Introduction to Education, Chapter 7, Caprice Paduano


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Introduction to Education, Chapter 7, Caprice Paduano

  1. 1. Caprice Paduano Chapter 7Ethical and Legal Issues in U.S. Education 7-1
  2. 2. 1. Why do you need to know about education and the law?2. Why do you need a professional code of ethics?3. What are your legal rights as a teacher?4. Do student teachers have the same rights as teachers?5. What are your legal responsibilities as a teacher?6. What are the legal rights of students and parents?7. What are some issues in the legal rights of school districts? 7-2
  3. 3. Without knowledge of legal dimensions teacherswill be ill-equipped to protect their rights andrights of their students 7-3
  4. 4. Code of Ethics“The educator accepts the responsibility to adhere tothe highest ethical standards” (NEA)Ethical Teaching Attitudes and Practices Acting in a way that promotes the learning and growth of students and helps them realize their potentialEthical Dilemmas in the Classroom and School Characteristics of “good” ethical decisions Decision is supported by evidence Goal of decision is what should be aimed for Decision can be implemented morally Decision has been legitimately achieved 7-4
  5. 5. Due Process step-by-step examination of the charges brought against a teacherCertification Teachers who meet all of state’s requirements for certification can not arbitrarily be denied a certificate Obtaining certificate does not mean it can not be revoked Reasons for revoking certificates must be job related and demonstrably impair the teacher’s ability to perform satisfactorily 7-5
  6. 6. Teacher’s Rights to Nondiscrimination Nondiscrimination – Employment protected by Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964 Employers may not discriminate against an individual because of race, color, religion, sex or national origin nor may employees be separated by the above criteria 7-6
  7. 7. Teaching Contracts a legal agreement between teacher and a board of education 5 basic elements for validity Offer and Acceptance Competent Parties Consideration Legal Subject Matter Proper Form Some assignments not specified in contract may be required of teacher as long as there is a reasonable relationship between classroom duties and assignment 7-7
  8. 8. Due Process in Tenure and Dismissal Tenure – policy that provides the teacher with job security by preventing dismissal on insufficient grounds and providing for due process in the event of dismissal Tenure usually granted after 2 – 5 years of teaching Tenure does not transfer from district to district 7-8
  9. 9. Reasons fordismissal Causing or encouraging Insubordination disruption Incompetence Engaging in illegal activities Neglect of duty Offensive Language Conduct unbecoming Personal Appearance Subversive activities Sex-related activities Decreased need for services Political Activities Physical and mental Use of Drugs health Age 7-9
  10. 10. Steps of Due Process1. Teacher must be notified of charges2. Adequate time must be given for rebuttal to charges3. Teacher must be given access to names of witnesses and evidence4. Hearing before impartial tribunal5. Teacher has right to legal counsel6. Teacher can introduce evidence and cross examine witnesses7. School board decision must be based on evidence8. Transcript must be maintained of the hearing9. Teacher has right to appeal 7-10
  11. 11. Teachers may join teacher organizations without fearof dismissalCollective Bargaining – laws that require schoolboards to negotiate contracts with teacherorganizationsGrievance – formal complaint by a teacher against anemployer 7-11
  12. 12. Academic Freedom teacher’s right to use teaching methods and materials to which school officials might object (must be balanced against interest of society) No longer a strong defense Teacher must show that he/she: Did not defy curriculum directives Followed professional norms Discussed matters of public concern Acted professionally and in good faith 7-12
  13. 13. Famous Cases Scope’s Monkey Trial - Most famous, teacher taught evolution and was fired, cited academic freedom, fined for violating Butler Act, later reversed on technicality Other cases involving instructional materials and topics have ruled both for and against teachers Schools and courts must establish curriculum suitable for all and not in violation of the constitution 7-13
  14. 14. States’ Rights and Academic Freedom Some teachers have been successful in citing academic freedom others have not. Teachers may be dismissed or suspended until use of inappropriate material or method is stopped. States have a legitimate interest in what is taught to impressionable children 7-14
  15. 15.  Currently, no state has provisions regarding the dismissal, assignment or denial of right to student teach. Potential for liability exists for student teachers (the same as other regular, full-time teachers). Student teacher should be cautious before assuming substitute teaching responsibilities 7-15
  16. 16.  Legal Advice for Student Teachers  Read the teacher handbook  Know safety rules and regulations  Be aware of hazards associated with activities and act to protect children accordingly  Be aware of controls and requirements placed on curriculum by district  Respect confidentiality and use student records to improve teaching  Document problems 7-16
  17. 17. Avoiding Tort LiabilityTort law – deals with negligent behavior thatresults in injury, intentional injuries, libel, slander,and injuries from defects in land or buildingsTort Liability – an individual who is negligent andat fault in exercise of duty, can be required to paymonetary damages to injured partyTeachers (especially shop, physical education andscience teachers) are held to higher standards due toincreased chance of injury 7-17
  18. 18. To be liable the following must be present:A legal dutyBreach of that dutyCausal connection between conduct and resultantinjuryActual loss or damage 7-18
  19. 19. Most cases involving tort liability are the result ofnegligence in one of the following forms•Inadequate supervision•Inadequate instruction•Lack of improper medical treatment•Improper disclosure of information (especiallydefamatory) 7-19
  20. 20.  Educational Malpractice – schools are negligent if pupil fails to achieve significantly Reporting Child Abuse  Teachers are required by law to report suspected child abuse.  Teachers should follow school process to report child abuse  Teachers need to follow 4th amendment to guard against unlawful search and seizures 7-20
  21. 21. Observing Copyright Laws  Fair Use Doctrine – copyrighted materials may be used in reasonable manner without the copyright holder’s consent as long as the use does not reduce the demand for the work or author’s income  Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) – it is illegal to circumvent copy blocking measures that control access to copyrighted works 7-21
  22. 22. Doctrine of Fair Use applies to the following materials • Photocopies • Videotapes • Computer Software • Email and InternetPublishing on the Internet • Teachers and students can be copyright protected by including statement that materials may not be duplicated without permission • Children’s last names and identifying information should not be published 7-22
  23. 23. Teachers and Online Social Networking • Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter • Postings may be seen by the public and school officials • Inappropriate postings and photos • Postings by others without knowledge or consent • Interactions with students  Policies and Legislation • “no friending” students district policies • Illegal to contact students on Facebook (Louisiana) 7-23
  24. 24. Freedom of Expression – Teachers and students donot have to give up freedom of expression when inschoolCensorship – Student publications areconstitutionally protected and should be regulated ifposing threat of disruption, libelous, vulgarity orobscenity  Schools may use prior censorship – requiring students to submit literature before publication Student Expression on Social Networking Sites  Laws/Policies are still evolving  Districts have no right to control student expression off campus unless it can lead to a disruption on campus 7-24
  25. 25. Dress Codes – Schools may have dress codes aslong as codes are clear and reasonable andstudents are notified•Schools must balance First Amendment’s rights ofstudents and legitimate right of school authoritiesto maintain a safe and disruption free environment 7-25
  26. 26. Due Process in Suspension and Expulsion•Students have a legal right to education and that rightshould only be removed through the application ofprocedural due processReasonable Search and Seizure•4th Amendment – citizens are protected from searchand seizure without a warrant•Court 2 prong test of “Reasonableness” • School official has reasonable suspicion student has violated a law or school policy • Search must be conducted using methods that are reasonable in scope 7-26
  27. 27. Guideline for Searches for Educators•Inform students and parents at beginning of yearabout the school’s procedure for conducting searches•Base searches on “reasonable suspicion”•Conduct search with another staff member present•Avoid strip searches or mass searches of groups•Require that police obtain a search warrant beforeconducting search of school 7-27
  28. 28. Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA) – gave parents and students the right toexamine their school records•Known as Buckley AmendmentSchools must do the following 1. Inform parents and students of their rights 2. Provide information to parents and students about types of educational records and how to obtain access to them 3. Allow parents or student right to view records and request changes or hearings and add their own explanation 4. Not give out personally identifiable information without prior written consent of parents or student 5. Allow parents and student to see the school’s record of disclosures•Exceptions • Teachers grade books and personal records • Private notes of school law enforcement officials 7-28
  29. 29. Peer grading and use of cameras in schools does not fall underprivacy protectionStudents Rights to NondiscriminationStudents who are pregnant, married, parents or have a non-infectious disease may not be discriminated against or requiredto attend alternative classrooms 7-29
  30. 30. Corporal Punishment•Supreme Court has upheld constitutionally of corporalpunishment•However many school districts have bannedSexual Harassment•School districts can be liable if harassment was foreseeableand preventable and they deliberately failed to interveneCyberbullying•Through social networking sites, text message, or email•Existing case law on free speech and sexual harassmentdoes not readily apply 7-30
  31. 31. Religious Expression  Lemon Test  Determined that governmental practices must do the following:  Have secular legislative purpose  Neither advance nor inhibit religion  Not foster excessive entanglement of religionGuidelines for religious activities in schools•Students may practice religion during non-instructional time•Teachers should not discriminate against students who express their religious beliefs•Schools have to grant parental requests to excuse students from class for religiousreasons•Teachers can not encourage or participate with students in religious activities but mayparticipate with other employees during lunch and free time 7-31
  32. 32. Home Schooling•Must demonstrate instruction is equivalent to thatoffered in public schools•Standardized testing required•Required to submit lesson plans, time oncurriculum and attendance logs•May be ineligible if test scores fall below 40thpercentile 7-32