NSBA Legal Clips
Archived entries for Student Rights & Discipline

California school board approves plan to use drug sniffing dogs for on-campus searches

The Pleasanton school board has approved a plan to allow drug detection dogs to do scent searches of student and teacher parking lots and gym lockers, reports the San Ramon Express, although the board held off giving final approval until it finalizes its policy to address the issue.

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Iowa principal victim of fake Twitter account that posted anti-Semitic tweets

According to an Associated Press (AP) report in the Newton Daily News, Des Moines Valley High School Principal Jim Mollison was the victim of a fake Twitter account that posted several anti-Semitic tweets.

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Federal appellate court rules female basketball players’ Title IX disparity claims may go forward

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled unanimously that two female basketball players have presented sufficient evidence for trial on their Title IX claim of denial of equal athletic opportunity against several Indiana school districts based on disparity in scheduling boys’ and girls’ basketball games. The panel also found that the school districts were not entitled to Eleventh Amendment sovereign immunity from the players’ equal protection claim based on the scheduling disparity.

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Federal district court rules Missouri high school drug sweep using dogs did not violate students’ Fourth Amendment rights

A federal district court in Missouri has granted a school district’s and two school administrators’ motion for summary judgment in a suit brought by the parents of two high school students claiming that a drug sweep of the high school by local law enforcement at the behest of the school district constituted a unreasonable search and seizure in violation of the students’ Fourth Amendment rights.

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California court allows students’ claims against state to proceed; local districts need not be defendants in suit alleging imposition of unconstitutional student fees

The Los Angeles Superior Court has denied the state of California’s motion to dismiss claims brought by a group of students that the state has failed to perform its constitutional duty to prevent local school districts from imposing unconstitutional student fees for courses for academic credit. However, it granted the state’s motion to dismiss the students’ claims that state was directly liable for imposition of those unconstitutional fees under the state education code.

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School discipline reformers in Colorado seek to eliminate “zero tolerance” rules

According to the Denver Post, school discipline reform has gained traction, as several organizations have mobilized efforts to dismantle what they call the “school-to-prison pipeline.” They claim policies needlessly shunt misbehaving students into the criminal justice system and disproportionately affect minorities. Meanwhile, schools fret over liability and program mandates, while youth and family advocates worry that gutting effective new approaches could render any changes pointless.

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Federal appellate court rules school officials, board members entitled to qualified immunity from equal protection claim in peer racial harassment suit

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in a 2-1 split, has ruled that individual school administrators and school board members are entitled to qualified immunity from a suit brought by a group of African-American students’ parents alleging that the defendants violated the students’ equal protection rights by acting with deliberate indifference to student-on-student racial harassment.

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New Hampshire Supreme Court rules search of student based on his leaving assigned area of school grounds was unreasonable

The Supreme Court of New Hampshire has ruled that a search of student by school officials based on their observation that the student left an assigned area of school grounds was not justified from its inception and, therefore, unreasonable under the state constitution.

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Proposed Florida legislation would allow secondary school students to conduct prayer sesions at school events

A bill, SB 98, has been introduced in the Florida Senate, reports the Sunshine State News, that would allow public secondary school students to run their own prayer sessions at organized events. SB 98 would permit school districts to adopt resolutions that let students use inspirational messages, without backing or influence from the district or district employees, at school-sanctioned exercises or assemblies.

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Religious group suing Arizona district over policy banning distribution of religious materials

Child Evangelism Fellowship of Arizona (CEF-AZ) has filed suit against Dysart Unified School District (DUSD) in federal court over the school district’s policy that bans the distribution of flyers with a religious message, says the Phoenix New Times. CEF-AZ’s legal complaint alleges that while DUSD allows other community groups to pass out flyers to students, it unconstitutionally discriminates against religious groups.

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