Recent Decisions- ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION

Journal of Law and Education, Winter 2019 | Go to article overview

Recent Decisions- ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION


Student Discipline

School sought order for protection against parent of student after parent protested outside the school while wearing firearm. The father of a student who was molested by a teacher at a school protested on a public sidewalk adjacent to the school. The parent refused the school's request that he remove his firearm and made statements which were perceived by school officials as threatening. Held: For the school. The school is acting in place of the parents of their students while they are at school, therefore the school has standing to petition for an order for protection. The parent's activities, specifically the continued harassment and threats, were not protected under the First and Second Amendment. S.B. v. Seymour Community Schools, 97 N.E. 3d 288 (Ind. Ct. App. 2018).

Father sues School Board for suspending student. A five-year old student was suspended for half a day after saying the "F-word" repeatedly. Held: For the School Board. The School Board is well within its rights to suspend a student for cursing, as such act constituted a violation of the school's discipline policy. Moreover, the standard of review for school disciplinary measures is the abuse of discretion. Here, the father failed to provide evidence that his son did not use profane language, or the punishment was unreasonable. Swindle v. Rogers Bd. of Educ., 538 S.W. 3d 211 (Ark. Ct. App. 2013).

Constitutional Claims and Civil Rights

New Jersey ACLU sues New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education after monetary grants were awarded to religious organizations. The ACLU alleged that the Secretary violated the Religious Aid Clause of the New Jersey Constitution when it awarded grants to a theological seminary and a yeshiva to subsidize infrastructure projects for institutions of higher learning. The lower court ruled that the grants did violate the New Jersey Constitution and the Secretary appealed. Held: For the ACLU. The Supreme Court of New Jersey remanded the action back down to the lower court for additional fact finding and development of the record so that they could determine whether or not violations of the New Jersey Constitution had taken place and whether they should invalidate the grants given to the religious organizations. ACLU ofNJv. Hendricks, 183 A. 3d 931 (NJ. 2018).

Foreign-born teenagers sued school district alleging violation of Equal Educational Opportunities Act (EEOA). Foreign-bomed teenagers were denied enrollment into a public high school for disputed reasons. Instead, Plaintiffs were placed in English for Speakers of Other Languages programs. They sought a preliminary injunction directing the school board to enroll them. Plaintiffs alleged that the school district had an unlawful policy and practice of excluding foreign-bom children from public school. Held: For the school district. The alleged negative impact on the teenagers caused by not allowing them to attend public high school are remote and speculative. The teenagers are attending other programs designed for foreign students and can show no imminent injury if the court does not order them to be enrolled. The teenagers failed to show the required irreparable injury to warrant a mandatory preliminary injunction. Antoine O/В ofl.A. v. School Bd. Of Collier Cty., 301 F. Supp. 3d 1195 (M.D. Fla. 2018).

Alabama Department of Human Resources and other state agencies were sued for placing names on central registry outlining outcomes of child abuse investigations. After receiving reports of suspected child abuse, the Alabama Department of Human Resources initiated an investigation. When the investigation was complete some cases are assigned a status of "indicated," which meant the evidence showed the abuse likely occurred. At that point the accused abuser is placed on a registry. The plaintiffs, a teacher and several parents, alleged that their procedural due process rights were violated because they were not granted an opportunity to be heard or dispute the claims against them before being placed on the registry. …

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