The School Law Handbook: What Every Leader Needs to Know

The School Law Handbook: What Every Leader Needs to Know

The School Law Handbook: What Every Leader Needs to Know

The School Law Handbook: What Every Leader Needs to Know


A parent objects to a curriculum that includes a unit on Greek gods, arguing that it violates the separation of church and state. As a teacher or administrator, how should you respond? This type of issue is one most educators will have to confront eventually, in addition to other hot-button issues such as zero-tolerance policies, drug and alcohol testing, and prayer in schools. The School Law Handbook is designed to enable educators to confront such issues with information, insight, and initiative.

The issues are organized into five areas: the school environment, Constitutional issues, students, personnel, and accountability. Within each area are several chapters, each beginning with a realistic scenario followed by legal and practical analyses of the situation.

Armed with this knowledge of the parameters governing each scenario, educators can more effectively manage their responses, asking and answering the key questions:

- What are the legal boundaries?

- What is the district policy related to this issue?

- What are the potential strategies for resolution?

In this era of unparalleled public scrutiny, The School Law Handbook is essential reading for all school personnel.


Recent school violence has created turbulent and uncharted waters for school leaders. the nightly news is peppered with scenes of students and teachers confronting shocking school and community crises.

Ten years ago, data driven management would not have been in the curriculum of a master’s program in educational leadership. With high stakes testing for students and resultsbased accreditation for schools, teachers, principals, superintendents, and board members must understand how to use data to improve student performance. They must also be versatile in federal, state, and local laws and policies that govern their dayto-day work.

Issues like search and seizure have been around for a long time … but the rules have changed. New issues like zero tolerance have a variety of definitions, and perhaps more abuses, depending upon where you live and the values of your community. Sick buildings are unparalleled challenges that impact both staff and students. When and where do school leaders learn to deal with these ever-growing problems? They are seldom in the texts or the life experiences of those who are teaching the courses.

As an attorney, professor, and practitioner, Kate, Dick, and I (respectively) have attempted to develop a series of “real life” cases that have made their way into our schools. We have also . . .

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