ERIC Number: ED355647
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992
Reference Count: N/A
The Principal and the Law. Elementary Principal Series No. 7.
Doverspike, David E.; Cone, W. Henry
Developments over the past 25 years in school-related legal issues in elementary schools have significantly changed the principal's role. In 1975, a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court established three due-process guidelines for short-term suspension. The decision requires student notification of charges, explanation of evidence, and an informal hearing. Principals should create a written discipline code incorporating these elements and any applicable state laws. In the area of corporal punishment, the Supreme Court has examined both constitutional issues--cruel and unusual punishment--and due process, and tort law. And while corporal punishment is constitutionally permitted with certain restrictions, even following applicable laws and guidelines does not eliminate the possibility of litigation arising from its use. Negligence torts and intentional torts are the two most common forms of tort liability experienced by principals. Safeguards against such tort cases can include effective supervision of school activities, inservice sessions on supervision for teachers, supervisory staff monitoring, and routine safety checks of equipment and facilities. Principals should also be concerned about legal issues in a relatively new area, special education. The changing characteristics of the family also present legal problems in the areas of student records and custody issues. (Contains 13 references.) (JPT)
Descriptors: Administrator Guides, Corporal Punishment, Discipline, Elementary Education, Elementary School Students, Legal Responsibility, Principals, School Law, Special Education, Student Rights, Torts
Phi Delta Kappa, P.O. Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402-0789.
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation, Bloomington, IN.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Education for All Handicapped Children Act; Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act 1974; Goss v Lopez