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Chapter 12 The LAW. 2 The Need To Understand Education’s Legal Environment Have you ever thought about how laws, regulations, and court decisions affect.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 12 The LAW. 2 The Need To Understand Education’s Legal Environment Have you ever thought about how laws, regulations, and court decisions affect."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 12 The LAW

2 2 The Need To Understand Education’s Legal Environment Have you ever thought about how laws, regulations, and court decisions affect the field of education? Have you ever thought about how laws, regulations, and court decisions affect the field of education? Prospective teachers and veteran teachers need to have insight about legal matters of the profession Prospective teachers and veteran teachers need to have insight about legal matters of the profession Daily decisions can have legal ramifications Daily decisions can have legal ramifications

3 Rules for Teachers Teachers each day will fill lamps, clean chimneys. Each teacher will being a bucket of water and a scuttle of coal for the daily session. Make your pens carefully. You whittle nibs to the individual taste of the pupils. Men teachers may take one evening each week for courting purposes, or two evenings a week if they go to church regularly. 3

4 Rules for Teachers After ten hours in school, the teacher may spend the remaining time reading the Bible or other good books. Women teachers who marry or engage in unseemly conduct will be dismissed. Each teacher shall lay aside from each pay a goodly sum of his earnings for his benefit during his declining years so that he will not become a burden on society. 4

5 Rules for Teachers Any teacher who smokes, uses liquor in any form, frequents pool or public halls, or gets shaved in a barber shop will give good reason to suspect his worth, intention, integrity, and honesty. The teacher who performs his labor faithfully and without fault for five years will be given an increase of 25 cents per week in his pay, provided the Board of Education approves. 5

6 Rules for Students – Late 1800s Respect your schoolmaster. Obey him and accept his punishments. Do not call your classmates names or fight with them. Love and help each other. Never make noises or disturb your neighbors as they work. Be silent during classes. Do not talk unless absolutely necessary. Bring firewood into the classroom for the stove whenever the teacher tells you to. If the master calls your name after class, straighten the benches and tables, sweep the room, and dust everything until tidy. 6

7 7 Learners Rights and Responsibilities Many years ago, rules and regulations in teaching were not complex Many years ago, rules and regulations in teaching were not complex in loco parentis – school districts acted “in the place of the parent” in loco parentis – school districts acted “in the place of the parent” School personnel acted in the best interest of the student School personnel acted in the best interest of the student Few legal complaints – schools were free to deal with learners as they felt necessary Few legal complaints – schools were free to deal with learners as they felt necessary Court decisions have led to legal protections for students Court decisions have led to legal protections for students

8 8 Learners Rights and Responsibilities Is Education a Privilege or a Right? Is Education a Privilege or a Right? For most of the history of the constitution, education has been viewed as a privilege For most of the history of the constitution, education has been viewed as a privilege When legal action was taken, courts did not refer to the Bill of Rights When legal action was taken, courts did not refer to the Bill of Rights Decisions were made “based on whether there was a relationship between the school policy and an educational purpose” (Fischer, Schimmel, & Steelman, 2002) Decisions were made “based on whether there was a relationship between the school policy and an educational purpose” (Fischer, Schimmel, & Steelman, 2002)

9 9 Learners Rights and Responsibilities Is Education a Privilege or a Right? Is Education a Privilege or a Right? Example: 1915 – student expelled for refusing to apologize for a speech made during a school assembly Example: 1915 – student expelled for refusing to apologize for a speech made during a school assembly Changes began to occur in the 2 nd half of the 20 th century Changes began to occur in the 2 nd half of the 20 th century Literacy was seen as critical to economic well- being Literacy was seen as critical to economic well- being Denying education was seen as denying the chance for earning Denying education was seen as denying the chance for earning Thus education was beginning to be viewed as a right Thus education was beginning to be viewed as a right

10 Direct Correlation? 10 source:

11 11 Learners Rights and Responsibilities Is Education a Privilege or a Right? Is Education a Privilege or a Right? Social circumstances Social circumstances 1969 – Vietnam caused people to question wisdom of government 1969 – Vietnam caused people to question wisdom of government Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District Discussed the issue of schooling as a right and the wisdom of government Discussed the issue of schooling as a right and the wisdom of government Students wore black armbands to protest the war Students wore black armbands to protest the war School officials passed a rule prohibiting the wearing of the armbands School officials passed a rule prohibiting the wearing of the armbands Students suspended – Students challenged suspension Students suspended – Students challenged suspension

12 12 Learners Rights and Responsibilities Is Education a Privilege or a Right? Is Education a Privilege or a Right? Social circumstances Social circumstances Tinker Case, cont’d. Tinker Case, cont’d. Case reached U.S. Supreme Court Case reached U.S. Supreme Court Ruling established that individuals have a right to a public education and that learners have constitutional rights as provided to all citizens Ruling established that individuals have a right to a public education and that learners have constitutional rights as provided to all citizens Tinker Case placed legal issues in schools in a new context Tinker Case placed legal issues in schools in a new context Policies and actions of school personnel were open for questioning and challenges Policies and actions of school personnel were open for questioning and challenges

13 13 Learners Rights and Responsibilities Due Process Due Process Outlined in the 14 th Amendment to U.S. Constitution Outlined in the 14 th Amendment to U.S. Constitution To be entitled to due process, individuals must show that they have been deprived of a liberty or property right. To be entitled to due process, individuals must show that they have been deprived of a liberty or property right. Liberty right – free from restraints except those imposed by law Liberty right – free from restraints except those imposed by law Property right – the right to specific tangible or intangible property Property right – the right to specific tangible or intangible property

14 14 Learners Rights and Responsibilities Due Process Due Process Ensures fair treatment in an adversarial situation Ensures fair treatment in an adversarial situation Refer to P for details Refer to P for details

15 15 Learners Rights and Responsibilities Basic Rights (Extended to Students) Basic Rights (Extended to Students) Freedom of expression Freedom of expression Freedom of conscience Freedom of conscience Freedom from unreasonable search Freedom from unreasonable search Freedom from harassment Freedom from harassment Right to privacy Right to privacy Special rights for learners with disabilities Special rights for learners with disabilities

16 16 Learners Rights and Responsibilities Freedom of Expression Freedom of Expression 1 st Amendment to U.S. Constitution 1 st Amendment to U.S. Constitution It is NOT unrestricted to students It is NOT unrestricted to students Students can oppose school officials Students can oppose school officials Students cannot freely express if expression interferes with learning process of others Students cannot freely express if expression interferes with learning process of others Offensive clothing, symbols Offensive clothing, symbols Verbal infractions that disrupt the class Verbal infractions that disrupt the class Lewd & lascivious language Lewd & lascivious language Language or speech that incites fighting or rioting Language or speech that incites fighting or rioting

17 17 Learners Rights and Responsibilities Freedom of Expression Freedom of Expression Threats of shooting, bombing, etc. – little sympathy from courts Threats of shooting, bombing, etc. – little sympathy from courts Censorship issues – administration can legally control expression in cases that are controversial Censorship issues – administration can legally control expression in cases that are controversial Clothing that students wear Clothing that students wear Is choice of dress a protected liberty right? Is choice of dress a protected liberty right? How do you feel about school uniforms? How do you feel about school uniforms?

18 18 Learners Rights and Responsibilities Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Conscience Examples: teaching certain content, participation in patriotic activities, free exercise of religion Examples: teaching certain content, participation in patriotic activities, free exercise of religion Books and materials that do not have legitimate educational purpose – Satanism, witchcraft Books and materials that do not have legitimate educational purpose – Satanism, witchcraft Flag saluting Flag saluting Sex education courses – Human Growth & Development Sex education courses – Human Growth & Development

19 19 Learners Rights and Responsibilities Freedom from Unreasonable Search and Seizure Freedom from Unreasonable Search and Seizure 4 th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution 4 th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution Schools must have reasonable suspicion Schools must have reasonable suspicion Less stringent than probable cause (law enforcement) Less stringent than probable cause (law enforcement) Schools have to be concerned with intrusiveness – strip searches Schools have to be concerned with intrusiveness – strip searches

20 20 Learners Rights and Responsibilities Freedom from Unreasonable Search and Seizure Freedom from Unreasonable Search and Seizure Tests for the appropriateness of a search: Tests for the appropriateness of a search: Target of a search Target of a search Quality of information that has led to the search Quality of information that has led to the search Nature of place to be searched Nature of place to be searched Nature of the search itself Nature of the search itself Teachers: Always check with administration FIRST Teachers: Always check with administration FIRST

21 21 Learners Rights and Responsibilities Freedom from Harassment Freedom from Harassment School leaders must maintain a safe and orderly environment School leaders must maintain a safe and orderly environment Bullying, sexual harassment, etc. is an emerging issue in schools Bullying, sexual harassment, etc. is an emerging issue in schools Some school districts are issuing zero tolerance policies for any type of harassment Some school districts are issuing zero tolerance policies for any type of harassment LCSB Policy 5.33 LCSB Policy 5.33 LCSB Policy 5.33 LCSB Policy 5.33

22 22 Learners Rights and Responsibilities Right to Privacy Right to Privacy Involving the misuse of records Involving the misuse of records Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (1974) Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (1974) Parents and guardians have free access to child’s records Parents and guardians have free access to child’s records Students over age 18 have same right Students over age 18 have same right Strict guidelines governing release of records to other agencies Strict guidelines governing release of records to other agencies Teachers should choose words carefully Teachers should choose words carefully

23 23 Learners Rights and Responsibilities Special Rights for Learners with Disabilities Special Rights for Learners with Disabilities Prior to 1970s, students with special needs were excluded from school or were placed in special classrooms Prior to 1970s, students with special needs were excluded from school or were placed in special classrooms PL , 1975 PL , 1975 IDEA, 1990 IDEA, 1990 Several legal cases have led to the protection of rights of learners with disabilities Several legal cases have led to the protection of rights of learners with disabilities

24 24 Teachers’ Rights and Responsibilities Teacher Certification Teacher Certification A valid teaching certificate validates a teacher’s legal right to be hired as a teacher A valid teaching certificate validates a teacher’s legal right to be hired as a teacher Regulations regarding certification vary by state Regulations regarding certification vary by state Certification leads to a teaching contract Certification leads to a teaching contract Certification gives a “presumption of competence” Certification gives a “presumption of competence” Contracts without a valid certificate are not binding Contracts without a valid certificate are not binding

25 25 Teachers’ Rights and Responsibilities Continuing Employment and Tenure Continuing Employment and Tenure Teaching has a high degree of job security Teaching has a high degree of job security Annual contracts (yearly contracts) - AC Annual contracts (yearly contracts) - AC Tenure policies Tenure policies Professional Services Contracts – PSC Professional Services Contracts – PSC Continuing Contracts – CC Continuing Contracts – CC Tenure was created: Tenure was created: To protect teachers from losing jobs as a result of exchanging ideas with students that may not be popular (political views) To protect teachers from losing jobs as a result of exchanging ideas with students that may not be popular (political views) As an exchange for the low pay teachers receive As an exchange for the low pay teachers receive

26 26 Teachers’ Rights and Responsibilities Continuing Employment and Tenure Continuing Employment and Tenure Opponents of tenure state that it protects incompetent teachers Opponents of tenure state that it protects incompetent teachers Incompetent tenured teachers can be terminated, but it takes time and sometimes money Incompetent tenured teachers can be terminated, but it takes time and sometimes money

27 27 Teachers’ Rights and Responsibilities General Teacher Rights General Teacher Rights Academic freedom Academic freedom Teachers can speak freely about the subjects they teach Teachers can speak freely about the subjects they teach Teachers can experiment with new ideas Teachers can experiment with new ideas Teachers can select materials to use Teachers can select materials to use Teachers can decide on teaching methods Teachers can decide on teaching methods However…Teachers are still governed However…Teachers are still governed

28 28 Teachers’ Rights and Responsibilities General Teacher Rights General Teacher Rights Freedom of Religion Freedom of Religion What rights do you have in refusing to teach content that might conflict with your religious beliefs? What rights do you have in refusing to teach content that might conflict with your religious beliefs? Do you have to pledge to the flag if doing so is contrary to your religious beliefs? Do you have to pledge to the flag if doing so is contrary to your religious beliefs? Do you have the right to wear distinctive religious clothing when you teach? Do you have the right to wear distinctive religious clothing when you teach? Can you be absent from school to observe religious holidays? Can you be absent from school to observe religious holidays? What restrictions can be imposed on you that limit what you can say to learners about your religious convictions? What restrictions can be imposed on you that limit what you can say to learners about your religious convictions?

29 29 Teachers’ Rights and Responsibilities Lifestyle and Conduct Outside School Lifestyle and Conduct Outside School Teachers’ sexual orientation Teachers’ sexual orientation Live-in arrangements with unmarried partners Live-in arrangements with unmarried partners Criminal conduct Criminal conduct

30 30 Teachers’ Rights and Responsibilities Legal Obligations Legal Obligations Reporting child abuse Reporting child abuse Teachers are mandated reporters Teachers are mandated reporters Negligence Negligence Teachers have a responsibility to act as a professional Teachers have a responsibility to act as a professional Misfeasance – acting unwisely or without taking proper safeguards Misfeasance – acting unwisely or without taking proper safeguards Nonfeasance – failing to act when duty calls Nonfeasance – failing to act when duty calls Malfeasance – actions that are taken to deliberately and knowingly harm someone Malfeasance – actions that are taken to deliberately and knowingly harm someone


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