SCHOOL of LAW

 

Choose three potential areas of concern and research the legal issues and case law that relates to each one.

• Develop detailed policies and procedures for the student’s school that will address these issues

Write a 5-8 page mid-term paper that integrates the following components:

1) Identification of three areas of concern 2) A comprehensive discussion of the related case law 3) A detailed explanation of the policies and procedures the student, in his/ her role as a school leader would enact to deal with the issues 4) A reference page containing a minimum of 6 references 5) A copy of the student’s tort walk checklist.

Note: The 5-8 pages of the mid-term paper is the body of the paper. The cover page, reference page, and tort walk checklist do not count toward the required length of the paper.

WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT CRITERIA: Written assignments for this course must be word-processed and formatted using APA guidelines [see Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (most current edition]. Be sure to use a 12 point font and to double-space the text per APA formatting guidelines. All assignments and course activities, including individual and group activities, will be evaluated relative to proper sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, and appearance.

 

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Introduction

School laws in the state of Florida, United States of America are constantly violated on a day to day basis. The school administrators and law enforcers must however, put a keen eye against the various violations to enhance an ample learning of the students (Department of education, 2009). This should fundamentally encompass the following areas of concern: during recess for the students, before students report to school and after students report to school. The school laws define the codes and conducts expected of the students, their parents, administrators, and the community and government statutes operating in and out of school. The above mentioned areas of concern will be critically evaluated, their legal issues and case laws and detailed analysis of policies and procedures required by the school to address.

  1. 1.      RECESS

Legal issues

The students presently receive a recess of 60 minutes in a week. Florida mandates at least 150 minutes of physical education per week. This stipulates to an average of 30 minutes per day in the grades K-5, nevertheless, this is not on daily basis. The National Association for sport and physical education (NASPE) issued its principles for pre-adolescents children in 1998 in relation to recess for school going students. The guidelines stipulate that:

  • At least 60 minutes is required of children for their development in a suitable physical activity.
  • Different activities of numerous heights of intensity must be experienced by the children. The activities must range from intermittent, sporadic modest to dynamic with short moments for break and recuperation.
  • Children should not be subjected to extensive moments of indolence as they are not suitable for development of children (Pellegrini et al., 2000)

These policies are on the foundation that children posses exceptional traits which vary from the grown-ups, inclusive of short-lived concentration period and a desire for a broader diversity of skills for learning. If not given the chance to be active, children may adapt the adults’ inactive style which might lead to risks in health such as obesity (Dirk, 2000).

Case law and policy commendation for the school

Bossenmeyer, (2010) reiterate that, the law requires children be observed during recess to avoid injuries and death as a result of inadequate reasonable care. The supervisors have must give the highest duty of care to children to avert inappropriate risk of injury. The playground must have adequate space which is properly installed to avoid overcrowding and promote safety of children. Nonetheless, failure to monitor a student at the precise moment of the damage may not always make up carelessness. Somewhat, if a student’s conduct was neither risky nor abnormal, the supervisor will not be required to pay a focus to a definite child. This is common where the students are many. As illustrated in the case Norman v. Turkey Run Community School corp., 411 N.E. 2d 614 (Ind. 1980), the claimant, age 7, was running and collided head on collision with a 6 year old in a morning recess and bumped his head. The defendant’s teacher had not been directed either in writing or verbally to prevent children from running in the playground in a supervised recess. On the material day seven or eight teachers were on the look out in the recess which was in excess of the quantity of overseers needed for the 188 students on the school yard. Two teachers were standing in close propinquity at the time of the incidence, looked up but were not capable to give a warning to the claimant. It was held by the trial court that the collision was immediate in favor of the teachers. The court of appeal, nevertheless, found that there was enough proof to conclude inattentiveness of the teachers in observing the precarious situation.

The Supreme Court upended the decisions claiming that individuals delegated with children whose behaviors make it possible that they may engage in an awkward activity have a legal duty to oversee their responsibilities. The Supreme Court also conceded that the authority of the school have a legal duty to exercise appropriate care and supervision for the children’s safety under their management. The court also observed that normal circumstances prevail such as running and playing tag for young children, hence there was no reason for the court to doubt presence of inappropriate risk of injury.

The school must therefore address the issue supervised recess periods which are recognized as a customary practice for basic school children. The school must therefore establish practical supervision, safe play and intervention to stop or avert risky play. Duty of care in supervision of children during play may highly reduce the number of injuries and potential liability (Pellegrini, Anthony & Davis, 2000).

  1. 2.      BEFORE SCHOOL

Legal issues

Students arrive in school prior to any adult supervision which is a violation of Florida Statute 1003.31(2). The statute stipulates that schools are not supposed to offer supervision more than 30 minutes proceeding to the official starting time for the school. Neither are they mandated to provide care for more than 30 minutes after the official closing time of the school. The modification was reinforced by the Broward County Public Schools 2007-2008 Student code of conduct.

The student is subject to the supervision of the school when:

  • He or she is being ferried to or from school by a driver designated by the principal or school administration.
  • He or she is in school attending to classes or school activity.
  • During a time reasonable prior to or after the his or her presence only on the school’s premises attending to authorized school sponsored activity (Broward County Public Schools 2007-2008 )

Nonetheless, the State board of Education or the board for the district school might subject each student by rules to the supervision of the principal or teacher in control of the school at that time in school or is imagined by law to be present in school. The code stipulate that school bus drivers, teachers in charge or principals to remove any student behaving insubordinately, discourteously, aggressively, indecently and unruly from the school bus or classroom. And if appropriate should place the student in a conventional educational background (Broward County Public Schools 2007-2008).

The term reasonable, imply 30 minutes earlier than or later than the activity is scheduled or begins or ends. There is nothing that can prevent a district school board from exercising their right to eject or impose disciplinary measures against a student found to have stanch an offense on school premise at any moment if:

  • The learner is established to have done a violent act which would be a criminal act if done by an adult
  • The learner has been established to be on the wrong side of the law of a criminal act.

Case laws and policy commendation to the school

As illustrated in the Board of education of Rogers, Arkansas, et al. V McCluskey, by his next Friend, McCluskey in 1982 . The respondent, a student in grade 10 in the Rogers, Ark, District school was absent from school on October 21, 1980, after the first session without authorization. Him, with other four students took alcohol and became inebriated. On returning to school later that day to head for a band trip he was told that he had received suspension from school. The parents were informed the following day that their son had been suspended from school. A hearing was programmed for October 29 before the Rogers School Board. During the hearing, all the five students accepted that they had been drinking and the board made a decision to expel them for the rest of the semester (Florida Statute 1003.31(2).

The defendant instantly wanted injunctive liberation under 42 U. S. C 1983 (1976 ed., Supp.IV) of which the proceedings were heard by the United States District court for the Western District of Arkansas on December 4. It was held by the district Court that, the school board had violated defendant’s right to appropriate due procedure and ordered granting of credit to the defendant for the semester for the period suspended and all allegations be erased from the school records.

The district Court’s action was found on its elucidation of the school Board’s rules and conclusion in regard to the rules the board invoked in suspending the defendant. The court ruled that the board had acted under rule 11 which stipulates compulsory suspension when it applies. The court gave reasons that rule 11 applied for other narcotics and not alcohol, which is not classified as a drug. It was held that the board violated the entire process of suspending the defendant under obligatory terms in rule 11 while they had the prudence to suspend him under rule 10. The court of appeal affirmed the district court’s ruling holding that alcohol was not classified as a drug hence the defendant could not be suspended under rule 11. The school should therefore; make improvements to its rules and regulations so as to eradicate any doubts when carrying out its disciplinary measures if students are found intoxicated on school premises.

  1. 3.      AFTER SCHOOL

Legal issues

The government regulation directs that bullying is an individual’s or group’s behaviors which reoccur regularly that purposefully harm another person or groups of persons either physically or emotionally. It is directed by the authority that schools must have policies in connection with anti-bullying which gives ways of dealing with bullying in schools. This may comprise of discrimination, maltreatment of pupils with disabilities, sexual harassment, cyber bullying among other forms. The laws stipulates that, the school should discipline students who bully whether within or outside school premises. Serious bullying for over age of ten could be prosecuted for criminal offence. If the bullying can not be dealt with the school, it may be probable to take legal action against the school and local education authority for breach of duty to care.

Case laws and policy commendation for the schools

Bullying in and out of school can be seriously be dealt with in courts. For instance, on 5th May 2003 a 17 year old Jenny Soutar, who attended Blairgowrie High school in Perthshire, got a court order to avert some group of bullies from giving her threats. She been under the mercies of the bullies for a period of eight months and the indication that the school and the local education authorities were doing little concerning her bullies. She therefore sought a legal action against the bullying. The breach of such interdiction against the bullies can be brutal as the penalties are very costly.

Similarly, on 20th September, 1999 in Carnell v North Yorkshire County Council the respondents were fined £6 000 by the court in connection to bullying a pupil at Harrogate Grammar school. From this case, it was directed that schools should have mandatory anti-bullying policies to protect the rights of the minority.

On the hand, in Sharp v London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames 1996 a settlement out of court of £ 30 000 was awarded to a 20 year old Sebastian Sharp in respect to a four year bullying, while at Shene School, Richmond, London. Sharp alleged of being constantly kicked, punched and insulted by other students who apparently would tie him with a string since the time he was only 11. The School wanted to challenge the ruling vigorously but their insurance firm desired to avoid the expenses and time wastage (Florida Statute 1003.31(2).

Policy commendation for schools

Bullying after school, should seriously be dealt with by all stakeholders. These include the parents, local education authority, and school administrators. Every school principal must have a prevention contact to serve the present teams that deal with any acts of brutality and safety in school. The team must constitute of members of staff from the school administration and guidance and counseling. The team should be given training in prevention of bullying, and should help in distribution of methods of prevention, intervention programs and curriculum in relation to bullying and other issues that may seriously affect the school (Board of Broward County Policy 5.9, FL 1006.147  2010/2011).

Moreover, the school must maintain the highest level of confidentiality on any complaints or reports of bullying and harassment. Effective procedures in investigation must follow suit immediately to ascertain the causes and the culprits involved in the act. All complaints should be documented in writing by the principal or the person in charge. Resolution to the bullying can be made informally between the bullies and the victims by the school administrators, or where it involves the administrators, the conflict can be dealt with by the relevant authorities. In cases of informal resolution, interviews with the victims and alleged perpetrators must be documented in a suitable data system (Board of Broward County Policy 5.9, FL 1006.147, 2010/2011).

On top, the school authorities must incorporate the parents and support service professionals, to present avenues of encouraging parents, to participate in intervention programs with their children. This will help to take in hand relevant academic, health and social wants of their children. This may involve training the parents on violence intervention initiatives that will equip the parents with resources and referrals to society based resources (Board of Broward County Policy 5.9, FL 1006.147, 2010-11).

 

References

Board of Broward County Policy 5.9, FL 1006.147 (2010/2011), Anti-Bullying policy, Broward

County Public Schools

Broward County Public Schools 2007-2008 Student Code of Conduct

Department of education, 2009, Education Facts Sheets 2009, Florida House of Representatives

Florida Statute 1003.31(2)

Johnson, Dirk. (1998, April 7). Many schools putting an end to child’s play New York Times, p

A1, A16

Melinda Bossenmeyer, 2010, Playground liability: Accident or injury, Peaceful playgrounds

NASPE releases first ever physical activity guidelines for pre-adolescent children.

http://www.aahperd.org/naspe/

Pellegrini, Anthony, & Davis, P. (2000). Relations between children’s playground and classroom

behavior, British Journal of Educational Psychology, 63, 88-95
Pellegrini, Anthony, & Glickman, Carl (2000), The educational role of recess. Principal, 68(5),

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