Commentary - ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION

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Articles

Steven J. Macias, Adolescent Identity Versus the First Amendment: Sexuality and Speech Rights in the Public Schools, 49 San Diego L. Rev. 791 (2012). This article discusses the difficulties of curbing the bullying of gay students because schools may be exposed to lawsuits for First Amendment violations. The author argues that anti-bullying regulations in schools should not be subject to criticisms for First Amendment violations because attacks on gay students are not the type of speech in which public school students have a right to engage. By analyzing several theories and current case law, the article concludes that the legal system could make good use of sociological, psychological, ethnographic, and medical evidence to overcome the hurdle of proving that such speech does cause a substantial disruption and therefore regulations would not by prohibited by the First Amendment.

Ali Davison, Shackled and Chained in the Schoolyard: A New Approach to Schools' Section 1983 Liability Under the Special Relationship Test, 19 Cardozo J.L. & Gender 273 (2012). This article examines the current debate among courts and commentators surrounding the duty of the state to protect a child from a third party in situations involving state custody. Applying this rule to schools, the author argues that rather than using a rigid set of factors for determining whether a school has custody of a child, the courts should examine the totality of the circumstances. The author explains that if schools adopt such an approach, students most exposed to dangers at school will have protection from constitutional violations.

Bret D. Asbury & Kevin Woodson, On the Need for Public Boarding Schools, 47 Ga. L. Rev. 113 (2012). This article recognizes that since the rejection of the "separate but equal" doctrine of Plessy v. Feguson, minority children have been forced into separate but unequal schools. The authors critique the previous efforts to reform this issue and suggest the reasons for such efforts have been unsuccessful. The authors propose that because of the failure of past efforts, policymakers should consider public boarding schools as a means of educating young children from underserved environments. The authors believe that public boarding schools for these children could prove to be efficient and groundbreaking means of reversing generations of poverty.

Jon M. Philipson, The Kids Are Not All Right: Mandating Peer Mediation as a Proactive Anti-Bullying Measure in Schools. 1 4 Cardozo J. Conflict Res. 81 (2012). This article discusses the bullying epidemic in America. The author first discusses the successes and failures of peer mediation in schools. The author then discusses the proven success of the Owleus Bullying Prevention Program, and concludes that peer mediation should be used to augment other successful anti-bullying programs to ensure the best possible outcomes.

Derek W. Black, Civil Rights, Charter Schools, and Lessons to be Learned, 64 FIa. L. Rev. 1723 (2012). This article focuses on the tension between civil rights advocates and charter school advocates. Civil rights reforms in education have declined while support of charter schools has significantly increased over the past decade. The author posits that though civil rights advocates blame this decline on the rise of charter schools, the real problem is that the civil rights educational movement has focused on establishing a causal connection between civil rights reform and positive student outcomes. The gap between these two concepts is too great to be accurately measured. …