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About This Course

This course focuses on the laws that govern America’s public school system and home schooling, including student rights regarding discipline, suspension, personal grooming, testing and grading, and drug testing. Topics such as segregation, integration, dress codes and drug testing are essential not only for paralegals seeking full or part-time law office employment, but also for teachers, school counselors, and administrators working in the American education system.

Course Objectives:

Participants will demonstrate the following skills through successful completion of all required coursework and assignments:

  • Explain the relationship between the U.S. Constitution and education law
  • Identify the standards involved in establishing attendance requirements in public schools
  • Discuss home schooling and certification of home school teachers
  • Examine how the Supreme Court has resolved conflicts regarding schools and religious beliefs
  • Discuss the development of curriculum and education
  • Explain the concepts of academic freedom and school control over expression of ideas
  • Discuss the meaning of due process of law
  • Explain the difference between substantive and procedural due process
  • Discuss the concept of freedom of expression
  • Explain what is meant by First Amendment protection of freedom of religion
  • Describe the concept of separation of church and state
  • Identify the scope of Fourth Amendment protections
  • Explain the exclusionary rule
  • Examine the concept of “in loco parentis” as it applies to student discipline
  • Discuss the history of segregation and racial integration in public schools
  • Identify the provisions of laws that have been passed to help disabled students
  • Explain the concept of civil liability as it applies to school boards, cities and states
  • Differentiate intentional torts and negligence
  • Identify the four elements of negligence
  • Summarize the defenses to negligence
  • Explain how the law protects a student’s privacy
  • Discuss the need for and requirements of student evaluations
  • Examine the concept of equal protection as it applies to placing students in groups
  • Explain the requirements for teachers as employees
  • Discuss the disciplinary standards for teachers and due process concerns
  • Explain the concept of tenure
  • Explain the constitutional rights afforded by the First Amendment and limitations for teachers
  • Examine policy restrictions and enforcement related to personal appearance of teachers
  • Explain the concept of property rights as it pertains to tenure.
  • Summarize U.S. Employment Discrimination legislation

Expectations

This is an accelerated course. You will be expected to spend an average of about 8 hours per week reading and completing assignments. Please note that extensions will not be granted for this online course. This course is the equivalent of 45 clock hours of study. 70% is the minimum passing score on all tests and assignments for this course.

Course Books

Required textbooks for this course:

  • The Law of Schools, Students and Teachers, Alexander and Alexander, most recent edition, Nutshell Series, and may be purchased from The Center for Legal Studies Online Store.

Highly Recommended Legal Resources:

  • Oran’s Dictionary of the Law, 4th Edition, by Daniel Oran. Clifton Park: Delmar Cengage Learning

For more information, call The Center for Legal Studies at 800-522-7737, or visit our Online Store to order.

Reading Assignments for Lesson Topics:

Lesson One: Attendance in Public School and Home Schooling, Religious Conflicts, and the Instructional Program

  • Read Chapters 1 & 2 in The Law of Schools, Students and Teachers (Nutshell)

Lesson Two: Due Process of Law, Freedom of Expression, Religion in Public Schools, and Student Publications

  • Read Chapters 3-6 in Nutshell

Lesson Three: Unconstitutional Searches, Student Discipline, Racial Integration and Segregation, and Disabled Students

  • Read Chapters 7-10 in Nutshell

Lesson Four: Civil Liability, Intentional Torts, Negligence, and Student Privacy

  • Read Chapters 11-13 in Nutshell

Lesson Five: Student Evaluations, Equal Protections of the Law, and Teacher Employment

  • Read Chapters 14 & 15 in Nutshell

Lesson Six: Teachers and the First Amendment, Personal Appearance, Freedom of Religion, Teacher Dismissal, and Discrimination in the Schools

  • Read Chapters 16-18 in Nutshell

Writing Assignments:

For each lesson you will submit a 50-point short answer/essay assignment covering the topics in that lesson’s reading.

Exams:

You will complete two exams. Each is worth 100 points. The Midterm exam is to be submitted with your Lesson Three Assignments; the Final exam is to be submitted with your Lesson Six Assignments.

Bulletin Board Assignments:

You will also post your responses to six class participation assignments. These assignments are 10 points each and referred to as Bulletin Board Submissions.

All lesson objectives, assignments, and tests can be found in the Lesson Materials.

Grading

Your grade will be based on your completion of six writing assignment assignments, two exams, and class participation/Bulletin Board Submissions. The exams and writing assignments can be accessed from within the lesson material, or by selecting ‘Assignments’ under Activities on the Left Hand Block. You will have the opportunity to engage in “class participation” by using the Bulletin Board tool to respond to the bulletin board assignments throughout the course. Also, participating in the bulletin board assignments will enhance your understanding of the reading material.

Your final grade will be figured as follows:

  • The six writing assignments comprise 30% of your grade.
  • The two exams comprise 50% of your grade.
  • Your participation in class participation assignments comprises 20% of your grade.

Withdrawal Policy

Students may drop the course with a full tuition refund less a non-refundable $15 administrative fee if written notice is sent to The Center for Legal Studies by email at [email protected] by the Wednesday before class begins. Students may drop the course with a 50% tuition refund if written notice is sent to The Center for Legal Studies by email at [email protected] anytime from the Thursday before the course begins until the first Thursday of class. After the first Thursday of class, no refunds will be issued.