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School Law

American Public School Law 6th ed. case summaries

Case NameCase Summary
14th amendment Due process, equal protection of laws, immunities of citizenships, rights guaranteed privileges
Brown v. Board of Education (1954): “Separate-but-equal” educational facilities for black children were inherently unequal and violated the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. In question were 4 state statutes requiring or permitting separate schools for black children.
Dejure segregation Physical seperation; segregation by race, segregation of whites and negros
Defacto segregation Funding and equality between white and black educational opportunities.
Missouri v. Jenkins (1990); Equal educational opportunities; salary increases for school personnel and quality educational programs in the Kansas City School district. Inappr. to use student achievement for unitary status.
Tort Civil wrong independent of a contract.
Assault Mental such as terroristic threatening
Battery Physical
Negligence Neglect of duty. Reasonable person might have prevented a harmful act from occuring.
Johnson v. School District of Millard (1998); Music teacher found guilty of neglect supervision 1st grader severly cut during rough game of London Bridge. Age of child and context of course were key factors.
Hutchinson v. Toews (1970); 15yr.old student injured using explosives he built from materials from school. Found to have engaged in neglect because he knew of danger and still broke the rules. Ruled against the student.
New York Times v. Sullivan (1964); Alabama-elected official sued New York Times for advertisement that included false statements about police during a civil rights demonstration.Court ruled for Mr. Sullivan then reversed the decision stating could not proved actual malice.
Libel Written defamation such as radio, TV broadcasts, or newspaper.
Slander Spoken defamation.
Defamation Defamation of character is spoken or written words that falsely and negatively reflect on a living person's reputation.
Hett v. Ploetz (1963); Wisconsin-Speech therapist was not recommended by 6 principals to be rehired the following yr.Superintendent asked Hett to resign rather than have dismissal on record. Ploetz ended up giving Hett a bad recommendation when called.Court ruled Ploet
Desselle v. Guillory (1981);Qualified privilege protects parents to tell info about teachers. Teacher fooling w/students parents took matter to princ. and super. Went to trial for defamation. Could not prove. No defamation because protecting students good faith.
Timothy W. v. Rochester, NH (1989):Held that 94-142 did not require a severely retarded and multiply handicapped child to show the potential for benefit as a condition to receive special education services, even though it was generally conceded that he would not benefit.
Honig v. Doe (1988):Held that the "stay-put" provision, that students remain in their current placement pending a review of placement, applies to students who are subject to disciplinary action. (Stay-put until there is a determination as to cause of prob.)
Spears v. Jefferson Parish School Board (1994): A Louisiana appellate court held a school district liable for damages in a case where a physical education teacher played a trick on male kindergarten student by leading the student to believe that one of his classmates had hanged himself.
Brown v. Tesack (1990):The school board could be held liable for damages for injuries suffered by a student when a can of duplicating fluid that the student had stolen from a dumpster outside the school building was ignited and burned. (School was aware of poss. danger)
Stevens v. Chesteen (1990): A PE teacher's alleged brief absence from a touch football game was not a breach of duty that proximately caused the student's injury. The student could not prove that the incident would not have happened even with teacher present.
Donahue v. Copiague Union Free School District (1979): The New York Court of Appeals held that a student's claim of educational malpractice and his seeking of $5,000,000 to redress his injury was not an actionable tort.
Pickering v. Board (1969):Overturned school board's dismissal of a teacher for criticizing the superintendent and the school board in their handling of recent bond proposals. The right to free speach on matters of public concern doesn't constitute grounds for termination.
McCann v. Ft. Zumwalt School District Held that the school district had the right to ban the playing of a song. Band is part of school curriculum and is therefore, controlled by the school.
Epperson v. Arkansas (1968): The U.S. Supreme Court held that an Arkansas statute forbidding the teaching of evolution, with consequent criminal penalties, was a violation of the 1st amendment's Establishment Clause.
Erb v. Iowa Board (1974):A male teacher's admitted adultery with a female co-teacher is insufficient to revoke the male teacher's certificate. A certificate can be revoked only if there is sufficient evidence that the teacher-student relationship is adversely affected.
Stare Decisis Let the decision stand
Writ of Mandamus Is a command from the court of law directed to an inferior court, officer, corporate body and or persons.
Ministerial Belonging to a minister or subordinate who is bound to follow instructions; opposed to judicial or discretionary
Nuisance Anything that unlawfully results in harm, inconvenience, or damage.
Tort A civil wrong committed upon the person or property of another independent of contract.
Certiorari An original writ or action whereby a cause is removed from an inferior to a superior court for trial.
Ab initio From the beginning
Common Law Legal Principles derived from usage and custom.
Demurrer A plea by one of the parties to an action, who, while admitting for the sake of argument all the material facts properly pleaded by the opposing party.
Due Process Law in the regular course of administration through courts of justice, according to those rules and forms that have been established for the protection of private rights.
Malice Hatred, ill will; a formal design of doing an unlawful act.
Quid pro Quo Something for something; a consideration.
Substantive law The positive law of rights and duties.
Ultra Vires Unauthorized; beyond the scope of power allowed or granted by a corporate charter or by law.
Pickering v Board of Education Teachers have a constitutional right to speak out freely on matters of public concern.
Honig v. Doe "Stayput" Provision prohibits school authorities from Unilaterally excluding students with disabilities from classroom for dangerous conduct growing out of disability. Student can be suspended if they are dangerous to themselves or others for up to 10 day
Section 504 no otherwise qualified handicapped individual in the United States, shall solely by reason of his handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal aid
Stay Put Provision Which directs that a disabled child "shall remain in his r her then current educational placement pending completion of any review proceedings.
Tinker V Des Moines Declared that "students in school as well as out of school are person under our Constitution," and they do not shed their Constitutional rights of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate
Lemon Test 1. Must be Secular legislative purpose. 2. Its principle or primary effect must be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion. 3. Must not foster "an excessive government entanglement with religion.
Created by: glcrawford on 2006-04-25



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