Public schools are the only place in society in which students from diverse facets of our community come together. That diversity is a strength while it also creates unique challenges related to school law and culture. This course is designed to help classroom teachers develop a sophisticated understanding of school law and its intersection with school culture. The focus will be on how school law impacts the classroom, school offices, and larger school community. This highly interactive course will examine freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the school press, searches and seizures, compliance for special education, civil rights, and other civil liberties. There will be inclusion of the ways in which school law and policies can reduce bullying and aggressive behavior in schools.
Graduate students will study the history, law and policies, and school culture through class discussion, moot court activities, case studies, inquiry-based learning, primary source analysis, and scholarly research. We will examine school law as it applies to students, families, and educators. This course will require that students apply critical inquiry into school law. Case studies and practical application of program specifications will be utilized in the study of this course.