ERIC Number: ED426464
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Jul
The Trouble with Academic Discipline.
Kaleva, Elizabeth A.
Inquiry & Analysis, Jul 1998
Educators and attorneys routinely struggle with the issue of mixing academic evaluation with student discipline, as this summary of litigation reveals. The text opens with a synopsis of academic sanctions for nonattendance and unexcused absences, advising school districts that any grade-reduction policy should have an educational purpose. The focus is on "Campbell v. Board of Education of New Milford," in which the court upheld a school district's authority to impose academic sanctions for nonattendance and unexcused absences. The court rejected the plaintiffs' argument that the attendance policy violated substantive due process requirements in that it infringed on the students' fundamental rights to public education. But school districts should note that the school's policy was for educational purposes, not for disciplinary ends. School districts using attendance polices that classify absences due to disciplinary suspension as unexcused and subjecting the student to loss of credit may not rely on the decision in "Campbell" as justification for the policy. Other courts have ruled that a school must be able to demonstrate a reasonable relationship between the student's misconduct and academic performance. Subsequently, school districts should be wary of imposing academic penalties for misbehavior unrelated to educational performance or evaluation. (RJM)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Constitutional Law, Court Litigation, Discipline, Discipline Policy, Elementary Secondary Education, Student Improvement
NSBA Council of School Attorneys, 1680 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 (by subscription: $80 for 6 issues).
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National School Boards Association, Alexandria, VA. Council of School Attorneys.