Legal Issues that will Impact Principals

Here is a summary of the session on Legal Issues that will Impact Principals, presented by Dr. Robert S. McCord.

During the session on Legal Issues that Will Impact Principals, Dr. Robert S. McCord touched on several major issues that are working their way through the courts. Here is a summary of some of the major points he discussed:

  • High stakes assessment
  • What will be litigated
  • Has my teaching job changed will be a major factor in the courts. This could be the foundation for some major litigation regarding high stakes testing and teacher evaluation.
      • Are test results valid?
    • One significant case now being litigated is Cook vs. Bennett, refiled as Cook vs.Stewart in Florida. It deals with:
      • Are test scores being released under teacher names public records or personnel material?
      • Couild be released to public before teachers are informed.
    • Teacher tenure rules are also being challenged in California courts
      • Based on student access to high quality education
    • Trigger Laws
      • Do triggers really give parents a choice?
      • Do they resegregrate schools?
      • Do poor students get short changed due to lack of quality teaching
  • Intlectual property
    • More creativity by teachers in creating resoources creates question of who owns the property.
    • Publishers who are seeing declining sales are watching for copyright infringements.
    • Teachers using coopyrighted material in creating other resources.
    • Tort claims will increase as well.
  • Student Discipline
    • What is the meaning of duty? Conversatin to have with teachers and staff
    • Have a discussion with admin team about discipline each year. Bring in the district lawyer to discuss issues and provide guidance.
    • Bullying and Harassment
      • Does it alter the studdents access to free and appropriate education, especially for special education students?
      • Teachers bulllying students by actions in the classroom. Think about teachers wh use “forceful” tone or language.
    • Zero tolerance issues will continue to be litigated, based mostly on poor judgment by administrators and teachers.
  • Counselors role
    • Liability claims on mis-advising student athletes in course work needed for NCAA compliance.
    • Failure to inform students of the financial liability for debt from student loans.
  • First Amendment and School authority
    • Disciplining a student for off campus behaviors
      • Yes, if there is an identifiable threat of violence that meets the requirements of Tinker.
      • Tinker did not address off campus behavior, which could make it vulnerable.
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About drellena

Principal of Tomahawk Creek Middle School in Chesterfield County, Virginia. President of the Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals.
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