , SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES, 515 U.S. 646; 115 S. Ct. 2386; 132 L. Ed. 2d 564; 1995 U.S. LEXIS 4275; 63 U.S.L.W. 4653; 95 Cal. Daily Op. Service 4846; 9 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 229, March 28, 1995, Argued, June 26, 1995, Decided ☼☼ –Bd. of Educ. v. Earls, No , SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES, 536 U.S. 822; 122 S. Ct. 2559; 153 L. Ed. 2d 735; 2002 U.S. LEXIS 4882; 70 U.S.L.W. 4737; 2002 Cal. Daily Op. Service 5761; 2002 Daily Journal DAR 7275; 15 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 483, March 19, 2002, Argued, June 27, 2002, Decided ☼☼ In one instance, the courts allowed random drug testing of students that drove vehicles to school Courts still are not supportive of random drug testing of students in the regular school curriculum
Winthrop Educational Leadership65 Recommendations for Practice - Searches –Reasonable suspicion should be the rule rather than probable cause. The courts have sided with the school more and more in this area. –It is the schools responsibility to inform all students about not having a “right to privacy”
Winthrop Educational Leadership66 –Do not profile or “zero in” on a particular student(s) –Never strip search – this should be referred to law enforcement –School districts must have a “special need” for searches to take place. Documented Drug usage and instances of violence would provide such “need”
Winthrop Educational Leadership67 Student Records and FERPA –Applies to every educational agency that receives federal funds –Provides parents rights to –Inspect –Review –Amend –And limit disclosure of information about educational records
Winthrop Educational Leadership68 –Implications Written consent not required for release of information to –Other school officials –Officials of other school districts where the student is planning to enroll –Parents –Federal, State and Local authorities involving audit, evaluation or compliance issues –Officials processing financial aide –Educational agencies conducting research where actual student names are not used –Accrediting organizations –Officials complying with court orders –The court, if the school initiates a legal action involving the student or parent –Appropriate person listed as an emergency contact in the case of child health or safety –State and Local authorities whom such information is normally required.
Winthrop Educational Leadership69 –Access By Non-custodial Parents Does not distinguish between custodial and non- custodial parents, unless a court order specifically denies access to the non-custodial parent.
Winthrop Educational Leadership70 –Special Education Students EC students have the same privacy rights as other students –Health and Safety Emergency Great care must be used, as the definition has not be clarified Generally, only in cases of safety. (Weapons, drugs, criminal activities)
Winthrop Educational Leadership71 –Law Enforcement and Homeland Security Exceptions 1996 amendment to FERPA allowed the exchange of disciplinary information Schools may use any information obtained from law enforcement; however, after receipt the information is protected by FERPA After 911 FERPA was amended to allow student record collection in cases of suspected terrorist attacks
Winthrop Educational Leadership72 –Challenging Record’s Accuracy Parents or students 18 may challenge the information contained in student records Schools must provide records in a timely manner, with a maximum wait of 45 days If schools do not comply with the requests of the parents, then due process procedures are provided for the parent Final decision is up to the institution. If parents continue to disagree with the information in the student record, a letter of their appeal is contained in the record
Winthrop Educational Leadership73 –Enforcement of F.E.R.P.A. Complaints made to the U.S. Dept. of Education If school does not comply with the USDE, federal funds may be suspended or permanently withheld. Criminal charges may be brought against faculty, administration, support staff and Board Members if violation of FERPA is confirmed
PPRA Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment Designed to ensure that schools and contractors obtain parental consent before minor children are required to participate in any Department of Education funded survey, analysis, or evaluation that reveals information concerning the following: political affiliations; mental and psychological problems potentially embarrassing to the student and his or her family; sex behavior and attitudes; illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, and demeaning behavior; critical appraisals, etc. Opt out provision is still in effect. Winthrop Educational Leadership74
Winthrop Educational Leadership75 Recommendations for Practice – Student Records - FERPA –Always look at state law first. Some states require more protection of student records than others. –Maintain a student records policy and adhere to it.
Winthrop Educational Leadership76 –Annual notice must contain: Right of inspection and review of student records Right of modification if record is inaccurate State the policy of your school district regarding student records List who can and cannot have information, including what constitutes a legitimate educational interest.
Winthrop Educational Leadership77 FERPA must be provided to all parents in the “native” language. Accommodations must be made for visually or hearing impaired students and parents. The same privacy rules apply to electronic information as to “hard copies”. Custodial and Non-custodial parents have the same rights to student records unless the court has specifically denied the non-custodial parent. FERPA must be done each year. Employees must sign FERPA statements each year. Parents must be informed of the policies each year.
Winthrop Educational Leadership78 Promotion Retention and Graduation In general, the courts have given great latitude to teachers, administrators and school boards in maintaining and enforcing policies concerning promotion, retention and graduation.
Winthrop Educational Leadership79 –Promotion and Retention Largely left up to the districts, however, states may have different requirement for promotion and graduation. Course requirements (American Government) Passage of examinations Certain number of credits, etc.
Winthrop Educational Leadership80 –Judicial and Legislative Deference to Academic Decision Making and the Rational Basis Standard States make mandatory attendance ages Schools have great latitude in retention of children from grade to grade Courts have established that there is no property or liberty interest in promotion to the next grade
Winthrop Educational Leadership81 –Denial of Academic Credit in Discipline Must use good judgment and discretion in these situations South Gibson v. Sollman Student suspended for last three days of semester and remainder of the year. District withheld credit for both semesters Court found that withholding credit for first semester was “arbitrary and capricious” on the part of the administration
Winthrop Educational Leadership82 –Promotion and Retention: High-Stakes Accountability Testing Courts have upheld state mandates on student testing –Must provide opportunities for student to “catch up” –Must provide remediation opportunities prior to being retained (summer school)
Winthrop Educational Leadership83 –Promotion and Retention: Students with Disabilities Generally EC students have to meet requirements of the state and of the IEP in regards to promotion. Students may not be retained on the basis of their disability
Winthrop Educational Leadership84 Graduation –Diplomas and the Earning of Academic Credit States and schools can offer different types of diplomas, ranging from Regular to Honors. Special diplomas may be offered to EC students, however, this will make a difference in when special services may be discontinued by the school district.
Winthrop Educational Leadership85 –The Constitutional Right to a Diploma Once all requirements have been met, the students have a right to a diploma Students do not have a right to participation in the ceremonies that surround graduation, if disciplinary actions have come into play
Winthrop Educational Leadership86 –The Grant or Denial of Academic Credits If students meet all of the requirements for a diploma the school may not deny a diploma Schools must have a provision for “excused and unexcused” absences Must not make attendance a “part of the curriculum” Attendance policies must define “extenuating circumstances” Schools must not further harm a student who has already been victimized at school (McLaughlin v. City of Lowell, , SUPERIOR COURT OF MASSACHUSETTS, AT MIDDLESEX, 8 Mass. L. Rep. 343; 1998 Mass. Super. LEXIS 174, April 3, 1998, Decided)
Winthrop Educational Leadership87 –Participation in Graduation Ceremonies There are no constitutional rights to attend commencement ceremonies Caution must be used in making sure that due process rights are provided in making these decisions
Winthrop Educational Leadership88 –Valedictorians and Salutatorians Even though there has been some legal discussion, the schools have control over this process as long as it does not overtly discriminate –When Students Have Not Earned Sufficient Credits Students who have not earned the credit do not have a right to graduate. The school has the right to make and enforce these policies
Winthrop Educational Leadership89 –Dress and Grooming Codes Schools can have policy/rules about student dress for commencement. You cannot deny the diploma, but you can deny the participation in the ceremony –Penalty for Disciplinary Infraction Includes the Denial of Attendance Must be careful that the punishment fits the crime
Winthrop Educational Leadership90 –Graduation and Students with Disabilities Students under the age of 22 who have not yet completed their H.S. education must be given the opportunity to continue with school. (all children regardless of handicap) Graduation is not based on grades and credits alone. The district must assess progress on the goals of the IEP before appropriately graduating the student. Bd. of Educ. v. Rowley, No , SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES, 458 U.S. 176; 102 S. Ct. 3034; 73 L. Ed. 2d 690; 1982 U.S. LEXIS 10; 50 U.S.L.W. 4925, March 23, 1982, Argued, June 28, 1982, Decided
Winthrop Educational Leadership91 EC students do not have a right to participate in graduation exercises if they have not met the requirements for graduation The IEP that is required by law for each EC may have more requirements for graduation than regular students IEPs must contain the following: –Statements of present levels of performance –Annual Goals –Short-term learning objectives –Specific special education and related services designed to help the student meet those goals and objectives, and –Appropriate criteria and assessment procedures designed to measure progress toward those goals.
Winthrop Educational Leadership92 –High-Stakes Accountability Testing Controversy over High Stakes testing is often based on alleged discrimination toward minorities Debra P. v. Turlington, No , UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT, 730 F.2d 1405; 1984 U.S. App. LEXIS 23094, April 27, 1984, As Amended. ☼ ☼
Winthrop Educational Leadership93 Important to remember that the injunction imposed in “Debra P.” was lifted after four years. The courts found that the tests were valid and did not discriminate. It is also important to remember that remediation should be a required component in “High Stakes” testing programs.
Winthrop Educational Leadership94 –Community Service as a Graduation Requirement This is done in some states and has been upheld by the courts (Ohio)
Winthrop Educational Leadership95 Recommendations for Practice – Promotion, Retention and Graduation –Check the individual laws in your state as they apply to promotion, retention or graduation. –Be prepared to defend your decisions pertaining to promotion, retention, or graduation. Make policy carefully and objectively. –Be careful not to impose excessive punishments as they relate to the earning of academic credit.
Winthrop Educational Leadership96 –Be careful about students with disabilities and other extenuating circumstances as they apply to academic credit. –Be very specific about policies and procedures for commencement ceremonies. –Valedictorian and Salutatorian policies should be clear and in writing.
Winthrop Educational Leadership97 –Be careful about excluding students from graduation ceremonies for disciplinary reasons. This will not always be a “slam dunk” –Remember that graduation for IEP students is a change of placement, and procedures must be followed. Remember the “stay put” provision. –Only rightful graduation with a “regular diploma” will end the schools obligation to provide special education programs to students with disabilities under IDEA. –For accountability tests to be fair, students must be taught the material that is covered on the tests. And they must have sufficient notice of the exams and adequate opportunity to prepare for them.
Winthrop Educational Leadership98 Child Abuse Hardwicke v. American Boychoir School, 188 N.I 69, 902 A.2d 900 (N.I 2006). Frugis v. Bracigliano, A-156 September Term 2001, SUPREME COURT OF NEW JERSEY, 177 N.J. 250; 827 A.2d 1040; 2003 N.J. LEXIS 860, December 3, 2002, Argued, July 28, 2003, DecidedFrugis v. Bracigliano
Winthrop Educational Leadership99 –Duty to Protect Students Schools have a duty to protect students, “…children are educated during the day, parents transfer to school officials the power to act as the guardians of those young wards.” Courts have gone on to say that schools actually have “custody” of students while in their charge. Schools have a legal duty to protect students from child abuse
Hagen v. Indep. Sch. Dist. No , 157 P.3d 738 (Okla. 2007) Winthrop Educational Leadership100
Winthrop Educational Leadership101 –Duty to Report The courts have stated, “any person having reasonable cause to believe that a child has been subjected to child abuse or acts of child abuse shall report the same immediately.” You are always better to “over report” than to “under report” in cases of suspected abuse.
Winthrop Educational Leadership102 Basics and Emerging Developments –The terms child abuse and child neglect are quite different What are the indicators? –Indicators are signs or clues that abuse has occurred. Physical indicators may include injuries or bruises, while behavioral indicators are ways victims and abusers act or interact with each other. Many of the indicators listed below can be explained by other causes (e.g. a bruise may be the result of an accidental fall) and no single indicator can be taken as conclusive proof. Rather, one should look for patterns or clusters of indicators that suggest a problem.
Winthrop Educational Leadership103 –Physical indicators Sprains dislocations fractures broken bones burns from cigarettes, appliances, or hot water abrasions on arms, legs, or torso that resemble rope or strap marks Internal injuries evidenced by pain, difficulty with normal functioning of organs, and bleeding from body orifices
Winthrop Educational Leadership104 –Bruises – The following types of bruises are rarely accidental Bilateral bruising to the arms (may indicate that the person has been shaken, grabbed, or restrained) Bilateral bruising of the inner thighs (may indicate sexual abuse) "Wrap around" bruises that encircle an older person's arms, legs, or torso (may indicate that the person has been physically restrained) Multicolored bruises (indicating that they were sustained over time) Injuries healing through "secondary intention" (indicating that they did not receive appropriate care) Signs of traumatic hair and tooth loss
Winthrop Educational Leadership105 Behavioral Indicators –Injuries are unexplained or explanations are implausible (they do not "fit" with the injuries observed) –Family members provide different explanations of how injuries were sustained –A history of similar injuries, and/or numerous or suspicious hospitalizations –Victims are brought to different medical facilities for treatment to prevent medical practitioners from observing a pattern of abuse –Delay between onset of injury and seeking medical care
Statute of Limitations In the area of child abuse, however, the courts have relaxed the statutes of limitation. The abuse in Hardwicke v. American Boychoir School, for example, occurred in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The student victim did not file suit until 2001, some thirty years later. Winthrop Educational Leadership106
Safety Plans Many states now require plans to be in place to protect students from possible abuse situations. In South Carolina plans have been required since Jan. 1 st, Winthrop Educational Leadership107
Interviewing Students Possible abuse students should be interviewed: –Ask only Who –When –Where –Very few questions about what. Important not to “taint” details of the abuse story. Winthrop Educational Leadership108
Criminal Checks Full range of checks for: –Every school employee –Every school volunteer –Every student teacher –Once an employee, volunteer or parent passes the CBC, observe behavior at all times. Winthrop Educational Leadership109
Winthrop Educational Leadership110 Child Abuse and the Computer Age –Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) –Requires schools to have “filters” –Create Internet safety policies –Hold at least one public meeting to collect input from community members about “community standards” and the internet
Winthrop Educational Leadership111 Personal Protective Orders (PPOs) –Becoming more popular all the time –Designed to protect victims of abuses, harassment, or threatening conduct –School administrators must know how to deal with PPOs
Winthrop Educational Leadership112 Recommendations for Practice – Child Abuse –Child Abuse Generally Teachers are the first line of defense against child abuse Know and teach the indicators of child abuse Do not fail to investigate an abuse complaint Maintain a policy on the teachers’ role and the principal’s role in reporting suspicion of abuse. Publish these policies in the teachers’ handbook Collaborate with local child protective services Have a clear policy on how to deal with abuse investigators
Winthrop Educational Leadership113 Inform parents of the schools policy regarding child abuse and the procedures the school will use in reporting Provide training for parents about child abuse Screen employees…check background of future employees carefully Do not “pass on” abusing staff members Publish anti-harassment policies and procedures for addressing sexual discrimination or harassment complaints
Winthrop Educational Leadership114 Over report rather than under report Know the difference between corporal punishment v. child abuse and harassment v. child abuse Practice prevention. Teach children about problem solving and dealing with crisis.
Winthrop Educational Leadership115 –Computers and the Internet Have acceptable use policies for students and teachers Have some way for the parents to allow or disallow student use of school computers Policies should include information about copyrights, prohibited conduct, etc Inform students that all information, data, etc is subject to inspection by school personnel and is subject to discipline procedures
Winthrop Educational Leadership116 –Responding to PPOs Get a copy of the order Verify the order Photo and description Alert school employees Emergency protocols Intervention
Winthrop Educational Leadership117 Student to Student Sexual Harassment Davis v. Monroe County Bd. of Educ., No , SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES, 526 U.S. 629; 119 S. Ct. 1661; 143 L. Ed. 2d 839; 1999 U.S. LEXIS 3452; 67 U.S.L.W. 4329; 99 Cal. Daily Op. Service 3861; 99 Daily Journal DAR 4931; 1999 Colo. J. C.A.R. 2948; 12 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 280, January 12, 1999, Argued, May 24, 1999, Decided ☼☼ –School officials who take prompt and appropriate action after actual notice of sexual harassment will not be deemed to be deliberately indifferent; therefore, they will not be held liable. –Davis clarified the parameters for “student to student” sexual harassment, and its relationship to Title IX. Prior to Davis, Title IX was used primarily to determine discrimination.
Winthrop Educational Leadership118 Franklin v. Gwinnett County Pub. Sch., No , SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES, 503 U.S. 60; 112 S. Ct. 1028; 117 L. Ed. 2d 208; 1992 U.S. LEXIS 1375; 60 U.S.L.W. 4167; 59 Fair Empl. Prac. Cas. (BNA) 213; 58 Empl. Prac. Dec. (CCH) P41,293; 92 Cal. Daily Op. Service 1594; 92 Daily Journal DAR 2551; 6 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 16, December 11, 1991, Argued, February 26, 1992, Decided ☼☼ –Franklin established that victims of sexual harassment can sue for damages. This case stresses that school officials cannot take allegations of sexual harassment lightly. Consistent with published policies and procedures, school officials should investigate all situations where sexual harassment is alleged. In school systems, there are system-level Title IX coordinators to whom all allegations and conclusions of local school investigations must be reported. Local schools can designate the persons, including the principal, to whom reports are to be made at the local school. Franklin was settled out of court for a sealed, undisclosed sum of money.
Winthrop Educational Leadership119 Ray v. Antioch Unified Sch. Dist., No. C (MEJ), UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA, 107 F. Supp. 2d 1165; 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13595, July 24, 2000, Decided, July 24, 2000, Filed –Established that same sex harassment is also covered under Title IX. Gay, Lesbian, Transgender and Bisexual students are covered from harassment and violent behavior
Winthrop Educational Leadership120 –Tell Us About Murrell v. School Dist. No. 1, No , UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE TENTH CIRCUIT, 186 F.3d 1238; 1999 U.S. App. LEXIS 18198; 1999 Colo. J. C.A.R. 4893, August 4, 1999, Filed –Tell Us About Soper by Soper v. Hoben, No , UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT, 195 F.3d 845; 1999 U.S. App. LEXIS 28396; 1999 FED App. 0375P (6th Cir.), April 23, 1999, Argued, November 2, 1999, Decided, November 2, 1999, Filed, Rehearing Denied December 6, 1999, Reported at: 1999 U.S. App. LEXIS Certiorari Denied June 26, 2000, Reported at: 2000 U.S. LEXIS 4362.
Winthrop Educational Leadership121 Tell Us About –Vance v. Spencer County Pub. Sch. Dist., No , UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT, 231 F.3d 253; 2000 U.S. App. LEXIS 27589; 2000 FED App. 0385P (6th Cir.), June 20, 2000, Argued, November 6, 2000, Decided, November 6, 2000, Filed Tell Us About –Gabrielle M. v. Park Forest-Chicago Heights, No , UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SEVENTH CIRCUIT, 315 F.3d 817; 2003 U.S. App. LEXIS 514, July 10, 2002, Argued, January 14, 2003, Decided
Winthrop Educational Leadership122 –Tell Us About Hawkins v. Sarasota County Sch. Bd., No , UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT, 322 F.3d 1279; 2003 U.S. App. LEXIS 3730; 16 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. C 375, February 28, 2003, Decided, February 28, 2003, Filed, Rehearing, en banc, denied by Hawkins v. Sarasota County Sch. Bd., 2003 U.S. App. LEXIS (11th Cir., May 6, 2003) ☼☼
Winthrop Educational Leadership123 Recommendations for Practice – Sexual Harassment –Be cognizant of Davis’s “actual knowledge” requirement –Understand what type of harassment will likely be considered “severe, pervasive and objectively offensive” –Ascertain whether the aggrieved student has been “deprived of an educational opportunity” –Be certain to respond to all complaints; avoid responding with “deliberate indifference” –Consider whether the school has “control over the harasser and the context of the harassment”
Winthrop Educational Leadership124 Civil Liberties in Cyberspace: Some Rights and Responsibilities in an Evolving Era of Technology Pure Speech, Lewd, Vulgar, and Indecent Student Speech, & School Sponsored Speech. –“Tinker, Bethel and Hazelwood” are all still used by the courts in determining how school’s can deal with student’s First Amendment rights. First, “vulgar or plainly offensive speech (Fraser-type speech) may be prohibited without showing of disruption or substantial interference with the school’s work. Second, school-sponsored speech (Hazelwood-type speech) may be restricted with the limitations reasonably related to legitimate educational concerns. Third, speech that is neither vulgar nor school-sponsored (Tinker-type speech) may only be prohibited if it causes a material disruption of the school’s operation.
Winthrop Educational Leadership125 –Free Speech and the Internet Free speech is another emerging Internet issue. In general, only student speech that substantially disrupts the educational atmosphere or which are defamatory or obscene gives grounds for disciplinary action. Internet sites—especially on a student’s home computer—that poke fun at school officials, without more, may represent legitimate free speech. Internet speech that threatens the safety of others or that is defamatory or obscene need not be tolerated.
Winthrop Educational Leadership126 Acceptable use policies usually cover student use of school computers. The speech issue comes when students create Internet pages on off-campus computers. There have been relatively few appellate court decisions related to free expression and the Internet. Courts sometimes have relied on decisions related to underground newspapers in order to determine the constitutionality of regulation of student Internet speech.
Winthrop Educational Leadership127 With regard to off-campus-produced Internet sites, the courts seem to be saying that school officials cannot regulate student speech unless it meets strict legal tests for obscenity under state laws or is legally defamatory. Just not liking what a student says about a teacher or principal does not constitute defamation.
Winthrop Educational Leadership128 J.S. v. Bethlehem Area Sch. Dist., No C.D. 1999, COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA, 757 A.2d 412; 2000 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 402, April 10, 2000, Argued, July 14, 2000, Decided, July 14, 2000, Filed, Petition for Allowance of Appeal Granted March 13, 2001, Reported at: 2001 Pa. LEXIS 489. ☼☼
Winthrop Educational Leadership129 –In one case, where a teacher was “attacked” by an off-campus Internet page, the court upheld disciplinary action against the student because the teacher had to take a medical leave of absence. The court believed that the Internet speech substantially disrupted the school.
Winthrop Educational Leadership130 Cyber Bullying and Threats –The new type of bullying may not be a kid who uses his massive size to intimidate others but instead may possibly spread nasty things via the Internet using web logs or through text messaging on cell phones. –Courts have found that threats are not protected by a student’s First Amendment right to free speech. (Lovell v. Poway and Doe v. Pulaski)
Winthrop Educational Leadership131 –Searches of Computers New Jersey v. T.L.O. is still the benchmark for search and seizure. Reasonable suspicion is available to school leaders rather than the more restrictive probable cause Students should be informed that they have “no expectation of privacy” on school computers. If possible student material should be stored on school hard drives to discourage them from malicious activities. Searching student’s home computers at home, are pushing the limits of the Fourth Amendment.
Winthrop Educational Leadership132 Internet Use Policies and Due Process –Each school must have an internet use policy that addresses the following requirements: Access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet and World Wide Web; The safety and security of minors using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications; Unauthorized access, including so-called “hacking”, and other unlawful activities by minors online; Unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal identification information regarding minors; and Measures designed to restrict minors’ access to materials harmful to minors.
Winthrop Educational Leadership133 –Internet usage policies should specifically address at the due process procedures that the student will receive if there is an infraction of the rules.
Winthrop Educational Leadership134 Recommendations for Practice – Use of Technology and the Internet –Internet speech cannot be punished unless it significantly interferes with a school function, causes a disruption, or interferes with the rights of others –Must have “internet usage policies” and “filtering software” –Be aware that “filtering software” is not fool proof –When making internet policies avoid vague language. Spell out specifics. –Policy should define internet usage when the “firewalls” are not being used to allow research
Winthrop Educational Leadership135 –Have every student and parents, if possible, sign the internet safety policies –Don’t forget due process when disciplining students for inappropriate use of the internet –Remind students that computers belong to the school and there is NO EXPECTATION of PRIVACY –Computers should be used for curricular work –Teach students to be good students while using the internet
Truancy Pierce v. Soc'y of Sisters, Nos. 583, 584, SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES, 268 U.S. 510; 45 S. Ct. 571; 69 L. Ed. 1070; 1925 U.S. LEXIS 589; 39 A.L.R. 468, Argued March 16, 17, 1925, June 1, 1925 Winthrop Educational Leadership136
Legal Issues Currently, sixteen states require children to attend school until the age of 18; nine states require attendance until age 17; twenty-six states require attendance until age 16 Presently, two states require children to attend school starting at age 8, seventeen states at age 7, twenty-three states at age 6, and nine states at age 5. Winthrop Educational Leadership137
Federal Role Required by NCLB to report attendance and truancy. –Law does not distinguish between excused and unexcused –Law is different in ever state –No report to Federal Government, all reports go to the State. Winthrop Educational Leadership138
State Role Limits vary from state to state, ranging from 5 days to 15 days. Punishment can range from: –Fines –Parent Classes –Incarceration in juvenile detention centers Winthrop Educational Leadership139
Legal Exemptions to Compulsory Attendance Laws Norwood v. Harrison, No , SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES, 413 U.S. 455; 93 S. Ct. 2804; 37 L. Ed. 2d 723; 1973 U.S. LEXIS 28, February 20-21, 1973, Argued, June 25, 1973, Decided Winthrop Educational Leadership140
Wis. v. Yoder, No , SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES, 406 U.S. 205; 92 S. Ct. 1526; 32 L. Ed. 2d 15; 1972 U.S. LEXIS 144, December 8, 1971, Argued, May 15, 1972, Decided Winthrop Educational Leadership141
Recommendations for Practice - Truancy Submit truancy data to the state government on an annual basis as mandated by the No Child Left Behind Act. A school attendance policy should be aligned with state attendance law guidelines and should clearly delineate between excused and unexcused absences. It is imperative that school leaders consistently follow their school district's attendance policy when evaluating stu dent truancy and provide students with due process when bringing truancy charges to avoid potential legal challenges by parents and students. Winthrop Educational Leadership142
Ensure that school staff is trained on the proper procedures that should be followed in addressing student truancy in relation to intervention efforts and at what stage parents, social services, and law enforcement should be notified. Any school district policy that which permits excused absences for field trips and other extracurricular activities should not be arbitrary or capricious. Winthrop Educational Leadership143
School officials should require parents or legal guardians to provide a doctor's certificate as a means of verifying a child's medical condition for an excused absence. Remember that accountability for school attendance is shared among school officials and parents. Parents are responsible for ensuring their children attend school every day, and schools are responsible for developing and maintaining thorough record-keeping procedures for student attendance to ensure that attendance records are accurate. Winthrop Educational Leadership144
Homeschooling and the Law The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) estimates that 1.1 million students were being home schooled in the United States in spring of2003. This represents a 29 percent increase from the NCES survey just four years earlier. Winthrop Educational Leadership145
Why? The three most common reasons were concerns about schools' environment (85 percent), desire to provide religious or moral instruction (72 percent), and dissatisfaction with schools' academic instruction (68 percent). These survey data also suggest that, compared with the public school population, homeschoolers are more likely to be white and have larger families. Winthrop Educational Leadership146
Special Education The final regulations issued in 2006 for the reauthorized IDEA indicate that "if a parent of a child who is home schooled or placed in a private school by the parents at their own expense does not provide consent for the initial evaluation or reevaluation, or the parent fails to respond to a request to provide consent, the public agency may not use the consent override procedures" that are applicable in the public school context, and "the public agency is not required to consider the child as eligible for services. In short, school districts may not evaluate home school students for disabilities if the parent refuses consent. Winthrop Educational Leadership147
Activities Varies from state to state… Positive = Better home/school relations, socialization opportunities for both parties, etc. Negative =. Several home school organizations (such as HSLDA) warn their members to be wary of such involvement, as they fear it will lead to greater state control over not only these public school activities, but ultimately will open a door for encroachment on their private home school efforts as well. Winthrop Educational Leadership148