Academic journal article Journal of Law and Education

Recent Decisions - PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION

Academic journal article Journal of Law and Education

Recent Decisions - PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION

Article excerpt

Constitutional Claims and Civil Rights

Student and parents sought review of summary judgment granted in favor of school district and college regarding violations of stuent's free exercise of religion and right to due process. A student was suspended from high school after a fight with another student. Subsequently, the student was barred for inappropriate conduct from a class for high schoolers held at a local college, and he refused to undergo counseling based on his religious beliefs. The district court dismissed the case against the college and granted summary judgment for the school district. Held: For the school district and college. The school district did not violate the student's due process rights because it gave the student notice of the charges and an opportunity to defend himself. The college's action was not a constitutional violation because the student was barred from class for disciplinary, not religious reasons. CH. v. Rankin Co. Sch. Dist., 415 Fed. Appx. 541(5th Cir. 2011) (unpublished).

Board of Education sought review of finding that student had not violated policy on alcohol use at school-sponsored events. A Board challenged a reversal of its suspension of a student for being under the influence of alcohol at the school prom. The juvenile court held that the language of the board's policy banned drinking or possessing alcohol on school property and that the student did not violate the policy when he drank prior to the event, but did not possess alcohol on school property. Held: For the student. The court found the policy language was unconstitutionally vague and ambiguous because it did not provide the requisite notice to satisfy due process requirements, due to its failure to notify the student that drinking alcohol before a school event constituted use of alcohol at school. Monroe Co. Bd. of Educ. v. K.B., 62 So. 3d 513 (Ala. Civ. App. 2010).

Mother appealed order compelling daughter's enrollment in public school. A father sued his child's mother to enroll their home-schooled child in public school. The trial court compelled the child's public school. The mother argued the order violated her constitutional parental and religious rights to home-school her daughter pursuant to her religious convictions. Held: For the father. The trial court properly resolved the impasse between the parents with joint decision-making authority. The trial court did not abuse its discretion, did not exhibit a bias in favor of public school, and used an objective basis for its decision. In re Kurowski, 20 A.3d 306 (N.H. 2011).

Student sued school board and individual teachers and administrators alleging a violation of right to privacy. A student argued his right to privacy was violated when a social worker allowed a teacher to use a student's confidential psychiatric evaluation as a sample for a class assignment to create a psychiatric evaluation of a character in The Catcher in the Rye. Held: For the student. Because the disclosure of the confidential evaluation was deliberate, the school officials breached their duty to keep confidential student records private. L.S. v. Mt. Olive Bd. of Educ, 765 F. Supp. 2d 648 (D .N J. 2011).

Student and Commonwealth sought review of question of law whether in student's possession was "dangerous weapon" with respect to criminal charge against student for possessing dangerous weapon on school grounds. After being charged for possessing a small folding knife on school property in violation of a state statute, the student challenged the charge on grounds that his knife did not meet the statutory definition of a dangerous weapon. Held: Remanded to the juvenile court for further determinations. A common law understanding of a dangerous weapon should apply to the statute. Knives designed and constructed to produce death or great bodily harm are prohibited under the statute even if not expressly listed. Mass. v. Wynton W., 947 N. E .2d 561 (Mass. 2011).

Pregnant teacher appealed after summary judgment was granted in favor of Board of Education regarding discrimination and retaliation claims. …

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