Presentation on theme: "School Law Do you know your rights & responsibilities as a teacher?"— Presentation transcript:
School Law Do you know your rights & responsibilities as a teacher?
Teachers’ Rights & Responsibilities Employment Academic Freedom Copy Rights Teacher Liability Child Abuse Teachers’ Private Lives
Teacher Rights & Responsibilities Employment – Licensure State evaluates your credentials – Bachelor’s degree – accredited college/university Screened for felony arrest, history of abusing/molesting children Competency Tests – Controversial, but have held up in court – Contracts Teaching contract – legal employment agreement between you and a local school board – Cannot discriminate School board can be sued if they break contract w/out due cause You can loose your certificate if you breach your contract READ IT CAREFULLY
EMPLOYMENT Organizations – National Education Association (NEA) or American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Collective Bargaining – Occurs when a local chapter negotiates with a school district over the rights & responsibilities – Most states – law – largest organization – final agreement – applies to all teachers – Teachers may file a grievance – formal complaint against an employer alleging unsatisfactory working conditions Cannot be fired Professional organization – legal counsel – Political
Employment Tenure – Legal safeguard that provides job security by preventing teacher dismissal without due cause – Designed to protect teachers from political or personal abuse – Most districts require probationary period before tenure is granted – 3 years – Can be dismissed: incompetence, immoral behavior, insubordination or unprofessional conduct – Due process must be observed, when charges of filed A written description, access to evidence & names of witnesses, right to representation, school board decision based on finding of hearing, written record of hearing and right to appeal
Employment Dismissal – Yearly contract until you are tenured – Reduction in force Budget cuts, declining student numbers, course/program cancellations Typically dismissed teachers with least seniority Can involve tenure and nontenure teachers – Dishonesty on job application – Reduction in job force http://www.kentucky.com/2014/09/27/3450185/as- families-flee-coal-country.html http://www.kentucky.com/2014/09/27/3450185/as- families-flee-coal-country.html
Academic Freedom Refers to your right to choose both content & teaching methods based on your professional judgment 1 st Amendment – protects freedom of speech – So when do you as a teacher go to far??
Academic Freedom State & District Curriculum frameworks – guides Free to teach topics that you see fit within each Discipline or even dismissed Courts consider the following – Goal in discussing the topic – Age of students involved – Relevance of materials – Quality of questioned material/method – Existence of policies related to issues
Academic Freedom Public Employee vs. Private Citizen Clear goals, justify them Unsure – check with principal or school administrator Grading – Consistent – Evidence
Copyright Laws Copyright laws - Federal laws designed to protect the intellectual property of authors Fair use guidelines – policies that specify legitimate needs of teachers & learners Examples of what you can and cannot do – Software – back one only 1 – Record something on television – show it within 10 days – Cannot charge students more than what it is worth – Government document – you can print as many as you want
Legally responsible for the safety of students In loco parentis – “in place of the parents” Negligence – a teacher’s or other school employee’s failure to exercise sufficient care in protecting students from injury Parent can and will sue Courts consider: – Reasonable attempt to anticipate dangerous situations – Proper precautions & establish rules & procedures to prevent injuries – Warn students of possible dangerous situations – Provide proper supervision
Teacher Liability Field trips – parent consent form Consider – ages & developmental levels Some classes & ages & students = require more supervision Accidents can and do happen – liability insurance
Child Abuse What do you have to do when you suspect it?
Child Abuse All 50 states & DC have laws requiring educators to report suspected child abuse Protected by legal action if you acted in “good faith” & without “malice” Report it to administration/counselors All schools have procedures put in place
Teachers’ Private Life How private is your life outside of school?
Teachers’ Private Lives You do more than teach, you are a ROLE MODEL – Scrutinized more Clear answers do not exist – Consider the community in which you live and teach? – Court cases Notoriety – the extent to which a teacher’s behavior becomes known as controversial. Classroom – is not yours – it is public – therefore no illegal activity
Religion In Schools Can there be prayer in schools?? Football games?? Graduation??
Religion and the Law 1 st Amendment Prayer in Schools – Sanctioned prayer and religious symbols – violate separation of church and state – Student/parent led – not a violation, but still may be a violation Religious Clubs/Organizations – Schools must allow Religion in the Curriculum – only When a clear purpose is presented
Students’ Rights & Responsibilities Do you know your rights and responsibilities as a student?? Is corporal punishment still legal?? Can I give your grades out to anyone??
Students’ Rights & Responsibilities Freedom of speech Freedom from sexual harassment Permissible search & seizure Records & privacy Corporal Punishment Rights in disciplinary actions Students with AIDS
Freedom of Speech Students have the right to free speech in schools – when it doesn’t interfere with learning Examples from the book
Freedom of Speech What would happen if you created a mock MySpace profile for your principal and posted outrageous & unbelievable statements??
Freedom of Speech Cyberbullying – What can schools do?? - not clear – Teachers – take a stand in your class – that it is unacceptable behavior Sexting – Students send sexual photos, videos from one cell phone to another. – 5% - 20% – Form of cyberbullying – Schools – interested in keeping children from harm, but hesitant to become involved in personal matters – Pic of person under 18 – Child pornography
Freedom of Speech Dress codes – Expression of who you are – 1 st Amendment protected?? - Complex answer – Clothes – interfere with the learning?? Harmful to other students?? School Uniforms – Courts – rule in favor of - Better student behavior
Sexual Harassment Common on many school campuses Parents – courts In GA, parents of 5 th grader sue the school district – they won Teachers – monitor student actions (classroom & hallways) Clearly communicate that it will not be tolerated
Can you identify…… Teachers’ Rights & Responsibilities Students’ Rights & Responsibilities Question: Can I legally search your property (purse, gym bag)??? Locker?
Permissible Search & Seizure 4 th Amendment – protects citizens from unlawful search & seizure & warrants are required Educators – dilemmas Students – rights, however due to drug/alcohol use & violence – administrators feel compelled to do something – T.L.O. – denied smoking – teacher opened purse – found cigs, then emptied purse Courts – legal – certain problem – schools – probable cause – Metal detectors – nonintrusive – Strip searches – illegal (generally) Example: girl – dog, students – money – Lockers – school property – reasonable cause Texas – monitoring chips in name tags??
Student Records & Privacy Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA), Buckley Amendment – federal act that makes school records accessible to students & their parents – Inform parents of their rights regarding their child records – Provide parents access to their child’s records – Procedures that allow parent to challenge & possibly amend information – Protect parents for disclosure of information to third parties
Corporal Punishment The use of physical, punitive disciplinary actions to correct student misbehavior Highly controversial Prohibited in 30 states & DC Common in the South http://kyyouth.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Ending-Corporal-Punishment-in-Kentucky- Public-Schools.pdf http://kyyouth.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Ending-Corporal-Punishment-in-Kentucky- Public-Schools.pdf
Corporal Punishment Legal guidelines suggest: Psychologists disapprove – Negative side effects: model of aggression – More effective alternatives
Disciplinary Actions 14 th Amendment – no “state shall deprive any person of life, liberty or property with out due process of law” Due process – key element in disciplinary matters Students – right to education – limiting that right – due process must be followed No expulsion or suspended 10 or less, = administration free to discipline as they see fit – Longer – procedures are detailed & formal
Disciplinary Actions & Students with Exceptionalities Provided with legal safeguards under IDEA If the student’s behavior was not a manifestation of their disability – discipline same as other students – however, school has to provide educational services in an alternative placement Special circumstances – student can be removed up to 45 day – regardless if it was a manifestation of disability
Students with AIDS School cannot discriminate against individuals