Law Review Digests-Primary and Secondary Education

Article excerpt

Articles, Notes, and Commentaries

Elementary, Middle, and Secondary Education

Student Work, How Well Are the Nation's Children Protected From Peer Harassment at School?: Title IX Liability in the Wake of Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education, 78 N.C. L. REv. 1573 (2000). Davis v. Monroe Board of Education established the standard for assessing school district liability for peer sexual harassment. The author contends this ruling still leaves many ambiguities and unanswered questions, such as what constitutes harassment and actual notice. In order to resolve these issues, courts should look to Title VII guidelines regarding employer liability for employee harassment and OCR guidelines. Moreover, as opposed to the actual notice requirement laid out in Davis, children would be afforded greater protection if schools were held liable when they should have notice of peer harassment.

Student Work, Public School Teachers as Plaintiffs in Defamation Suits: Do They Deserve Actual Malice?, 88 GEO. L. J. 1953 (2000). Courts addressing defamation claims have consistently returned contradictory opinions as to whether public school teachers are private or public figures. Public figures are required to show actual malice on the part of the person making the defamatory statements because public figures are seen as opening themselves up for more criticism and because they have greater opportunity to refute those statements. The author believes that the arguments given for treating teachers as public figures in defamation suits do not align with the intent of major defamation precedent and could also have a detrimental effect on the educational system.

Student Work, Is ADHD a "Handy Excuse"? Remedying Judicial Bias Against ADHD, 68 U.M.K.C. L. REv. (2000). A judicial minority has shown an outward bias in their written opinions toward ADHD. The author claims this bias is the result of personal feelings, the media treatment of ADHD, and the fact that many of the disability statutes do not specifically define ADHD as a disability. The author proposes three methods of reform which would decrease this bias and make the federal disability statutes more consistent.

Student Work, Neutral or Non-Neutral, is that the Question?, 16 T.M. COOLEY L. REv. 289 (1999). In 1990, the state of Wisconsin enacted the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, a school voucher initiative designed to allow lowincome parents to send their children to private non-sectarian schools. However, the Choice Program quickly encountered constitutional challenges, especially with regard to the apparent entanglement between church and state. The Wisconsin Supreme Court squarely addressed the issue in Jackson v. Benson and held that the Choice Program passes constitutional muster. An overview of the First Amendment Establishment Clause and an analysis of applicable case law illustrate that the Choice Program benefits parents instead of government and does not favor or disfavor sectarian or non-sectarian schools. Finally, the analysis contends that the Choice Program exists merely to expand education opportunities for low-income families, and concludes with the proposal of a new constitutional test: a law or government activity cannot favor or disfavor religion.

Student Work, When Coaches "Cross the Line": Hostile Athletic Environment Sexual Harassment, 52 RUTGERs L.J. 911 (2000). Hostile work environment and sexual harassment standards are examined in the context of the athlete/coach relationship. Sexual harassment cases involving athletes and coaches should be examined under Title IX instead of Title VII, which is designed for employee/employer relations. An analysis of Jennings v. University of North Carolina illustrates that sexual harassment must be reconsidered as an expression of sexual stereotyping in the athlete/coach relationship. Specifically, intrusive paternalistic coaching techniques motivated by stereotypical gender or sexual assumptions should be noted as sexual discrimination, given the inherent power imbalance between athletes and coaches. …

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