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Quick law question..

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by KennyH, Feb 5, 2004.

  1. KennyH

    KennyH F1 Veteran
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    Aug 13, 2001
    5,225
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    Kenny
    My brother just asked me this through AIM and I couldn't give him a definite answer- lets see what you guys think:

    A state empowered public school principals to suspend students for up to ten days without any notice or hearing. A student who was suspended for ten days challenges the constitutionality of his suspension on the ground that he was denied due process. Decision?
     
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  3. TimN88

    TimN88 F1 Veteran

    Jun 12, 2001
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    He was never charged with committing a CRIME was he? You are suspended for other disciplinary action, not breaking the law. I do not think due process applies to disciplinary action at a school, and if it does, it SHOULDNT. If i were the principal i'd say nice try to the student and tell him to enjoy his 10 day vacation.
     
  4. zjpj

    zjpj F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
    5,938
    USA
    My initial reaction was yours, Tim. Due process of WHAT - it's school, not a courtroom or jail cell.

    But, "life, liberty, etc." - one could argue that included in that list is the right to go to public school until 16 or whatever age it is at which you can leave. So, if the kid is being denied his right as a citizen for no reason, maybe you have a case. Otherwise, segregationists in the South could have "suspended" or "expelled" black students they didn't want for no cause. I think the fact that it's a public school means they can't deny the right to go to that school without cause.

    So, my answer is that he might have a case.
     
  5. TimN88

    TimN88 F1 Veteran

    Jun 12, 2001
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    Tim
  6. Ike

    Ike F1 Rookie

    Nov 4, 2003
    3,488
    Is there something in the school handbook that the students are required to have an understanding of? Is the principals powers outlined where he can suspend a kid for that period if he feels it is warranted?

    The constitution does not guarantee a right to an education.(San Antonio Independant School District v. Rodriguez)

    I don't know how a school punishment could be unconstitutional.

    I don't understand what Due Process he is looking for. It isn't a criminal charge. You would need to see if the principal went outside of the school board policy, that is what I would look at.
     
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  8. Ike

    Ike F1 Rookie

    Nov 4, 2003
    3,488
    TimN88

    thanks for posting that, I had not heard of that. Very Interesting.
     
  9. Ike

    Ike F1 Rookie

    Nov 4, 2003
    3,488
    The highschool I went to was private so I don't know if it would work the same. I was required to read the handbook and sign a paper saying that I understood the rules and the consequences for breaking those rules.

    In this case would I be signing away my due process rights?
     
  10. TimN88

    TimN88 F1 Veteran

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    Based on the precedent set by Goss v. Lopez, i would say the student does have a case, unless there was another case i dont know about. And from searching oyez, there isnt.
     
  11. TimN88

    TimN88 F1 Veteran

    Jun 12, 2001
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    Probably. You signed something that probbly said you understood the rules and consequences. Im still suprised that a student could argue that he or she was denied due process when he or she was never charged with a crime in the first place.
     
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  13. KennyH

    KennyH F1 Veteran
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    Aug 13, 2001
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    This is from my brother Darren:

    Tim (and all), Thanks for the brief, will help me write my response to the question. Can't thank you enough!


    Thanks guys..
     
  14. TheCarcierge

    TheCarcierge Formula 3

    Feb 1, 2004
    1,812
    Boca Raton, FL
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    Scott Saidel
    Read Goss CAREFULLY - the crux of the "right to an education" was based upon specific Ohio statutes: Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §§ 3313.48 and 3313.64 that direct local authorities to provide a free education to all residents between five and 21 years of age, and a compulsory-attendance law requires attendance for a school year of not less than 32 weeks. It was these statutes and not the Constitution that granted the right to a PUBLIC education.

    Furthermore, Goss merely requires notice and a hearing - they then proceed to define the notice and hearing in a manner that pretty much allows the school official to meet the requirements by advising the student of the allgation and allowing the student to give their side of the story.

    "... in connection with a suspension of 10 days or less, [the Court required only] that the student be given oral or written notice of the charges against him and, if he denies them, an explanation of the evidence the authorities have and an opportunity to present his side of the story. ... In the great majority of cases the disciplinarian may informally discuss the alleged misconduct with the student minutes after it has occurred. We hold only that, in being given an opportunity to explain his version of the facts at this discussion, the student first be told what he is accused of doing and what the basis of the accusation is."

    So, while - in the case of a PUBLIC School in OHIO where there is a RIGHT to a Public Education established by Ohio law - notice and a hearing IS required, said notice is limited to the student being informed of the allegation against them and the hearing is limited to the school official allowing the student to "plead their case."

    The Court was pretty specific in their holding that such Notice and Hearing requirements were "if anything, less than a fair-minded school principal would impose upon himself in order to avoid unfair suspensions."

    So, assuming that the school official told the student what they allegedly did and gave them an opportunity to tell their side of the story, I disagree that the student would have a case.

    See:

    http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/goss.html

    For the FULL text of the Supreme Court decision.

    Scottie
     
  15. racerx

    racerx Guest

    Nov 23, 2003
    879
    There was such a fed case. I believe it was in the chicago area many years back. Kid won, but that was when const. rights were more strictly upheld, they aren't such sticklers now. I read entire case but can't remember it now and whether it made it all the way up or not. It was landmark case.
    But more recently in cleveland a kid was suspended w/o hearing for putting picture in his locker of b-52's bombing afghanistan (patriotic message attached) and won 5,000. and immediate reinstatement. Press got involved so they fast tracked it and were nice. Kid and lawyer interviewd b4 and after decision on Fox's Oreilly show. Gee did that help him get justice?
    T
     

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