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Week 2: Teachers and the Law

Week 2: Teachers and the Law

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Week 2: Teachers and the Law

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  1. EDU315 University of Phoenix George J. Barnes M.Ed

    Week 2: Teachers and the Law

  2. Legal Considerations All the law abiding issues such as theft, murder, rape, speeding, public intoxication, etc.. Every law that would cause legal representation is a dangerous place for your employers. Mug shot=bad move Code of ethics or conduct designed to create teachers who share the same values of school, district, and community Each school has an image and each school may have a difference in their expectation based on their culture set Private vs. Public, higher socioeconomic vs. lower, etc usually is the difference between higher and lower expectations for the code of ethics, educators, and students. Review from Week 1
  3. Distinguish between inappropriate and appropriate interaction with students. Recognize appropriate forms of interactions with parents and community. Continue from past week’s lesson. Objectives
  4. Teachers Students Rights as a citizen, but some liberties are removed as an employee of the district and/or government . Responsible to help facilitate learning of the overt curriculum and the adjacent curriculum of developing a citizen of good character in a democratic system. Responsible for the overall well being of a student with board and professional boundaries. Rights as a citizen, but some liberties are removed based on the betterment of the culture of the building. Responsible for their own interactions as a person and for their choices made involving curriculum and based on the school board policies. Rights and Responsibilities
  5. Yes, you still have rights that are given by the Constitution. Yes, there are limitations. Yes, you can lose your job and credentials if you do not perform “your” duties as an educator The Rights of an Educator
  6. Until the middle of the 20th century, the Bill of Rights was rarely referred to when teachers or students challenged the constitutionality of school rules. 1969-Tinker vs Des Moines ruled that neither teachers nor students lose their constitutional rights to freedom of expression when they enter the public schools. Freedom of Expression
  7. Educators are citizens protected by the First Amendment and further protected by the Fourteenth. There are limitations to what can be said, when, to whom and why. You may speak about your district, school, superiors, co-workers as long as the statements are not viciously false. The Educators’ Rights to Speak
  8. The need for harmony in schools Whether the criticism injured the working relationships The time, manner, place, and context of the speech The degree of public interest involved The effect of the speech on the teacher’s ability to work effectively Whether the matter is an issue of public concern or of any political matter, social, or other concern to the community Balancing Test of the Educator’s Expression
  9. The 1st Amendment protects teachers’ rights to participate in political activity as citizens in the community. Teachers may put political stickers on their cars that are parked and probably wear buttons. Educators cannot persuade students to adopt their personal political views School policies can prohibit the activity during school hours Political Speech
  10. Same as politics Establishment Clause was intended to prohibit the federal government from declaring and financially supporting a national religion such as other nations from which our forefathers traveled. Free Exercise Clause included the protecting religious beliefs of citizens, but not the religious practices that run counter to neutrally enforced criminal laws Religious Freedoms
  11. Trials that led to precedents = Pickering v. Board of Education, Bowman v. Pulaski County Special School District, Tinker v. Des Moines Check your board policy on expression Check the balancing test for your expressions Your job is not the time or place to sway students (future citizens) to think as you do. Be professional about your comments and choose timing wisely. Educator Freedoms Review
  12. Yes, they still have rights that are given by the Constitution. Yes, there are limitations. Yes students can be disciplined for their actions. The Rights of a Student
  13. Tinker v Des Moines 1965 during the era of the Vietnam War a group of students led a silent protest by wearing black arm bands during the school day. The schools quickly developed a policy against the wearing of the armbands, students wore the bands, and were suspended Freedom of Expression
  14. “Student nor teachers shed their constitutional rights to the freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” “..any spoken word spoken in class, in the lunchroom or on the campus that deviates from the views of another person may start an argument or cause a disturbance. But our Constitution says we must take this risk…” School officials cannot prohibit opinion merely to “avoid the discomfort and unpleasantness that always accompany an unpopular viewpoint”. Results from Tinker
  15. Good Bad Not a distraction to education purpose of school or class No malicious attempt towards any person or structure Can disagree with others or cause discomfort based on difference on opinion from school or otherwise Solid evidence of disruption or possible disruption of school purpose Malicious attempt towards other such as assault or defamation. Goes directly against school policy Good Expression vs Bad Expression
  16. Bethel v. Fraser-Lewd speech with gestures and entendres Cohen v. California-Student wears a jacket that states, “F—k the draft” When Expression Goes Wrong
  17. Tinker states conduct from a student that, “materially disrupts class work or involves substantial disorder or invasion of the rights of others is, of course, not immunized by the Constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech.” Schools have the responsibility to guide the ethics and morals of students as well as education students through curriculum. The Students’ Limitations and Schools’ responsibilities
  18. Can Can’t Openly speak out against school policy . Wear shirts that promote a cause. Write an underground newspaper and handout in school (Hazelwood case). Can refuse to stand during the pledge of allegiance. Openly speak out against school policy using lies and attacking staff. Wear shirts that promote a cause while using inappropriate language. Write an underground newspaper that attacks any individual personally (Hazelwood case). Refuse to stand for pledge AND cause a disturbance. Examples of Cans and Can’ts of Student Expression
  19. The practice of en loco parentis carries a large responsibility. As educators we must provide spaces for not only learning the academically offered materials, but also sound citizens. Safety of all students within the schools’ walls and, in many cases’ outside the school building needs to be a priority to all who work for schools. Safety includes, from outside school individuals, staff (including ourselves), other students, the student themselves, transportation, and school buildings. Educators’ Responsibilities
  20. Historically, the courts have ruled that districts and school board members acting in good faith within their prescribed authority could not be liable for injuries to students or teachers that were a result of errors of judgment. School board members have been liable as individuals when they exceeded their authority and teachers have always been liable to others caused by their own negligence. Liability and Negligence
  21. Under the common law, teachers have a mandatory duty to supervise students under their control. The balancing test for liability includes: The teacher had a duty to be careful not to injure the student and to protect the student from being injured The teacher failed to use due care The teacher’s carelessness caused the injury The student sustained provable damages Student Injuries
  22. Nasty word Fails to exercise reasonable care to protect his or her students from injury. The Sheehan Case “It is the duty of the school to use ordinary care to protect students from injury resulting from the conduct of other students under circumstances where such conduct would reasonably have been foreseen and could have been prevented by the use of ordinary care” Negligence
  23. “The mere presence of the hand of the authority normally is effective to curb this youthful exuberance and to protect the children against their own folly.” [Educators] have a duty to exercise reasonable care not to injure their students and to prevent them from being injured. Negligence (cont.)
  24. Three groups are susceptible to liability to the event of negligence: The program leadership personnel (i.e. teachers, coaches, etc.) Administrative or supervisory level personnel such as principal, department heads, superintendents The corporate entity such as the school district More Negligence
  25. The ramifications for liability extends up the ladder of responsibility as long as the injured person can prove negligence. Responsibility for administration includes: Employ competent personnel and fails to discharge employees found to be unfit Provide supervision or a supervisory plan Direct services in the appropriate manner Establish and enforce safety rules and regulations Correct dangerous conditions and defective conditions Finger pointing
  26. Do not leave your classroom Perform your duties Post your classroom/lab rules in a conspicuous place Post drills (fire, lockdown, tornado etc.) in a conspicuous place Provide appropriate instruction and document in you lesson plan when this occurs Keep proper records Keep private information private Follow school discipline codes-don’t create your own Maintain your classroom Avoid “touch” situations Proactive Approach to Avoid Negligence
  27. Protecting student from themselves Any conversation overheard or directed to you as the professional that could lead to a student’s personal injury or demise should be reported to parent, counselor, and department chair or assistant principal Yes you are liable Other possible areas of danger
  28. The student is under our care from their doorstop until they return. Observe the environment while coming into school or leaving. Some schools have neighborhood duty Your presence may mean everything Other possible areas of danger
  29. With rights come responsibilities Use professionalism if there is a conflict with your morals and the school. Use your rights appropriately. Students have rights, but they also have a responsibility to use them appropriately. Redirect them as desired by you school board policy and your values. The Truth from the Book of Opinions of George
  30. The students are your job. Protect them from danger…as much danger as possible. Be proactive and plan as much as possible. Build a professional relationship with your students and their family. The Truth from the Book of Opinions of George (cont.)
  31. Continue reading the material for the week Participate in the discussion questions for the week Be sure to review all of the forums and perform all of the needed assignments Have fun and teach! Keep it going!