Most school administrators are all too familiar with activities designed to control student conduct. Indeed, the duties of school administrators have always included tasks that, in society at large, are the province of legislators, police, courts, and penal systems. This chapter provides the legal basis for the performance of these tasks. The chapter considers the formulation of school rules, the investigation of suspected misconduct, and the assignment and enforcement of punishment.
The always complex job of maintaining order in school and disciplining students when they misbehave has become even more difficult because of a rise in the number of disciplinary problems in schools and because of changes in the law. Both students and school officials report an increase in violence, drug use, and other illegal and disruptive acts. Parents consistently place school safety at or near the top of their list of educational concerns. Highly publicized incidents of shootings and other serious criminal acts at schools have led to public and legislative pressure to make the schools safer. Researchers have concluded that when the atmosphere of the school leads students to feel unsafe, learning decreases, thereby further emphasizing the need to maintain an orderly atmosphere.
These sociological and psychological trends have been accompanied by significant changes in the law. These changes have both empowered school officials to deal with disruptions and increased the legal threat to school officials if they fail to deal with violence and crime adequately. Some states' constitutions actually give students the right to safe schools.1 The federal No Child Left Behind Act requires that any student who attends a “persistently dangerous public school” or who becomes a victim of a violent crime at school must be allowed to trans____________________
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Education Law. Edition: 3rd. Contributors: Michael Imber - Author, Tyll van Geel - Author. Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Place of publication: Mahwah, NJ. Publication year: 2004. Page number: 157.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.