This survey course focuses on legal issues that arise in public and private elementary and secondary schools. Topics include compulsory education; governmental regulation of public and private schools; charter schools; church-state issues (ritual, prayer, vouchers, curriculum and religious expression in public schools); the free speech rights of students, teachers, and administrators; limits on majoritarian control of the public-school curriculum; the schools' authority to make and enforce rules governing student and staff conduct, on and off school grounds; the legal duty to protect the safety of students and others; child abuse; search and seizure; and due process.
This course is also offered through Teachers College as ORLA 4086, and the class will include education, public policy, social-work, and journalism students along with CLS students. The course is different from many CLS courses in that it explores not just the law but also multidisciplinary perspectives grounded in policy, social-science research, theory, and education practice. It is therefore best suited to students who wish to take an interdisciplinary approach to the subject matter.