Archive for the ‘Legal’ Category

  • Michigan Student Prevails in First Amendment Claim against Teacher

    on Jul 17, 13 • in Legal • with Comments

    courtesy cooljustice

    Johnson “Jay” McDowell, a Michigan high school economics teacher, was found in violation of a former student’s First Amendment right to free speech.  The former student, Daniel Glowacki, expressed views that homosexuality was against his religion. The facts of the case arise out of a student group’s attempt at bringing awareness to bullying against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students.  The student group sold t-shirts for students and staff to wear in recognition of “Anti-Bullying Day.”  McDowell purchased a t-shirt and planned part of his lesson to include brief information about bullying of homosexuals. Glowacki was

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  • Michigan High School Bans Athletic Prayer

    on Jul 9, 13 • in Featured, Legal • with Comments

    Lahser High School, located in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, banned its football team from student-led prayer while on the field.  The ban was instituted as a result of a letter sent by the American Civil Liberties Union (the “ACLU”) on behalf of a local family.  The ACLU argued that the practice was a violation of the Constitution’s Establishment Clause and Religious Freedom Clause.  The team’s position was that the practice was a ritual followed after high stakes football games. In reference to prayer, the First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or

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  • Supreme Court Rules on Affirmative Action Case

    on Jun 26, 13 • in Featured, Legal • with Comments

    courtesty SCOTUS

    On Monday, June 24, 2013, the Supreme Court handed down its ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas, the higher education affirmative action case.  I previously wrote about affirmative action and the backstory of the Fisher case in another TER article.  The case was brought by Abigail Fisher, a white applicant who was denied admissions under the university’s race-conscious admissions policy.  The University of Texas has a two-fold admissions policy.  Any student who graduated in the top ten percent of a Texas high school automatically gains admission to the university.  All other applicants are considered

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  • The First Amendment and Student Dress Codes

    on Apr 15, 13 • in Featured, Legal • with Comments


    The implementation of student dress codes has increased over the past decade.  The essence of the dress codes vary in reach.  Some codes mandate specific uniforms, such as khaki or navy pants with a specific color polo or oxford shirt.  Other codes ban specific items, such as flip-flops, midriffs, clothing with particular symbols, or clothing in particular colors.  As school districts continue to improve educational outcomes, student dress codes will be a permanent fixture in many cities. There are various reasons why districts implement dress codes.  Commonly given rationales are to stop gang-related activity, increase

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  • Testing Pressure Leads to a Criminal Indictment

    on Apr 1, 13 • in Featured, From the Front Lines, Legal • with Comments

    picture courtesy The University Leader

    The Atlanta Public School System has been marred in recent years by a state-testing cheating scandal.  On Friday, March 29, 2013, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard issued an indictment against thirty-five former employees of the school system, including five high-level administrators, six principals, two assistant principals, five testing coordinators, an instructional coach, and a secretary.  The indictment contains 65 counts, including racketeering, making false statements and writings, false swearing (perjury), theft by taking and influencing. Dr. Beverly Hall, the former superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools, is listed first on the criminal indictment.  She is

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