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Contents Topic Overview CHAPTER 1: A Teacher's Perspective to the Legal System 00 Introduction 00 How Does a Civil Lawsuit Work? 00 How Can Teachers Find the Law? 00 Can Teachers Access Legal Websites? 00 CHAPTER 2: Teacher Contracts, Tenure, and Collective Bargaining 00 Introduction 00 When is a Contract Created? 00 Express and Implied Contracts 00 Does a Contract Have to Be in Writing? 00 What is a "Unilateral" Contract, and Can It Be Legally Binding? 00 Can an Employee Handbook Serve as a Basis for Contractual Obligations? 00 How Long Does a Contract Last? 00 Can a Teacher Be Renewed Automatically from Year to Year? 00 Can a Teacher Work without a Contract? 00 Breach of Contract 00 How Can a Contract Be Broken by School Officials? 00 How Can a Teacher Break a Contract? 00 What Are the Legal Consequences of Breaking a Contract? 00 When the School Board Breaches a Contract, Must a Teacher Look for Another Teaching Position to Collect Damages? 00 Can a Court Order a School Board to Rehire a Teacher? 00 Are There Other Ways the Contract Can End? 00 What is tenure? 00 How Can Teachers Acquire Tenure? 00 Can a Teacher Be Awarded Tenure If School Officials Fail to Follow Required Legal Procedures? 00 How Else Can a Teacher Acquire Tenure? 00 Is There a Condition under Which Tenure Could Be Denied Even Where the Teacher Has Served the Requisite Number of Years? 00 Can Other School Employees Acquire Tenure? 00 Can a State Do Away with Tenure? 00 Rights of Tenure 00 What Rights Does a Tenured Teacher Have? 00 Dismissal Procedures 00 When Can Tenure Be Broken? 00 What Procedures Have to Be Followed Before a Tenured Teacher Can Be Dismissed? 00 What Notice Must Be Provided to a Tenured Teacher Prior to Dismissal? 00 Do Teachers without Tenure Have a Right to Notice and a Hearing Prior to Nonrenewal of Their Contracts? 00 What Constitutional Protections Apply in Cases of Teacher Dismissal? 00 Grounds for Dismissal 00 What Constitutes Cause for Dismissal? 00 When Can a Teacher Be Fired for Insubordination? 00 When Can a Teacher Be Fired for Incompetency? 00 When Can a Teacher Be Fired for Immoral Conduct? 00 Are There Other Reasons for Teacher Dismissal? 00 Teachers' Rights 00 What is Collective Bargaining? 00 How Are Collective Bargaining Laws Enforced? 00 Is There a Constitutional Right to Organize? 00 Is There a Constitutional Right to Bargain? 00 Who Decides Who Will Represent Teachers in the Collective Bargaining Process? 00 Do All Teachers Have to Join the Employee Organization Selected as the Exclusive Representative? 00 Can Teachers Who Are Not Union Members Be Required to Pay Fees to a Union? 00 Can Teachers Be Required to Support Union Political Activities? 00 What Are the Union's Legal Responsibilities as the Exclusive Collective Bargaining Representative for Teachers? 00 Can a Union Have Exclusive Access to School Mail Facilities? 00 What Legal Responsibilities Does the School Board Have in the Bargaining Process? 00 Can the School Board Bypass the Union and Make Salary Agreements with Individual Teachers? 00 Contract Negotiations 00 What Happens During Collective Bargaining? 00 What Kinds of Subjects are Discussed at the Bargaining Table? 00 Are There Limitations on the Scope of Collective Bargaining? 00 What Happens If the Union and the School Board Cannot Agree on a Contract? 00 Strikes 00 Do Teachers Have the Right to Strike? 00 What Penalties Can Be Imposed on Teachers Who Engage in an Illegal Strike? 00 CHAPTER 3: Responsibilities and Liabilities: Negligence, Libel, & Slander, Child Abuse & Neglect 00 Introduction 00 When Could Teachers Be Held Liable for Negligence? 00 Are Teachers Required to Supervise Their Students at All Times? 00 Can a Teacher's Duty of Supervision Extend beyond School Hours? 00 Can Teachers Be Held Liable if a Student Injures Another Student or a Teacher? 00 Can Teachers Be Held Liable If a Classroom Aide Injures a Student? 00 If Teachers are Careless, are they Automatically Liable for Damages? 00 Are There Special Liability Standards for Substitute Teachers and Student Teachers? 00 What Is Contributory Negligence? 00 Does a Student's Age Affect Their Right to Recover for Negligence? 00 Do Comparative Negligence Laws Make a Difference? 00 When Does a Student Assume the Risk of Being Injured? 00 Can Teachers Assert Governmental Immunity as a Defense against Negligence? 00 Do Teachers Need to Purchase Professional Liability Insurance? 00 Does the NCLB Protect Teachers from Liability? 00 Does a "Waiver" or "Release" Prevent an Injured Student from Suing? 00 Other Types of Liability 00 Are Teachers Liable if They Fail to Report Child Abuse? 00 Can Schools Be Held Liable for Failure to Maintain a Safe Environment? 00 Can Schools Be Held Liable for Educational Malpractice? 00 Can Schools be Held Liable for Negligent Hiring or Retention of Unfit Employees? 00 Can Schools be Held Liable for Negligence When Teachers are Injured? 00 Can Parents be Held Liable When Teachers are Injured by Students? 00 Can School Districts and School Officials be Held Liable for Violating a Student's Constitutional Rights? 00 Can School Officials or Teachers Be Held Liable Under Section 1983 for Abuse of Students by Teachers or Other Students? 00 Damages 00 What Kinds of Damages Are Awarded by the Courts? 00 What Constitutes Libel and Slander? 00 Is Truth a Defense to a Defamation Action? 00 What Kinds of Statements are Defamatory? 00 When Can Defamatory Statements Be Made and Still Avoid Liability? 00 What are Examples of Statements about Teachers that have been Found to be Defamatory on their Face? 00 Can Teachers Sue Their Superiors for Defamatory Statements Made in Evaluations, Recommendation Letters, or Other Work-Related Communications? 00 Can Students Sue Teachers for Written Statements in Students' Files? 00 Do Any Constitutional Considerations Apply in Slander or Libel Cases? 00 Does the New York Times Standard Apply to Statements of Opinion as well as of Fact? What is Child Abuse? 00 Child Abuse and Neglect: The Duty to Report and Liability of Schools and Teachers 00 What is Child Abuse? 00 Is Distinguishing between Abuse and Neglect Important? 00 Must Child Abuse and Neglect be Reported? 00 Do Laws Require Educators to Report Child Abuse and Neglect? 00 Can Educators be Registered as Suspected Child Abusers? 00 Is the Reporter of Child Abuse or Neglect Protected from Lawsuits? 00 Should Counselors Violate Privileged Communication by Reporting Suspected Cases of Abuse or Neglect? 00 Do Religious Beliefs Exempt Liability for Child Abuse? 00 Is There a Penalty for Failing to Report Child Abuse or Neglect? 00 Is a Social Services Agency Liable for Failure to Protect the Child after the Abuse has been Reported? 00 CHAPTER 4: Teacher Freedom of Expression: Academic Freedom, Association, Appearance, and Copyright 00 Introduction 00 Controversial Expression Out of Class 00 Can Teachers Criticize School Policy? The Pickering Case 00 Could Pickering be Fired if His Statements Were Not Accurate? 00 Can Teachers Ever Be Disciplined for Publicizing Their Views or Criticizing Immediate Superiors? 00 Is Private Criticism Protected? 00 Are Teachers' Personal Complaints Protected by the First Amendment? 00 When Are Teachers' Statements Protected as Matters of Public Concern? 00 If a Teacher's Statements are About Public Concerns, Are They Always Protected? 00 Do Whistleblower Laws Protect Teachers? 00 Are Teachers at Private Schools That Receive State Funds Protected by the First Amendment? 00 Academic Freedom 00 What is Academic Freedom? 00 Does Academic Freedom Protect the Use of Controversial Materials? 00 Can a School Board Require or Prohibit Specific Texts? 00 Can School Boards Remove Library Books for Any Reasons? 00 Can Social Studies Teachers Be Prohibited from Discussing Controversial Issues? 00 Does Academic Freedom Allow Teachers to Disregard the Text or Curriculum? 00 Can Teachers Be Punished for Discussing Topics That Are Not Relevant? 00 Can a Teacher Be Punished for Showing an R-Rated Film? 00 Is a Teacher's Offensive Out-of-Class Language Protected? 00 Teaching Methods 00 Can a Teacher Be Punished for Using a Controversial Method? 00 When Are Controversial Methods Not Protected? 00 May a School Refuse to Rehire a Teacher Because of Disagreements Over Teaching Methods or Philosophy? 00 Is Academic Freedom the Same in Public Schools and Colleges? 00 Freedom of Association 00 Is Freedom of Association a Constitutional Right? 00 Can a Teacher Be Fired for Belonging to a Communist, Nazi, or Subversive Organization? 00 Can a Teacher Be Dismissed for Being Active in an Organization that Promotes Sexual Relations Between Men and Boys? 00 Can Schools Refuse to Hire a Teacher Because His Child Attends a Private School? 00 Can Students Attend Schools Where Their Parents Teach? 00 Can a Teacher Be Prohibited from Marrying an Administrator? 00 Can Spouses Be Prohibited from Teaching in the Same School? 00 Can Teachers Be Prohibited From Intimate Associations with Students After They Graduate? 00 Can Teachers Wear Political Buttons or Symbols to Class? 00 Can a Teacher Be Prohibited from Being a School Board Member? 00 Can a Teacher Be Prohibited from Running for a Political Office? 00 Personal Appearance 00 Do Teachers Have a Constitutional Right to Wear Beards or Long Hair? 00 Do Teachers Have a Right to Dress as They Wish? 00 Can a Teacher Be Punished without Due Process for Violating a School's Grooming Code? 00 Copyright Law: Protecting Creative Expression and Fair Use 00 Do Teachers Own a Copyright on Works They Produce at School? 00 Does Copyright Law Apply to the Internet? 00 Fair Use: When Can Copyrighted Works be Copied Without Permission? 00 Are There Fair Use Exceptions for Teachers? 00 Is It Fair Use to Copy Computer Software for Educational Purposes? 00 Is It Fair Use to Videotape for Educational Purposes? 00 Where Can Teachers Get Permission to Photograph or Videotape Where There is No Fair Use Exception? 00 What Are the Penalties for Violating a Copyright? 00 CHAPTER 5: Student Freedom of Expression: Speech, Press, Association, and Appearance 00 Introduction 00 Does Freedom of Speech Apply to Students in Public Schools? 00 Does Tinker Apply to Elementary Schools 00 Is Disruptive Speech Protected? 00 Is Obscene Speech Protected? 00 Can School Administrators Prohibit and Punish Vulgar and Offensive Speech that is not Legally Obscene or Disruptive? 00 Are School-Sponsored Publications Protected? 00 Are Students' Underground Publications Protected? 00 Are Message T-Shirts Protected? 00 Can Schools Restrict Cell Phones? 00 Can Schools Restrict the Use of School Computers? 00 Can Schools Punish Students for Offensive Messages on Their Home Computers? 00 Do Student Blogs Pose Special Problems? 00 Is a Threat Protected Speech? 00 Is Criticism of Teachers Protected? 00 Association 00 Is Freedom of Association a Right of Public School Students? 00 Does the Equal Access Act Protect Controversial Student Organizations? 00 Does Recognition of an Organization Imply Approval of its Goals? 00 When Can Schools Deny Access to a Student Group? 00 Personal Appearance 00 Do Students Have a Right to Wear Their Hair as They Wish? 00 Why Has the U.S. Supreme Court Not Resolved the Grooming Conflict? 00 Can I Know How Federal Courts Might Rule on Grooming Cases in My State? 00 Can Grooming Laws be Challenged Under State Law? 00 Can Schools Regulate Student Clothing? 00 Can Schools Require School Uniforms? 00 Is Wearing Ethnic Clothing a Protected Form of Expression? 00 Does a "No Hats" Policy Violate Students' Rights? 00 Can Schools Ban Earrings, Jewelry, and Other Symbols of Gang Membership? 00 Can Schools Ban Confederate Flag Symbols? 00 CHAPTER 6:Due Process Rights of Teachers and Students 00 Introduction 00 Do All Teachers Have the Same Right to Due Process? 00 Do Students Have a Right to Due Process? 00 Can Students be Suspended Without Due Process? 00 Is the Due Process Requirement Always the Same for All Types of Suspensions? 00 What Rights Do Students Have Prior to Long-Term Suspension or Expulsion? 00 What About Students Who Bring Guns, Other Dangerous Weapons, or Drugs to School? 00 Is Due Process Required Before Every Minor Punishment? 00 May Schools Use Corporal Punishment? 00 Must Due Process Precede Corporal Punishment? 00 Is Excessive Corporal Punishment a Violation of the Constitution? 00 Does the Constitution Apply to Searching Students? 00 May School Officials Search Students' Lockers? 00 What If Police Are Involved in the Search of Students and Lockers? 00 Can Students' Cars, Book Bags, Purses, and Other Property Be Searched? 00 Are School Officials Allowed to Strip Search Students? 00 Can Schools Use Metal Detectors to Search For Weapons? 00 Can Drug Detecting Dogs be Used in Schools? 00 Can Schools Test Students for Drug Use? 00 Can Teachers be Tested for Drug Use? 00 CHAPTER 7: Religion and Public Education 00 How does the Constitution Apply to Public Schools? 00 How Has the Establishment Clause Been Interpreted? 00 What is the Implication of the Free Exercise Clause? 00 Prayer and Bible Reading in Public Schools 00 May Students Pray Silently in School? 00 Are Graduation Prayers Permitted? 00 What About Student Prayer Clubs? 00 Can Students Be Required to Recite the Pledge of Allegiance or Salute the Flag? 00 Can Schools Sponsor Religious Displays, Symbols, and Programs? 00 How Can Schools Accommodate Students' Religious Beliefs? 00 What About Religious Challenges to the Curriculum? 00 CHAPTER 8: Discrimination and Equal Protection: Race, Gender, Age, Language, and Special Education 00 Introduction 00 Classification by Race 00 Did the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment Eliminate Segregated Schooling? 00 How Speedily Did School Districts Carry Out the Court's Mandate? 00 What About Communities Where Resegregation Occurs? 00 Who Supervises the Process of Desegregation? 00 Are Teachers Protected Against Racial Discrimination? 00 Can School Districts Hire on the Basis of Race or Ethnicity? 00 Can School Districts Use Affirmative Action to Hire Teachers or in the Placement of Students? 00 Gender Discrimination: Teachers 00 Can Gender be Used in Hiring Teachers? 00 Can There Be Pay Differentials Based on Gender? 00 Can There Be Discrimination Based on Pregnancy or Childbirth? 00 Gender Discrimination Against Students 00 Can There Be Gender Discrimination in Sport Competition? 00 Are Single-Sex Public Schools Legal? 00 Can School Districts Compel Pregnant Students to Transfer to a Separate School? 00 Sexual Harassment of Teachers and Students 00 Can Students Sue Schools for Harassment by Other Students? 00 Discrimination based on Age 00 English Language Learners 00 May Schools Discriminate Against Students of Limited English Proficiency? 00 Special Education 00 Can Schools Discriminate Against Students with Disabilities? 00 How Has the Brown Case Helped Disabled Children? 00 FAPE 00 Must FAPE Provide Education That Will Maximize the Student's Learning Potential? 00 IEP 00 Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) 00 Must Schools Provide Year-Round Instruction for Disabled Children? 00 What are the "Related Services" Required by the IDEA? 00 Must Schools Administer Prescription Drugs to Disabled Students? 00 Can Schools Discipline Children with Disabilities? 00 Can Students Whose Behavior is Dangerous be Given Long-Term Suspension? 00 Can "High-Stakes" Tests be Used with Students with Disabilities? 00 CHAPTER 9: Teacher's Personal Life 00 Introduction 00 Immoral and Unprofessional Conduct 00 Does "Immoral" Behavior Justify Teacher Dismissal? 00 Are There Ways to Limit the Ambiguity of the Term "Immorality"? 00 Is Discrimination Against Homosexuals Illegal? 00 Can Teachers Be Dismissed for Being Unwed Mothers? 00 Can Teachers Be Dismissed for Immoral or Unprofessional Conduct with Students? 00 Can Teachers be Dismissed for Sexual Relationships with Students Even After Graduation? 00 Can a Teacher Be Fired for Using Profanity or Abusive Language Toward Students? 00 Can Teachers Be Dismissed Because of Rumors of Immoral Conduct? 00 Are There Other Reasons Teachers Have Been Dismissed for Immoral or Unprofessional Conduct? Will Courts Reverse Penalties Against Teachers That Seem Harsh? 00 Criminal Conduct 00 Does Conviction for a Misdemeanor Justify Dismissal? 00 Is Conviction for a Felony Grounds for Dismissal? 00 Can Teachers Be Fired if There is No Evidence Linking Their Crime to Their Job? 00 Can a Teacher Be Dismissed Because of Criminal Charges? 00 If a Teacher is Found Not Guilty of a Crime, Can He Still Be Fired for the Behavior that Led to that Charge? 00 Can a Teacher Be Dismissed Because of the Use or Possession of Illegal Drugs? 00 Does Mental Illness Excuse a Teacher's Criminal Behavior? 00 Lifestyle, Citizenship, and Disability 00 Can a Teacher Be Prohibited from Breastfeeding Her Child in School? 00 Can Teachers Be Fired Because of Obesity? 00 Can Teachers Be Denied Certification Because They Are Not Citizens? 00 Can Teachers Be Required to Reside in Their School District? 00 Does the Family Medical Leave Act Apply to Teachers? 00 Can a Teacher Be Barred From Teaching Because of AIDS? 00 CHAPTER 10: Parents' Rights in Educating Their Children and Controlling Their School Records 00 Introduction 00 Parental Choice 00 What Choices Do Parents Have in Educating Their Children? 00 What are Charter Schools? 00 Do Voucher Plans Enhance Parental Choice? 00 May Parents Choose Home Schooling for Their Children? 00 Must State Laws Be Clear and Unambiguous? 00 Can Handicapped Children Be Home Schooled? 00 Do Home Schoolers Have a Right to Participate in School Sports? 00 Do Home Schoolers Have a Right to Part-Time Enrollment in Public Schools? 00 Can Parents Object to Certain Courses or Materials? 00 Why Did Congress Pass the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act? 00 What are the Main Features of FERPA? 00 Right of Access 00 What Education Records Are Accessible Under the Act? 00 How Does the Act Guarantee Access to Parents? 00 Do Parents Have the Right to See Teachers' Personal Notes about their Children? 00 What Other Records Are Not Accessible? 00 Can Students Waive Their Right of Access? 00 How Does FERPA Restrict Access to Outsiders? 00 Do Noncustodial Parents Have Access to Their Child's Records? 00 May Noncustodial Parents Visit Their Children in School? 00 Are There Exceptions to the Consent Requirement? 00 Does FERPA Prohibit a School from Releasing a Teacher's College Transcript Without the Teacher's Consent? 00 Does FERPA Require Schools to Restrict Distribution of Personal Student Information in School Newspapers? 00 What Information about Students Can be Shared without Consent? 00 Does FERPA Prohibit the Release of School Reports About Altercations Between Teachers and Students? 00 Can Teachers Be Disciplined for Disclosing Confidential Information about Students? 00 Does FERPA Prevent Administrators from Sharing Critical Information about Students with Teachers? 00 Can Schools Destroy Student Records? 00 Must Parents Be Informed of Their Rights Under the Buckley Amendment? 00 Do Parents Have a Right to Challenge Their Children's Records? 00 May Parents or Students Contest the Appropriateness of a Grade? 00 Does FERPA Prohibit Students from Grading Each Other's Classroom Work or Assignments? 00 Are Special Education Students Entitled to Additional Rights? 00 Are There Any Procedures to Enforce FERPA? 00 Can Parents Sue Schools for Violating Their FERPA Rights? 00 CHAPTER 11: The No Child Left Behind Act and Other Current Controversies 00 Introduction 00 The No Child Left Behind Act 00 What are the Main Features of NCLB? 00 What is a "Highly Qualified" Teacher or Paraprofessional 00 What are the Consequences if Schools Fail to Meet Adequate Yearly Progress? 00 Can Parents Sue to Enforce NCLB? 00 Does NCLB Include Other Requirements? 00 High Stakes Testing 00 Teacher Testing 00 Frivolous Lawsuits 00 Protection of Homosexual Students and Teachers 00 Compulsory Community Service 00
Library of Congress Subject Headings for this publication:
Educational law and legislation -- United States.
Teachers -- Legal status, laws, etc. -- United States.