Legal and Liability Issues in Schools
Length of Seminar: 2
Instructor: John "Jack" Ryan and/or Brian S. Batterton
During this two-day seminar, attendees are provided in-depth details and analysis of up-to-date legal considerations that shape policies and practices in a school setting.
The event is held annually at the Western States Training Conference and is also available regionally by open-registration for private in-service training for your institution.
View the SR-TI Training page for current availability and training options.
Course Overview (Subject to change, based on current legal trends):
The Effect Of School Violence
On The Rights Of Students: This session will provide an overview
of the entire course as well as providing the background for the
shifting legal requirements that have resulted from high-profile
incidents of school violence.
Searches In Schools: (Weapons,
Contraband and Items Prohibited Under School Rules) The student shall
gain an understanding of the law relating to searches in and around
school property, including: Searching the Student’s Persons;
Searching a Students’ Belongings; Student Strip Searches; Searching
Lockers and Desks; Use of K-9 for Sniff Searches in the Schools; Parking
Lots and Student Vehicles; and School Events outside the School Day.
Teacher Versus Police Personnel
Searches: Attendees will gain an understanding of the distinction
in legal standards between those conducted by school teachers and
administrators as opposed to those conducted by the police.
The Use Of Video and Audio Surveillance
In The School Environment: This session will identify the
legal issues surrounding the use of video and audio surveillance
as it relates to school security. Participants will also gain an
understanding of the legal issues regarding privacy rights with respect
to covert surveillance.
Random Drug Testing For Students
Involved In Extra-Curricula Activities: Students will gain
an understanding of Constitutional rulings regarding drug testing
of students who participated in extra-curricula school activities.
Participants will review policies relating to this type of random
Interviewing and Interrogating
Students: Participants will gain a working knowledge of the
law relating to student interviews/interrogations in the school—disciplinary
The Use Of Physical Force To
Control and Punish Students: This session will examine the
current state of the law relating to the use of physical force, by
teachers and other school officials, to control and punish students.
Liability Issues For Teachers
and Other School Officials: Violations of Students’ Rights
for Unreasonable Searches and Seizures; Liability with respect to
the Use of Physical Force; The duty to protect from various types
of harm; participants shall gain an understanding of their legal
duties and obligations with respect to protecting students from abuse
at the hands of another student.
Mandatory Reporting Requirements: This
session will focus on the obligations of teachers and school officials
to report various crimes that they become aware of through contact
with students including: child abuse; sexual assaults; assaults and
drug related crimes.
First Amendment Rights Of Students: Participants
will gain an understanding of the First Amendment issues relating to
school activities and the most current state of the law impacting these
issues. The session will include discussion on: Student dress codes;
Regulating exotic body piercing in the school environment; Censoring
student newspapers and speech; Discipline based on student speech or
writing; and the current law on prayer in the public school setting.
Legal Issues Arising From Internet
Access For Students: With the increase in school access to
the internet, administrators and teachers must be familiar with the
legal issues regarding use and censorship of students’ use
of the internet. This session will outline the existing law as well
as policy considerations regarding internet usage by students.
Federal Education Rights and
Privacy Act (FERPA)/Buckley Amendment: Confidentiality rights
of students will respect to discipline and schoolwork. Liability
issues with respect to breaches of confidentiality. Mental Health
Evaluations Of Students: Students shall examine the law relating
to school-requested mental health evaluations of students.
Policy Development: This
session will focus on providing participants with a sound framework
for policy development for schools. Participants will gain knowledge
with respect to the essential resources that must be reviewed while