Law and American Education: A Case Brief Approach / Edition 3

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This third edition expands coverage on such topics as the law and students with disabilities, confidentiality, sexual harassment, student searches and tuition vouchers. It also includes some new topics such as bullying, copyright law, and the law and the internet.

Both public and nonpublic school educators are aware that courts, over the last several decades, have played an increasingly significant role in defining school policy. Decisions in such areas as school desegregation, prayer, public school financing, student rights, collective bargaining, students with disabilities, sexual harassment and other personnel issues attest to the extent and importance of judicial influence. It is important, therefore, that teachers and administrators have a least a rudimentary knowledge and understanding of school law and how it affect their day-to-day classroom activities.

There is a sizable body of school law with which educators should be familiar if they wish to conduct themselves in a legally acceptable manner. Those educators who “fly by the seat of their pants” may be in difficulty if sufficient thought is not given to the legal implications of their decisions and conduct. This text provides introductory material for those educators interested in K-12 educational issues, and who have little or no background or knowledge in school law.

This book takes a case brief approach to the study of school law. Case briefs are the means by which students of the law summarize cases to facilitate learning and analysis. This book’s purpose is to provide those who are involved and interested in education with a rudimentary knowledge base for making educationally sound decisions within the legal framework of our nation. Having such knowledge may preclude, or at least minimize, an educator’s exposure to liability. On the other hand, this book is not intended to scare educators into inaction. Many of the most effective learning activities carry with them a certain degree of risk. Field trips and laboratory experiments come immediately to mind. The knowledge obtained from this book is not intended to end the taking of field trips and the conducting of laboratory experiments. It is intended to be a guide to conducting these valuable activities in a responsible manner that will minimize the educator’s exposure to liability.

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Editorial Reviews

Dr. Terrance Furin
As a school superintendent for twenty-two years I encountered many of the issues addressed by Robert Palestini in the third edition of his book, Law and American Education. I find that he presents complex issues in an interesting, succinct, and clear manner that is quickly understood by the school practitioner. His many years of experience as a teacher, school superintendent, and university dean/professor have given him multiple perspectives regarding school law. This book should be read and studied by all school administrators who are interested in avoiding litigation that can be lengthy, expensive, and contentious.
Dr. Paul Beck
The impact of our litigious society has not spared our public and nonpublic schools. It is necessary, therefore, that teachers and administrators have a thorough knowledge and understanding of school law and how it affects their classrooms. Robert and Karen Palestini’s Law and American Education, third edition, and its user friendly case brief approach provides educators with the legal knowledge they need to protect them and their schools from unnecessary liability. My advice, after more than three decades of service as a teacher, building administrator, and district superintendent with a plethora of associated legal experiences, is you must keep this book on your desk and, before you call your lawyer or district solicitor, consult this valuable edition first.
Dr. Ruth Crawford-Fisher
In today’s complex society, the study of case law has become an imperative practice in all educational settings. Karen and Robert Palestini’s Law and American Education, 3rd edition, provides educational practitioners with many seminal law cases that have influenced current educational policy and practice in layperson terms. The text is suited to provide students, teachers, and administrators an easy-to-read option for complex legal cases and difficult legal terms. This easily navigated reference provides quick access to educational case law commonly studied in college and university courses.
Dr. Joseph Cifelli
School law theory succinctly meets practice in Palestini’s Law and American Education, third edition. Practitioners will readily locate concise explanations and relevant case summaries from compulsory attendance to school safety to just about any school law issue that may cross the desk of today’s school principals and administrators.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781610483995
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/13/2012
  • Edition description: 3rd Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 138
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert H. Palestini has held positions at all levels of education for almost 50 years. He has been a teacher, principal, superintendent of schools, college professor, and college dean. He is currently dean emeritus, associate professor and founding executive director of the Educational Leadership Institute and Center for Catholic Urban Education Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Karen Palestini, Esquire is Robert Palestini’s daughter and is a partner in the Saul Ewing law firm in Philadelphia. She has been an adjunct professor at Saint Joseph’s University and Seton Hall University.

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Table of Contents

Preface vii
1 Introduction 1
I. Sources of Law 1
II. The American Judicial System 6
2 The Educator and Liability 9
I. School District Immunity 9
Wood v. Strickland 11
Carey v. Piphus 12
Franklin v. Gwinett Cy. Pub. Schools 12
II. The Law and Nonpublic Schools 13 III. Educator Liability 14
IV. Duties of Supervision and Negligence Law 16
V. Parental Consent 17
VI. Contract Law 18
VII. Sexual Harassment 18 Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education 20
VIII.Privacy and School Records 20
IX. Malpractice 23
X. Insurance 23
3 Schools and the State 24
I. Compulsory Attendance 24
Pierce v. Society of Sisters of Holy Names 24
II. Religion in Schools 26
Engel v. Vitale 27
School District of Abington v. Schempp, Murray v. Curlett 27
Lee v. Weisman 29
Edwards v. Aguillard 30 III. Use of Facilities 32
Lamb’s Chapel v. Center Moriches Union Free Sch. Dist. 32
IV.Aid to Nonpublic Schools 33
V. School Fees 34
Hartzell v. Connell 34
VI.Health Services 36
Berg v. Glen Cove School District 37
4 Students and the Law 38
I. Freedom of Expression 38
Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Community Sch. Dist. 38
Bethel Sch. Dist. v. Fraser 40
Hazelwood Sch. Dist. v. Kuhlmeier 40
Sherman v. Community Sch. Dist. 21 42
II. Suspension, Expulsion & Disciplinary Transfer 42
Goss v. Lopez 43
Gonzalez v. McEuen 43
Allen v. Casper 44
III. Corporal Punishment 45
Ingraham v. Wright 46
IV. Search of Student & Lockers 47
New Jersey v. T.L.O. 47
Bellnier v. Lund 48
Vernonia Sch. Dist. v. Acton 49
Trinidad Sch. Dist. No. 1 v. Lopez 50
V. Dress and Grooming 52
Bannister v. Paradis 52
Davenport v. Randolph County Bd. of Educ. 53
VI. Pregnancy, Parenthood & Marriage 53
VII. Education of Individuals with Disabilities 54 Board of Educ. of Hendrick Hudson Cent. Sch. Dist. v. Rowley 55
Florence County Sch. Dist. v. Carter 60
Thomas v. Atascadero Unified Sch. Dist. 61
VIII. Participation in Extracurricular Activities 63
Palmer v. Merluzzi 63
Beeson v. Kiowa County Sch. Dist. 64
Grube v. Bethlehem Area Sch. Dist. 66
IX. Disciplinary Action for Out-of-School Offenses 67
5 Teachers and the Law 69
I. Contract Non-renewal and Dismissal 69
Board of Regents of State Colleges v. Roth 69 II. Freedom of Expression 70
Pickering v. Bd. of Educ. of Township High Sch. 71
Mt. Healthy City Bd. of Educ. v. Doyle 72
III. Academic Freedom 73
Fowler v. Bd. of Educ. of Lincoln County 73
Wilson v. Chancellor 74
IV. Drug Testing 74
V. Dress 75
East Hartford Educ. Assoc. v. Bd. of Educ. of East Hartford 75
VI. Teacher as Role Model or Exemplar 75 Gaylord v. Tacoma Sch. Dist. No. 10 76
Erb v. Iowa State Bd. of Pub. Instruction 78
Mc Broom v. Bd. of Educ., Dist. No. 205 78
Barcheski v. Bd. of Educ. of Grand Rapids Pub. Sch. 79
Gebser v. Logo Vista Indep. Sch. Dist. 80
VII. Employment Discrimination 81
Marshall v. Kirkland 82
Eckmann v. Bd. of Educ. of Hawthorn Sch. Dist. No. 17 83
Geller v. Markham 85
VIII. Teacher Bargaining 86
Lehnert v. Ferris Faculty Ass’n 86
IX. Political Activities 87
6 School Desegregation 88
I. Historical Perspective 88 Plessy v. Ferguson 88
Brown v. Bd. of Educ. of Topeka 89
II. Desegregation in the South 90
Green v. County Sch. Bd. of New Kent County 91
Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Bd. of Educ. 92
III. Desegregation in Non-Southern States 93
Milliken v. Bradley 93
Columbus Bd. of Educ. v. Penick 94
Board of Educ. of Oklahoma City v. Dowell 95
Freeman v. Pitts 96
Missouri v. Jenkins 97
IV. Epilogue 98
7 School Finance Issues 99
I. School Finance Reform 99
San Antonio Indep. Sch. Dist. v. Rodriguez 100
Rose v. Council For Better Educ. Inc. 102
II. Educational Choice 103
Jackson v. Benson 104
Index 109
About the Author 111

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