1. What specific constitutional amendments pertain to education? Discuss the importance of each to the effective operation operations of public schools.
2. What are the legal requirements for a negligence cause of action, and what are the common defenses to a negligence claim?
3. Explain the two categories of liability affecting school personnel. Provide examples that encompass each category.
4. Discuss the holding of Goss v. Lopez and its implications for educational leaders.
5. You, as a principal or administrator, are approached by a group of students who want to know what their constitutional rights are for the following scenarios. Explain the students' rights.
(A) Describe the level of suspicion a principal must have to perform a search. How does that level of suspicion differ from the suspicion needed by a police officer to perform a search?
(B) Is there any difference between the search of a cell phone and the search of a locker?
(C) Under what circumstances can school officials administer breathalyzers?
6. You are a school leader tasked with developing an anti-bullying program that will minimize bullying in public school. Provide an overview of the program you would develop. (Use most of these prompts to help articulate your program:
(A) who will be involved in creating the program;
(B) who will be involved in implementing the program;
(C) what components will be included in the program;
(D) how will it be enforced;
(E) what are the role of faculty, parents, students, and law enforcement; and
(F) what measures will you use to determine whether your program is effective?)
Specific Amendments Pertaining to Education
Over the past several years the U.S administration in one approach or the other has raised its deep interests in schooling.Various amendments have been made each with various importances that aim at making operations in the public school system effective and smooth.
To begin with, the tenth correction of the ordinance, it avails the background in lawful approach for making schooling a responsibility of the country. The amendment says that “The authority not given to the America by the Ordinance, nor outlawed by the country, is kept to the country in particular or to the residents”. The effect of this amendment in directing the America to bear the full liability of availing schooling has not been less. It furnishes for the substantiation of the countrywide teaching system. It gives the state responsibilities to define in details the structure for maintaining and organizing the public education system. The Supreme Court, as well as the state courts, have on numerous occasions captained that tutoring is a responsibility of the government.
Secondly, we have the so called Student Speech and the First Amendment. Freedom of speech is the highly shielded individual liberties in the States. Most probably children were not giving up their constitutional rights as a condition to attend public schools. This was recognized by the U.S Supreme court in the mid-twentieth century. It came to the recognition of the legislation that open school was a good medium in which the reference of such precisions could be instilled. Schools function as a marketplace of thoughts. It is a solitary interest of this initial correction (Keyishian v. Association of Regents, 385 U.S. 589, 87 S. Ct. 675, 17 L. Ed. 2d 629 ) that such ideas must be exchanged widely without any fear of victimization. In case policies are reasonably designed to tackle special issues of the education environment, students’ rights to free expression may be curtailed. The board of the school under this amendment was given powers to determine the kind of speech appropriate in assemblies and classes. The school authorities were also given discrete powers to determine for themselves the kind of expressions that are in line with their schools’ objectives. The public school officials were given the mandate to discipline learners whose expression and speech substantially and materially affect the smooth running of the educational surrounding (Bethel School Dist. 403 v. Fraser). In addition, the institution’s leaders have the responsibility to control the distribution and content of reproduced materials at the institution (Hazelwood School Dist. v. Kuhlmeier).
Legal Requirements for a Negligence Cause of Action
Negligence can be defined as the failure to administer required or expected care that is ethically ruled to be exercised amongst stated circumstances. There exist some things that have to be established by any person who wants to sue in negligence. This is the commonly referred to like elements or requirements of negligence. It is mostly said by many jurisdictions that the requirements for negligence action are only four. First, we have the duty as the first requirement. In this, the defendant has a responsibility to apply rationale heed to others or the plaintiff. Secondly, we have the breach. In this requirement, the defendant breaches that duty through a culpable omission or an act. Thirdly, we have damages. As a result of that omission or act, the plaintiff suffers an injury and lastly but not the least, we have causation. In this requirement, the injury to the plaintiff can reasonably be foreseen as a consequence of the defendant’s omission or act.
Negligence is like any other type of liability. It can make use of the same defenses as in the rest of the civil liability cases. There exist some common defenses to negligence claims. To begin with, we have the contributory negligence. In this, if the injured person or party was in any way either fully or partially responsible for their injuries, their damages or injuries may be fully eliminated or even reduced. Secondly, we have the limitation of the liability. In this defense, various statutes or in short terms in a contract may reduce the plaintiff’s ability to recover for the negligent acts of the defendant. Additionally, we have the assumption of risk. This applies in cases where the plaintiff knew the risks that may arise from a certain action before taking part in the action. The risks may be assumed if at the end the action results in any harm. Lastly but not the least, we have an argument that disqualifies or invalidates either of the requirements of negligence. For example, an insurance company may claim that an injury claimed by a vehicle accident was caused by a former injury and not the accident as it is claimed.
In America’s schools, school personnel face the fear of litigation as they work each day. The law has increasingly affected the operations of schools in the present society. It has become a norm that almost every year the Supreme Court must make a decision that has impacts to schools and their personnel. School personnel are faced with two broad categories of liabilities. These include intentional liabilities and negligent liabilities. In almost all the schools across the United States, students, teachers, and other personnel are in the school have been found liable for committing torts which are intentional. As the name implies, intentional torts are the individual intends or attempts to harm or cause harm to others. For intend to occur, the individual must be aware that the act will result to harm. In the educational setting, there exist four classes of intentional torts.
Common Defenses to a Negligence Claim
These include; defamation, assault, false imprisonment and battery. An overt trial to physically cause an injury on someone or create a fear feeling or an injury is referred to as an Assault. The actual physical happening threatened by the assault is known as battery. The wiling full immurement by immediate material means by the assertion of legal authority is referred to as false imprisonment. An example of an intentional liability is when a teacher grabs a student by the arm in a bid to get their attention but the student screams that he or she is being abused. This can attract a possible tort law liability. Secondly, we have the negligent torts, this is where a school personnel fails to adhere to the five elements of negligence which include duty, breach, cause, injury and proximate for example, in a case where a teacher decides to let one of their student to lead the rest in a chemistry practical. In case one of the students gets hurt during the practical, the teacher is hereby held liable for negligence.
Goss v. Lopez was a condition in which the United States Chief Lagislature ruled that public school learners facing suspensions have the right to notice and hearing. This ruling was done on 1st 22, 1975, in accordance with the Fourteenth Correction’s due procedure. Dwight Lopez plus other eight learners from different open insttitutions in Columbus, Ohio were centered in the case. The students were suspended for up to ten days on the bases of misconduct. Among these students, none had been subjected to hearing. They claimed that their Fourteenth Amendment rights to due process were violated. In the case, Norval Goss the then archon of student manpower for the Columbus section was titled as an operant. It was decided in favor of the students by a federal court. The Ohio rule that mandated heads to adjourn learners for up to 10 dates without hearing was declared null and void constitutionally.
The case was pleaded in front of the Commanding Court of the U.S on October 16, 1974. The court ruled that the right to a hearing and due process was mandatory before suspending any student as the suspension affected their future employment opportunities. The court ruled that an oral and a written notice should be served to students before they are suspended for ten or few days. In cases where the student denied the claims, then the evidence that the management has against him or her was to be issued. This case seeks to define the duties and rights of learners as well as school officials. The case makes it possible for educational leaders to increasingly recognize the student’s right to due process in school decisions is fundamental and clear. The issues surrounding capricious action by the educational leaders against the learners have been following the due procedure since the hearing of the Goss v. Lopez case.
Categories of Liability Affecting School Liability
Students just like any other person have their own rights such as constitutional, consumer and contractual rights as well as civil rights which regulate their freedoms and allow them to make use of their educational investment. This might include the right to; privacy and safety, to due process, free speech, and association as well as accountability in contracts and advertising. These rights regulate the student’s treatment by administrators and teachers.
A school principal only requires a reasonable suspicion of an unlawful behavior to carry out a search on the student. For example, when a student is seen in an area commonly known for drug activities, he or she can be taken to the principal’s office for a rummage. The rummage should not be devilishly intrusive in light of the learner’s sex, age and the nature of suspicion. On the other hand, police officers must obtain a court warrant to perform a search. Both the principal and the police officers ought to have a rational misdoubt to conduct a rummage but that of police officers must be based on specific and articulate facts.
There is a difference between the search of a cell phone and the search of a locker. If the school considers the locker to be a personal property of the student, then it may not search it unless there is a reasonable suspicion that it contains something against the law but if the locker is considered to be the property of the school, then it may be searched. On the other hand, the privacy of the phone is protected by the U.S Constitution and only under emergencies with a search warrant from a judge can a student’s phone be searched.
Breathalyzers are devices used to estimate the content of alcohol in the blood from a sample of a breath. They test the alcohol level. Breathalyzers can be administered to students when there is a suspicion that the students are under the influence of alcoholic drinks.
The use of force or threat to intimidate, abuse or dominate over others aggressively is known as bullying. This behavior is often habitual and repeated. Such behaviors include harassment, physical assault or threats. As a school leader who has been mandated to start an anti-bullying program, I will first begin by recruiting student representatives, at least two students from each class, the school student leaders, and class teachers from each class as well as one parent representative from each class. As the mastermind behind the program, I will be the key implementer of the program. Each student representative will also be responsible for co-implementing the program since they are in touch with the other students.
Constitutional Rights of Students in Specific Scenarios
The program will be composed of several components. To begin with, the school, there will be a bullying prevention program team, in other words, the coordinating committee. I will also draft the program implementation guide that will help in administering the program. The goal, mission, slogan statement, as well as the logo of the program, shall be drafted. I shall also draft a supervision plan as well as offer training on quality supervision. Parents and the community shall also be represented in the program. In addition, I shall draft safety plans for the targets of bullying.
Regular meetings by the program committee shall be held to discuss ways in which the school environment could be organized to become conducive for all learners. Teachers and parents shall meet regularly to discuss issues in bullying. Students will be required to report cases of bullying to the discipline teacher. The faculty and the parents shall be responsible for the guidance and counseling of victims of bullying. The law enforcement shall discipline students who bully others. Serious meetings shall also be conducted by the program committee to see how effective the program is.
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