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Principals Teaching the Law

Principals Teaching the Law
10 Legal Lessons Your Teachers Must Know

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Leadership | Legal Issues | Principalship

216 pages | Corwin
A recent national survey revealed that most teachers have taken no courses in school law and expect their headteachers to advise them on the legal aspects of education. The survey also indicated that the majority are uninformed or misinformed about the rights of students and teachers.

Tackling the most common legal issues facing schools today, this book equips school leaders with a professional development curriculum for effectively training staff on education law and other critical topics that affect teachers' everyday work. Organized into 10 ready-made lessons, this resource includes:

- One-hour sessions on topics such as student discipline, special education, and freedom of expression

- Warm-up activities, objectives, a summary of legal principles, application activities, and assessments for each session

- Facilitation aids such as common questions and answers, timing recommendations, alternate activities, reproducible content, and recommended readings

- An online supplement with key terminology, a legal knowledge survey, and lesson plans

Principals Teaching the Law helps you provide your staff with the legal knowledge needed to avoid unnecessary lawsuits, understand teacher and student rights, and work within the boundaries of the law.

Foreword by Jon Manier
About the Authors
Introduction and Overview: How the Principal Can be the Chief Law Instructor: 10 Lesson Plans
1. Liability for Student Injuries: Protecting Your Students, Your Teachers, and Your School
2. Student Freedom of Expression
3. Special Education
4. Discipline: Student Due Process and Search and Seizure
5. Student Harassment and Bullying
6. Teacher Freedom of Expression
7. Teacher Lifestyle Choices and Out-of-School Conduct
8. Religion
9. Student Records: the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
10. Abuse and Neglect
Conclusion: The Principal as Chief Law Instructor: Living the Role
A. Conducting Legal Research
B. Constitutional Sources of Education Law
C. The Court System
D. Additional Resources


“This pioneering book breaks new ground in an area traditionally considered too complex by school staff."

Neil MacNeill, Principal
Ellenbrook Primary School, WA, Australia

"Principals are the key contacts for legal questions in their schools. Principals can use this book for professional development opportunities for staff, and school districts can use the book for training administrators.”

Darryl Williams, Principal
Montgomery Blair High School, Silver Spring, MD

"Principals Teaching the Law will really help school law professors, too.  The book offers great class activities, and is specifically designed to teach school law to teachers. I do hope that the principal associations recommend this book to their members. As a building principal for 18 years – this book covers the things you need to know as a principal and teacher."

Robert J. Safransky, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor
School Law and American Government, Fischler School of Education and Human Services, Nova Southeastern University, North Miami Beach, FL

“It is a fantastic book…easy to read, well-written, and easy to use.”

H. Jake Eberwein III, Superintendent
Pittsfield Public Schools, MA

“All educators have had or will have experience with the legal aspects of the profession. This book not only provides immediate information and examples, it also leads the reader to additional support and research.”

Cathy Patterson, Former Assistant Principal
Walnut Valley Unified School District, CA

David M. Schimmel

David Schimmel is Professor of Education at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Visiting Professor at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. He is author of over 60 articles and co-author of 6 books about law and education including Teachers and the Law,7th edition (2007) and School Law: What Every Educator Should Know (2008) and is recipient of the Education Press Association of America’s Distinguished Achievement Award for Excellence in Educational Journalism. After graduating from Yale Law School, he briefly practiced law, was an Army Infantry Officer, and served on the Peace Corps staff for 6 years before starting... More About Author

Suzanne E. Eckes

Suzanne Eckes is an associate professor in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Department at Indiana University. Suzanne has published over 60 school law articles and book chapters, is an editor of the Principal's Legal Handbook and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Education Law Association. She is the recipient of the Jack A. Culbertson Award for outstanding achievements in education from the University Council of Educational Administration. Prior to joining the faculty at Indiana University, Suzanne was a high school French teacher and an attorney. She earned her Master's in Education from Harvard University and... More About Author

Matthew C. Militello

Matthew Militello is the Wells Fargo Distinguished Professor in Educational Leadership at East Carolina University. He is currently the principal investigator for a million dollar National Science Foundation grant (NSF# 1738767) bringing computational thinking to music and art classes in rural NC middle schools. Militello is also currently implementing an innovative Ed.D. degree for ECU in Bangkok, Thailand. Militello received his teaching degree from the University of Michigan (B.Ed., 1992), his administrative certification (MSA, 1994) and doctoral degrees (Ph.D., 2004) from Michigan State University. He has held faculty positions at... More About Author