School Law for K–12 Educators: Concepts and Cases


Frank D. Aquila

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    To Frank, Danielle, and Frankie, whose future gives meaning to the past


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    • School Desegregation
      • Arthur v. Nyquist, 712 F.2d 816 (2nd Cir. 1983)
      • Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (Brown II), 349 U.S. 294, 75 S. Ct. 753 (1955)
      • Columbus Board of Education v. Penick, 443 U.S. 449, 99 S. Ct. 2941 (1979)
      • Dayton Board of Education v. Brinkman (Brinkman I), 433 U.S. 406, 97 S. Ct. 2766 (1977)
      • Dayton Board of Education v. Brinkman (Brinkman II), 443 U.S. 526, 99 S. Ct. 2971 (1979)
      • Milliken v. Bradley (Milliken II), 433 U.S. 267, 97 S. Ct. 2749 (1977)
      • Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537, 16 S. Ct. 1138 (1896)
      • Washington v. Seattle School District No. 1., 458 U.S. 457, 102 S. Ct. 3187 (1982)
    • Church-State Interaction000
      • Agostini v. Felton, 117 S. Ct. (1997)
      • Allen v. Casper, 622 N.E.2d 367 (Ohio App. 8 Dist. 1993)
      • Board of Education of Central School District No.1 v. Allen, 392 U.S. 236, 88 S. Ct. 1923 (1968)
      • Board of Education of Kiryas Joel Village School District v. Louis Grumet et al., 114 S. Ct. 2481 (1994)
      • County of Allegheny v. ACLU, Greater Pittsburgh Chapter, 492 U.S. 573, 109 S. Ct. 3086 (1989)
      • Dick-Friedman ex rel. Friedman v. Board of Education of West Bloomfield, 427 F.Supp.2d 768 (E.D. Mich. 2006)
      • Epperson v. State of Arkansas, 393 U.S. 97, 89 S. Ct. 266 (1968)
      • Illinois ex rel. McCollum v. Board of Ed., S.D. 71, Champaign County, Ill., 333 U.S. 203, 68 S. Ct. 461 (1948)
      • Lee v. Weisman, 112 S. Ct. 2649 (1992)
      • Lemon v. Kurtzman; Early v. Dicenso, 403 U.S. 602, 91 S. Ct. 2105 (1971)
      • Mitchell v. Helms, 530 U.S. 793 (2000)
      • Mueller v. Allen, 463 U.S. 388, 103 S. Ct. 3062 (1983)
      • Resnick v. East Brunswick Township Board of Education, 77 N.J. 88, 389 A.2d 944 (1978)
      • Rosenberger et al. v. Rector and Visitors of University of Virginia et al., 515 U.S. 819, 115 S.Ct. 2510 (1995)
      • Santa Fe Indep. School District v. Doe, 120 S. Ct. 2266 (2000)
      • School Dist. of Abington Township v. Schempp; Murray v. Curleti, 374 U.S. 203, 83 S. Ct. 1560 (1963)
      • School District of the City of Grand Rapids v. Ball, 473 U.S. 373 (1985)
      • U.S. v. Bd. of Educ. of School D. of Philadelphia, 911 F.2d. 882 (3rd Cir. 1990)
      • Zorach v. Clauson, 343 U.S. 306, 72 S. Ct. 679 (1952)
    • School Attendance
      • Allen v. Casper, 622 N.E.2d 367 (Ohio App. 8 Dist. 1993)
      • Beeson v. Kiowa County School Dist., 567 P.2d 801 (Colo.App. 1977)
      • Bishop v. Colaw, 450 F.2d 1069 (8th Cir. 1971)
      • Davenport v. Randolph County Bd. of Ed., 730 F.2d 1395 (1984)
      • Eisner v. Stamford Board of Education, 440 F.2d 803 (2d Cir. 1971)
      • Guzick v. Drebus, 431 F.2d 594 (6th Cir. 1970)
      • Martinez v. Bynum, 461 U.S. 321, 103 S. Ct. 1838 (1983)
      • Massie v. Henry, 455 F.2d 779 (4th Cir. 1972)
      • Tate v. Bd. of Ed. of Jonesboro, Ark., Special Education District, 453 F.2d 975 (8th Cir. 1972)
      • Trachtman v. Anker, 563 F.2d 512 (2d Cir. 1977); cert. denied, 435 U.S. 925, 98 S. Ct. 1491 (1978)
      • Warren v. National Assn. of Secondary Sch. Principals, 375 F. Supp. 1043 (1974)
    • Student Conduct and Discipline
      • C. J. v. School Board of Broward County, 438 So.2d 87 (1983)
      • Davenport v. Randolph County Bd. of Ed., 730 F.2d 1395 (1984)
      • Goetz v. Ansell, 477 F.2d 636 (2d Cir. 1973)
      • Ingraham v. Wright, 430 U.S. 651, 97 S. Ct. 1401 (1977)
      • S. V. Board of Education, San Francisco Unified Sch. Dist. App., 97 Cal.Rept. 422
      • Tibbs v. Bd. of Ed. of the Township of Franklin, 276 A.2d 165 (NJ Super. Ct. 1971)
      • Vernonia School District v. Acton, 515 U.S. 646 (1995)
    • Student Records
      • Fay v. South Colonie Central School District, 802 F.2d 21 (2d Cir. 1986)
      • Van Allen v. Mccleary, 211 N.Y.S.2d 501 (N.Y. Sup.Ct. 1961)
    • English Language Learners
      • Castaneda v. Pickard (Castaneda II) (Unpublished) Serna v. Portales Municipal Schools, 499 F.2d 1147 (10th Cir. 1971)
    • Education of Students With Disabilities
      • Bevin H. v. Wright, 666 F. Supp. 71 (W.D. Pa. 1987)
      • Brookhart v. Illinois State Board of Education, 697 F.2d 179 (7th Cir. 1983)
      • Chalk v. U.S. District Court, Central District of California, 840 F.2d 701 (9th Cir. 1988)
      • Clarke v. Shoreline School District No. 412, King County, 729 P.2d 793 (Wash. 1986)
      • Clyde v. Puyallup School District No.3, 35 F.3d 196 (9th Cir. 1994)
      • Dellmuth, Acting Secretary of Education of Pennsylvania v. Muth, 491 U.S. 223, 109 S. Ct. 2397 (1989)
      • Doe v. Dolton Elementary School District No. 148, 694 F. Supp. 440 (N.D. III. 1988)
      • Grube v. Bethlehem Area School District, 550 F. Supp. 418 (1982)
      • Hurry v. Jones, 734 F.2d 879 (1st Cir. 1984)
      • Kruelle v. New Castle School District, 642 F.2d 687 (3rd Cir. 1981)
      • Max M. v. Illinois State Board of Education, 629 F. Supp. 1504 (N.D. Ill. 1986)
      • Mitchell v. Helms, 530 U.S. 793 (2000)
      • S-1 v. Turlington, 635 F.2d 342, 347 (5th Cir. 1981)
      • School Board of Nassau County, Florida v. Arline, 480 U.S. 273, 107 S. Ct. 1123 (1987)
    • Teachers' Rights and Concerns
      • Board of Regents of State Colleges v. Roth, 408 U.S. 564, 92 S. Ct. 2701 (1972)
      • Boring v. Buncombe Board of Education, 136 F.3d 364 (4th Cir. 1998)
      • Clarke v. Shoreline School District No. 412, King County, 729 P.2d 793 (Wash. 1986)
      • Dike v. School Board of Orange County, Florida, 650 F.2d 783 (5th Cir. 1981)
      • East Hartford Ed. Assn. v. Board of Ed., 562 F.2d 838 (2d Cir. 1977)
      • Fisher v. Snyder, 476 F.2d 375 (8th Cir. 1973)
      • Fowler v. Board of Education of Lincoln County, 819 F.2d 657 (6th Cir. 1987)
      • Geller v. Markham, 635 F. 2d 1027 (1980)
      • Givhan v. Western Line Consolidated School District, 439 U.S. 410 (1979)
      • O'Connor v. Ortega, 480 U.S. 709, 107 S. Ct. 1492 (1987)
      • Phelps v. Bd. of Education of Town of West New York, 300 U.S. 319, 57 S. Ct. 483 (1937)
      • Schafer v. Board of Public Ed., 903 F.2d. 243 (3rd Cir. 1990)
      • Stroman v. Colleton County School District, 981 F.2d 152 (4th Cir. 1993)
      • Wilson v. Chancellor, 48 F.Supp. 1358 (D. Or. 1976)
    • Teacher Certification, Licensure, and Contracts for Employment
      • Amador v. New Mexico State Board of Education, 80 N.M. 336, 455 P.2d 840 (1969)
      • Ambach v. Norwick, 441 U.S. 68 (1979)
      • City of Richmond v. J. A. Croson Co., 488 U.S. 469, 109 S. Ct. 706 (1989)
      • Martin v. Wilks, 490 U.S. 755, 109 S. Ct. 2180 (1989)
      • Oklahoma ex rel. Thompson v. Ekberg, 613 P.2d 466 (1980)
      • Univ. of Pennsylvania v. Equal Employment Opportunity Comm'n, 493 U.S. 182, 100 S. Ct. 577 (1990)
    • Collective Bargaining
      • Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson, 475 U.S. 292, 106 S. Ct. 1066 (1986)
      • City of Madison v. Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission, 429 U.S. 167, 97 S. Ct. 421 (1976)
      • Dike v. School Board of Orange County, Florida, 650 F.2d 783 (5th Cir. 1981)
      • East Hartford Ed. Assn. v. Board of Ed., 562 F.2d 838 (2d Cir. 1977)
      • Knight v. Board of Regents of University of State of New York, 269 F. Supp. 339 (1967), affd 390 U.S. 36 (1968)
      • Nat'l Gay Task Force v. Bd. of Education of Oklahoma City, 729 F.2d 1270 (10th Cir. 1984)
      • O'Connor v. Ortega, 480 U.S. 709, 107 S. Ct. 1492 (1987)
      • Phelps v. Bd. of Education of Town of West New York, 300 U.S. 319, 57 S. Ct. 483 (1937)
      • Pinsker v. Joint District No. 28J of Adams and Arapahoe Counties, 735 F.2d 388 (10th Cir. 1984)
      • Schafer v. Board of Public Ed., 903 F.2d. 243 (3rd Cir. 1990)
      • Skinner v. Railway Labor Executives Assn., 489 U.S. 602, 109 S. Ct. 1402 (1989)
    • Teacher Dismissal, Retirement, and Discrimination in Employment
      • Board of Regents of State Colleges v. Roth, 408 U.S. 564, 92 S. Ct. 2701 (1972)
      • Boring v. Buncombe Board of Education, 136 F.3d 364 (4th Cir. 1998) Dykeman v. Board of Education of School District of Coleridge, 210 Neb. 596, 316 N.W.2d 69 (1982)
      • Erb v. Iowa State Board of Public Instruction, 216 N.W.2d 339 (1974)
      • Fisher v. Snyder, 476 F.2d 375 (8th Cir. 1973)
      • Fowler v. Board of Education of Lincoln County, 819 F.2d 657 (6th Cir. 1987)
      • Gillett v. Unified School District No. 276, 605 P.2d 105 (1980)
      • Gosney v. Sonora Independent School Dist., 603 F.2d 522 (5th Cir. 1979)
      • Keefe v. Geanakos, 418 F.2d 359 (1st Cir. 1969)
      • Kingsville Independent School District v. Cooper, 611 F.2d 1109 (5th Cir. 1980)
      • Knox County Board of Education v. Willis, 405 S.W.2d 952 (1966)
      • Palmer v. Board of Education of the City of Chicago, 603 F.2d 1271 (7th Cir. 1979)
      • Penasco Independent School District No. 4 v. Lucero, 86 N.M. 683, 526 P.2d 825 (1974)
      • S. v. Board of Education, San Francisco Unified Sch. Dist., 97 Cal.Rptr. 422 (1971)
    • Local School Boards and Contract Liability
      • Oracle Sch. Dist. No. 2 v. Mammoth School District No. 88, 130 Ariz. App. 41, 633 P.2d 450 (1981)
    • Tort Liability of School Districts, Officers, and Employees
      • Bartell v. Palos Verdes Peninsula Sch. Dist., 83 Cal. App. 3d 492 (1978)
      • Brosnan v. Livonia Public Schools, 123 Mich. App. 377, 333 N.W.2d 288 (1983)
      • Carey v. Piphus, 435 U.S. 247, 98 S. Ct. 1042 (1978)
      • Dailey v. Los Angeles Unified School District, 2 Cal. 3d 741, 470 P.2d 360 (1970)
      • Fazzolari v. Portland School District No. 1J, 303 Ore. 1, 734 P.2d 1326 (1987)
      • Johnson v. Pinkerton Academy, 861 F.2d 335 (1st Cir. 1988)
      • Raleigh v. Independent School District No. 625, 275 N.W.2d 572 (Minn. 1979)
      • Rudd v. Pulaski County Special School District, 341 Ark. 794, 20 S.W.3d 310 (2000)
      • Rupp v. Bryant, 417 So.2d 658 (Fla. 1982)
      • Skinner v. Vacaville Unified School District, 37 Cal. App. 4th 31, 43 Cal. Rptr. 2d 384 (1995)
      • Tanari v. School Directors of District No. 502, 69 Ill. 2d 630,14 Ill. Dec. 874, 373 N.E. 2d 5 (1977)
      • Texas State Teachers Assn. v. Garland Independent School Dist., 777 F. 2d 1046 (5th Cir. 1985)
    • 15. Financing Public Schools and Use of Funds
      • Resnick v. East Brunswick Township Board of Education, 77 N.J. 88, 389 A.2d 944 (1978)
      • Revell v. Mayor of Annapolis, 81 Md. I, 31 A. 695 (1895)


    After nearly 20 years of teaching school law to teachers who were preparing to become school administrators, my frustration with the difficulties students had studying the complex law cases—and the tedious legal language in our school law textbooks—triggered my attempt to write a different type of law book. First, I wrote a case notes style of book, similar to books used as a supplement in law school classes. To an extent, this helped to improve student comprehension, especially when supplemented with personal materials. However, even with improvements in later editions, I was still not satisfied. Somewhat out of desperation, I decided to devise a blended version, with short case briefs as well as brief—but solid—concept sections and case studies to stimulate classroom discussion about key issues. Field tests with my aspiring school administration students led me to believe that this version is a move in the right direction.

    While my intent was to provide a useful text for prospective school administrators, I decided to expand the content and approach so that undergraduates as well as graduate students in other disciplines could also use this book.

    I believe that the most compelling feature of this book is that it does not contain the complex legal discussions found in traditional legal texts. At the same time, I have tried to provide enough background information to help those without legal training to comprehend complex legal arguments. Each chapter contains an Overview, which provides the context for that chapter; two Case Studies with discussion questions; an outline of Important Concepts; a Conclusion summarizing the chapter; and a series of short-form Case Briefs, including major cases that explicate the concepts discussed in the chapter. Additional Case Briefs are provided to supplement the chapter material and provide deeper understanding. This material can be found on the SAGE Web site:


    In acknowledging those most helpful in the completion of this law book, I would be remiss if I did not thank Karen Majeski for her patience, humor, and generous support. Also deserving thanks are those who assisted with the research and organizational support. Those who deserve recognition include Kristen Vance, for her outstanding organizational skills; Kelly Hedberg, who conducted extensive early research; and Shawn Romer and Heather Banchek, who provided later research and editing. The Sage team composed of Diane McDaniel, Ashley Plummer, Diane S. Foster, and Diana Breti provided both personal support as well as exceptional technical assistance.

    The following reviewers generously provided their time and insight:

    • Barbara Abbott Allbright, Texas State University
    • Bradley Vance Balch, Indiana State University
    • David J. Blacker, University of Delaware
    • Mark W. Clark, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire
    • Susan G. Clark, University of Akron
    • Audrey M. Clarke, California State University, Northridge
    • Boyd E. Dressler, Montana State University
    • Ellen Eckman, Marquette University
    • Richard Fossey, University of Houston
    • Jan Hammond, State University of New York
    • Philip Huckins, New England College
    • Leslie Jones, Nicholls State University
    • Cheryl L. Kelsey, University of Central Oklahoma
    • Richard A. King, University of Northern Colorado
    • R. Stewart Mayers, Southeastern Oklahoma State University
    • Cynthia McDaniels, Southern Connecticut State University
    • Joseph R. McKinney, Ball State University
    • Gloria Jean Thomas, Idaho State University
    • David P. Thompson, University of Texas, San Antonio
    • Christine Villani, Southern Connecticut State University

    Introduction to the Legal System and Legal Research

    Overview of the Legal System

    The heart of the body of knowledge commonly identified as education or school law is statutory and case law. The material included in this book, whether case briefs, outlines, or textbook/treatise reference information, provides a summary of the most important aspects of the law regarding education.

    Statutory law is made up of criminal and civil laws, or statutes. Statutes are enacted by a governmental body authorized to pass such laws. For example, Congress enacts federal statutes; state legislatures enact state statutes; and local elected bodies, such as city councils, enact municipal ordinances. Case law refers to the body of written decisions that have been rendered at the conclusion of lawsuits, or cases, that come before various courts.

    Two types of courts with which you will need to be familiar are trial courts and appellate courts. A trial court renders two types of decisions: decisions based on law and decisions with respect to facts. Trial court decisions made on the basis of law are usually made by a judge; a jury makes findings of fact. An appellate court generally reviews the decisions of trial courts in order to determine whether proper procedures were followed and whether the correct law was applied. Usually, only appellate courts render decisions that, when published, become case law.

    Another way to categorize courts is by the nature of the disputes that particular courts consider. In civil law, legal disputes arising between two or more parties usually occur in a particular state or are based on state law principles. Such suits are properly filed in state courts. On the other hand, matters that arise in or involve more than one state (diversity jurisdiction) or that specifically involve the federal government, federal laws, or federal constitutional issues are filed in federal courts.

    In the state court system, a case is first heard by a trial court. An appeal “of right” to the state appellate level is available, while the state supreme court has discretion to either grant or deny further review on appeal. This discretionary review is called certiorari, or sometimes, “granting cert.” Figure I.1 shows a typical state court (in this case, Ohio) judicial structure.

    Figure I.1 Ohio State Court System
    State Court System

    The process is similar in the federal court system (see Figure I.2). A federal case is first filed in a federal district court, the “trial court” of the federal system. On appeal, the case will be heard in the federal court of appeals in the particular circuit in which proper jurisdiction is established (see Figure I.3). The highest federal court, sometimes referred to as the “court of last resort,” is the U.S. Supreme Court. Again, an appeal to the Supreme Court is discretionary; the court may either grant or deny certiorari.

    Figure I.2 The Federal Appellate Circuits
    Figure I.3 Geographic Boundaries of Unites States Courts of Appeals and United States District Courts
    Federal Court System

    Finally, with respect to education law in particular, a little background about the educational system in this country is in order. In the United States, education is the responsibility of each state government. Despite the manner in which local school board members are appointed or elected, they are state, not local, officials.

    Obviously, state legislatures cannot foresee (and therefore cannot legislate with respect to) every important education-related issue that may arise. For this reason, local school boards have been granted implied authority to set policies and resolve problems as they arise. The exercise of such powers is permitted so long as local school board actions do not conflict with state or federal laws and regulations. This grant of implied authority was actually developed by the courts (and, hence, is a product of case law) as an efficient method of granting authority to local school board actions that appear educationally sound. When school board actions are not sound, litigation between the aggrieved parties (the plaintiff) and the school board (defendant) may be, and often is, initiated.

    Before a lawsuit is tried, the parties must assess their positions in light of both existing statutes and case law—the “building blocks” upon which lawsuits are initiated and defended. Below is a closer look at the nature of case law.

    Case Law

    Precedent. A written court decision in a specific area of law establishes a precedent. Reliance on precedent is often referred to as the doctrine of stare decisis (Latin for “let the decision stand”). Precedents guide future courts as they decide certain issues and thereafter write their own concise rules of law with respect to the issues before them. Other state and federal trial courts will then rely on the appellate decisions rendered in their jurisdiction, unless a “compelling case” indicates that the precedent should not be followed, but instead overruled. Compelling cases are court decisions from outside the jurisdiction that are used to influence a decision. For instance, an Ohio court could decide whether to find an Illinois appellate decision compelling, but that same Ohio court would have to follow a valid case previously decided in its own jurisdiction. Thus, the only court that can change a precedent is the court that set it or one of higher authority.

    The majority opinion is written by a justice from the majority. This holding establishes the precedent. A justice who agrees but may have used different reasoning may include a concurring opinion. Further, in many cases, a justice from the minority may issue a dissenting opinion in order to provide an alternative rationale. This can be important, especially when a similar issue reaches the court at a later time.

    Citation.A citation is used to locate case law in published law reports. It includes the name of the case; the name, volume, and page number of the law report; and the year of the decision. For example, in the student rights and regulations case Goss v. Lopez, the official citation is Goss v. Lopez, 419 U.S. 565 (1975).

    The “U.S.” in the citation refers to a collection of bound volumes known as the United States Reports, or U.S. Reports, the official repository of U.S. Supreme Court decisions. One can find the full text of the Goss decision in volume 419 of the U.S. Reports, at page 565. The citation also lets us know that the case was decided by the Supreme Court in 1975. When you review a court decision, there will always be a majority decision written by a justice on the majority side. In some more complicated cases, there may also be a concurring opinion written by a justice of the majority who wishes to emphasize different reasoning for concurring. Similarly, a case may be important enough that a dissent will be written by one or more justices from the minority side.

    Parallel Citations. In most cases, a decision may also be referred to by a parallel citation. Each parallel citation leads the reader to the same opinion but in a different set of volumes (i.e., a different reporter system).

    For example, the full citation for Goss v. Lopez is as follows: Goss v. Lopez, 419 U.S. 565, 95 S. Ct. 729, L.Ed. (1975).

    “S. Ct.” refers to the Supreme Court Reporter, an unofficial set of volumes, or reporter series, which parallels the official U.S. Reports series. Similarly, “L.Ed.” refers to the unofficial reporter series known as the United States Supreme Court Reports, Lawyers' Edition (hereinafter, Lawyers' Edition).

    Goss v. Lopez may now be located in any one of these three publications: the U.S. Reports, the Supreme Court Reporter, and the Lawyers' Edition. As “public documents,” official court decisions are not subject to copyright law; private publishing companies may thus copy them and reprint them in any format.

    Court Reports. Court reports are volumes that contain reported appellate decisions and opinions from various geographical jurisdictions. There are reports for every appellate jurisdiction, including the U.S. Supreme Court, the federal courts of appeals, and state appellate courts. An “official” publication is one that is published by or for a branch of government. For example, the U.S. Reports series, the official collection of U.S. Supreme Court decisions, is published by the U.S. Government Printing Office. The term “reporter,” as in Supreme Court Reporter, usually refers to unofficial versions of decisions published by private publishing companies.

    Publication Descriptions

    United States Reports. As discussed above, the United States Reports series (abbreviated “U.S.”) is the official Supreme Court publication by the U.S. Government Printing Office. The U.S.Reports series citation is used when citing U.S. cases in the U.S. Supreme Court and other federal courts. The official citation should always precede a parallel or unofficial citation.

    Lawyers' Edition. The Lawyers' Edition (abbreviated “L.Ed.”) is an unofficial publication of the Lawyers Cooperative Publishing Company. The official texts of cases, as published in the U.S. Reports, are published in this series. The L.Ed. (first series) includes volumes 1 through 351 of the U.S. Reports; the L.Ed.2d (second series) contains volumes 352 et seq. of the U.S. Reports. Lawyers' Edition features parallel citation references to the official U.S. Reports printed on the spine of each of its volumes (both editions). Also, within each volume, further parallel citations to the U.S. Reports are printed at the beginning of or within each case.

    Supreme Court Reporter. The Supreme Court Reporter (abbreviated “S. Ct.”) is unofficially published by West Publishing Company. As with Lawyers' Edition, the same cases that are officially published in the U.S. Reports are unofficially published in the Supreme Court Reporter. This series also provides parallel citation references to the official U.S. Reports. Such citations appear on the spine of each S. Ct. volume and at the beginning of each case, at the top of the page. For citation accuracy, S. Ct. text pages must correspond to the official U.S. Reports pages. Therefore, each S. Ct. page includes a cross-reference to the corresponding page in the official U.S. Reports version of the case. Obviously, the unofficial reporters are published with these pagination features so that citations to the U.S. Reports series can be made without actually having to refer to the corresponding U.S. Reports volume for a specific page number.

    United States Law Week. The United States Law Week (abbreviated “U.S.L.W.”) is an unofficial publication of the Bureau of National Affairs (BNA). It is a loose-leaf, two-volume set that is published weekly. The material is sent to the publication's subscribers in loose-leaf form, hole-punched so that it can easily be placed in the volume's three-ring binder. This service affords a subscriber quick access to newly released U.S. Supreme Court opinions. Newly released opinion texts are mailed to subscribers on a weekly basis; other reporter series generally require 6 to 8 weeks' lead time prior to publication. Citations to this unofficial publication are permitted when U.S., L.Ed.2d, and S. Ct. citations are not yet available. Recently, Web sites with legal information have reduced the usefulness of U.S.L.W.

    Federal Court Reporters. Federal court cases are published by private publishing companies in the following series:

    Federal Reporter. The Federal Reporter (abbreviated “F.”) is the only reporter series in which all U.S. Courts of Appeals cases are published. The set contains two series; the first series contains volumes 1 to 300, with published cases from nine federal circuit courts of appeals and the D.C. circuit. The second series (abbreviated “F.2d”) contains all of the published decisions from the same federal circuits as well as several new federal circuits and the U.S. Court of Claims, the Court of Customs and Patent Appeals, and the Temporary Emergency Court of Appeals. When you cite a circuit court case, the circuit from which the case originated is always included, for example, 729 F.2d 1270 (10th Cir. 1984).

    Federal Supplement. The Federal Supplement (abbreviated “F. Supp.”) is also an unofficial publication of the West Publishing Company. This set contains cases decided in the federal district courts, which are subdivisions of the federal judicial appellate circuits. Every state has at least one federal district court; larger states have several federal district courts. Similar to federal courts of appeals decisions, there is no “official” publication for federal district court decisions. The Federal Supplement contains only those cases that are selected for publication and is the exception to the rule that only appellate court cases, and not trial court cases, are published. Federal district court judges have discretion as to whether or not a decision will be published. Usually the cases released for publication are those the trial court considers unique or that offer guidance on a significant issue that has not previously been litigated. Citations in this set should include the federal district in which the case originated, for example, 348 F.Supp. 866 (D.C. 1972).

    Regional Reporters. The National Reporter System (NRS) is a network of reporters that includes seven regional reporters containing all published state appellate court decisions. For example, the North Eastern Reporter (abbreviated “N.E.” or “N.E.2d”) includes state appellate cases from the states of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. If a state publishes its own “official” appellate reports, citations should include both the official report citation and the regional reporter citation.

    Addendum. It would be remiss to not mention the tremendous changes the Internet has created regarding informal legal research. Education law students now have statutes and other enactments as well as case law at their fingertips. Statutory amendments are accessible through state legislature Web sites as well as state department of education Web sites. All federal cases are available through various Web sites. One of the Web sites most often used by school law students is, which provides easy access and is reasonably simple for nonlawyers to navigate. Other effective Web sites include, but are not limited to, the following:

    Westlaw/LexisNexis. Most practical legal research is now conducted through one of these two online legal databases. The major difference between Westlaw and LexisNexis is that Westlaw includes entire cases published by the West Regional National Reporter System, including summaries and headnotes. In contrast, LexisNexis entries consist of the opinions as published by the various courts, without summaries and headnotes. Both are commercial services from which the companies profit, and users are billed for each search. Researchers primarily use these databases to find cases by citation. However, the services also feature “keyword” and other search processes. One can also research secondary sources, such as legal digests and encyclopedias. These services have become popular because of the practical ease in allowing the researcher to quickly find cases without needing to go to a law library and search through a reporter series.

    The Components of Case Briefs

    Each case brief in this book contains the following parts:

    • Case Caption. This is the official citation, with parallel citations where appropriate. By referring to this citation, the reader may obtain a copy of the full text of the case from any law library.
    • General Rule of Law. The general rule of law is the court's legal resolution of the issue. It is the generally accepted rule that arises based on the facts at hand. The rule of law may be derived, in whole or in part, from previously decided cases in the same or other jurisdictions or higher courts. Please note, however, that in many cases, the decision may change or alter precedent if the court believes it necessary.
    • Procedure Summary. This section identifies the party who initiated the action (the plaintiff); the party who, in response to the plaintiff's lawsuit, has been forced to defend itself (the defendant); and all lower court decisions up to but not including the final disposition of the instant case.
    • Facts. This section explains the factual background, including why the case was initiated and/or appealed to a higher court. Prior court rulings have again been included for a cursory review of lower court decisions.
    • Issue. The issue is the legal question the court is trying to resolve. Although many issues may be present in any given case, most courts usually narrow in on the one or two that are most crucial.
    • Holding and Decision. The holding is the answer to the question the legal issue presents. It is the ruling on the case by the last or final court that heard it. The judge's name (when available) appears in parentheses at the beginning of this section.
    • Comment. This section includes our editorial analysis of the case, where appropriate, and the case's implications for or applicability to your roles as students, educators, and administrators in the field of education.
    • Discussion Questions. Following each case is a list of questions for student discussion in small groups or, alternatively, by the entire class.
    Related Legal Issues
    Common Law

    Common law, which is also called judge-made law, has been described as “natural” or “discovered” law, in contrast to statutory law as enacted in constitutions and legislation. The American or Anglo-American system of jurisprudence has developed out of English common law. In fact, early in our history we adopted the common law precedents of England, which traced back to 1066 AD. Both legal systems follow the doctrine of stare decisis; courts tend to follow earlier decisions (precedents). Our common law traditions concerning torts, contract, land management, and related concepts were originally adopted from English common law.

    The English tradition expanded the concept of the common law to include equity law. The early common law courts eventually became operationally difficult in many situations because of the dependence and reliance on case precedents. This often led to seemingly unfair and unjust outcomes in certain situations. The King eventually created a system of equity courts to provide relief apart from the common law. Equity courts did not as strictly adhere to precedent, but rather tried equity remedies based on broader principles of justice. Equity remedies tried to protect plaintiffs from unjust harm. Examples of equity court actions include injunctions and protective court orders as well as contempt of court citations.

    U.S. Constitution

    Without doubt, the most important statutory enactment is the Constitution of the United States, the law of the land. All federal, state, and local enactments, including the enactments of the local school board, are subordinate to and subject to the Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court. This authority was established in Marbury v. Madison (1803).1 Interestingly, while education is not mentioned anywhere in the Constitution, it was a major concern of our founding fathers: An early federal enactment, Northwest Ordinance of 1787, had an education focus that encouraged schools and the means of education.

    Our country has operated most effectively using what is called the separation of power doctrine, whereby each of our three branches of government—executive, legislative, and judicial—operates independently, and the branches are of relatively equal power and authority. The executive branch, led by the President, implements laws adopted by the legislative branch, composed of senators in the Senate and representatives in the House of Representatives, while the laws and actions of government are reviewed and scrutinized by the Supreme Court. While some strict constructionalists argue that the review power was not in the Constitution but assumed through the Marbury v. Madison (1803) case, there is little argument that this tripartite system of government has operated effectively for over 200 years. Similarly, the balance between state and federal government has been respected and recognized through the application of the comity principles of the Eleventh Amendment.

    Each of our original amendments, called the Bill of Rights, deals with a specific freedom or concern. Because education is not mentioned in the Constitution, it is a state responsibility as delineated by the reserve clause of the Tenth Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Other amendments dealing with personal rights usually have the most impact on schools. Some constitutional provisions also have more application, especially Article I, § 8 (to provide for the general welfare) and § 10 (to regulate commerce). Among the amendments most used in litigation are the First, Fourth, Fifth, and the Fourteenth.

    Associated Issues

    The assumed power of the Supreme Court to review the constitutionality of decisions or enactments of the legislative and executive branches is fundamental to the operation of government. This is part of our separation of powers doctrine; the three branches of government check and balance each other in our constitutional system. The presumption is that the actions of another branch are constitutional. The judicial branch, when it does intervene, has several specific judicial purposes. First, it settles controversies by applying legal principles to a specific fact situation. Second, it construes or interprets legislative enactments. Finally, it determines the constitutionality of legislative enactments or executive actions. Essentially, the courts settle conflicts that involve actual cases and controversies, as required by Article 3 of the Constitution. It cannot provide advisory opinions. Of course, what determines a case or controversy is left to the judgment of the court.

    At the trial level, a jury (or the judge, in what is called a “bench” trial) issues findings of fact after evaluating evidence, including witness statements and exhibits. A judgment and decree are issued, establishing the outcome of the litigation. This ruling is actually the beginning of common law regarding the issue. Appeals are then available from the trial court to a higher court, usually called a court of appeals. The party appealing the ruling is called the appellant and the opposing party the appellee. An appellant court may only review for error (e.g., ineffective counsel, admission of improper evidence, misinterpretation of testimony, or use of improper exhibits). It may not hear new evidence, hear witnesses, or consider any issue not raised in the trial court. Common law principles hold that decisions in one state are not binding precedent on courts in another state, but they may be persuasive (nonbinding) for similar fact patterns. In the federal system, there is only one correct answer to any question (i.e., a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court). That Court grants an extraordinary writ, called certiorari, accepting only a few cases each term. If the Court refuses to grant certiorari, then the decision of the appellate court becomes binding on that specific jurisdiction. Finally, after the U.S. Supreme Court (or the highest court in a state on issues not involving federal issues) makes a decision, that ruling becomes res judicata, a matter settled.


    1. Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 137 (1803).

  • Appendix A: Selected Provisions of the Constitution of the United States

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    Article I

    Section 8.

    [1] The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; …

    [3] To Regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and within the Indian Tribes; …

    [18] To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof …

    Section 10.

    [1] No State shall … pass any … Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts ….

    Article III

    Section 1. The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

    Section 2. [1]

    The Judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this constitution, the Laws of the United States and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority; …. to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;—to Controversies between two or more States;—between a State and Citizens of another State;—between Citizens or different States;—between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.

    Article VI

    [2] This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State of the Contrary notwithstanding.

    Amendment I [1791]

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Amendment IV [1791]

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    Amendment V [1791]

    No person shall be … compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    Amendment IX [1791]

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    Amendment X [1791]

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    Amendment XIII [1865]

    Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

    Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

    Amendment XIV [1868]

    Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    Amendment XXVII [Proposed]

    Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United states or by any State on account of sex.

    Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

    Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

    Appendix B: Table of Authorities

    Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, 431 U.S. 209, 97 S. Ct. 1782 (1977)242
    AFSCME v. Woodward, 406 F.2d 137 (8th Cir. 1969)233
    Agostini v. Felton, 117 S. Ct. (1997)45
    Aguilar v. Felton, 473 U.S. 402, 105 S. Ct. 3232 (1985)45
    Albach v. Odle, 531 F.2d 983 (10th Cir. 1976)295
    Alexander v. Holmes County Bd. of Ed., 396 U.S. 19 (1969)10
    Allen v. Casper, 622 N.E.2d 367 (Ohio App. 8th Dist. 1993)89
    Amador v. New Mexico State Board of Education, 80 N.M. 336 (1969)232
    Ambach v. Norwich, 441 U.S. 68, 99 S. Ct. 1589 (1979)232
    Arthur v. Nyquist, 712 F.2d 816 (2nd Cir. 1983)27
    Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now v. New York City Department of Education, 269 F. Supp. 2d 338 (S.D.N.Y. 2003)77
    Ayala v. Philadelphia Bd. of Pub. Educ., 305 A.2d 877 (Pa. 1973)332
    Baker v. Downey City Board of Education, 307 F. Supp. 517 (D.Cal. 1969)125
    Barcheski v. Grand Rapids Public School, 412 N.W.2d 296 (Mich. App. 1987)269
    Bartell v. Palos Verdes Peninsula Sch. Dist. 83 Cal. App. 3d 492 (1978)333
    Beeson v. Kiowa County School District, 567 P.2d 801 (Colo. App. 1977)125
    Beilan v. Board of Education, School District of Philadelphia, 357 U.S. 399 (1958)211
    Belanger v. Nashua, New Hampshire, School District, 856 F.Supp. 40 (D.N.H. 1994)377
    Bethel School Dist. No. 403 v. Fraser, 478 U.S. 675, 106 S. Ct. 3159 (1986)118
    Bishop v. Colaw, 450 F.2d 1069 (8th Cir. 1971)125
    Board of Ed. of Central School Dist. No.1 v. Allen, 392 U.S. 236, 88 S. Ct. 1923 (1968)61
    Board of Ed. of Island Trees Union Free School District No. 26 v. Pico, 457 U.S. 853 (1982)296
    Board of Education Independent School District No. 92 of Pottawatomie County v. Earls, 536 U.S. 822, 122 S. Ct. 2559 (2002)115
    Board of Education of Kiryas Joel Village School District v. Louis Grumet, 114 S. Ct. 2481 (1994)40
    Board of Education of the Westside Community Schools v. Mergens, 496 U.S. 226 (1990).53
    Board of Regents of State Colleges v. Roth, 408 U.S. 564 (1972)267
    Boring v. Buncombe County Board of Education, 136 F.3d 364 (4th Cir. 1998)197
    Bradley v. School Bd. of the City of Richmond, 382 U.S. 103, 86 S. Ct. 224 (1965)12
    Bragdon v. Abbot, 524 U.S. 624 (1998)261
    Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444, 89 S. Ct. 1827 (1969)203
    Brosnan v. Livonia Public Schools, 123 Mich. App. 377 (1983)332
    Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka 347 U.S. 483, 74 S. Ct. 686 (1954)16
    Brown v. Board of Ed. of Topeka (Brown II), 349 U.S. 294, 75 S. Ct. 753 (1955)5
    Bush v. Holmes, 767 So.2d 668 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2000)61
    California Teachers Association v. State Board of Education, 271 F.3d 1141 (9th Cir. 2001)156
    Carey v. Piphus, 435 U.S. 247 (1978)333
    Castaneda v. Pickard, 648 F.2d 989 (5th Cir. 1981)158
    Chalk v. United States District Court Central District of California and Orange County Superintendent of Schools, 840 F.2d 701 (9th Cir. 1988)272
    Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson, 475 U.S. 292, 106 S. Ct. 1066 (1986)245
    City of Madison v. Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission, 429 U.S. 167 (1976)211
    City of Newport v. Fact Concerts, Inc., 453 U.S. 247 (1981)333
    C.J. v. School Board of Broward County, 438 So.2d 87 (1983)125
    Clarke v. Shoreline School District No. 412, King County, 729 P.2d 793 (Wash. 1986)173
    Cleveland Board of Ed. v. LaFleur, 414 U.S. 632, 94 S. Ct. 791 (1974)223
    Cochran v. Louisiana State Bd. of Ed., 281 U.S. 370, 50 S. Ct. 335 (1930)61
    Columbus Board of Education v. Penick, 443 U.S. 449 (1979)384
    Committee for Public Education v. Nyquist 413 U.S. 756, 93 S. Ct. 2814 (1973)40
    Connick v. Meyers, 461 U.S. 138 (1983)200
    Cornelius v. NAACP Legal Defense & Educ. Fund, 473 U.S. 788 (1985)48
    County of Allegheny v. ACLU, Greater Pittsburgh Chapter, 492 U.S. 573, 109 S. Ct. 3086 (1989)61
    Dailey v. Los Angeles Unified School District, 470 P.2d 360 (1970)333
    Davenport v. Randolph County Board of Education, 730 F.2d 1395 (1984)125
    Davidson v. Board of Governors, 920 F.2d 441 (7th Cir. 1990)275
    Dayton Board of Education v. Brinkman, 433 U.S. 406 (1977)27
    Dayton Board of Education v. Brinkman, 443 U.S. 526 (1979)27
    Debra P. v. Turlington, 564 F. Supp. 177, aff'd, 730 F.2d 1405 (11th Cir. 1984)298
    Deeper Life Christian Fellowship, Inc. v. Sobol, 948 F.2d 79 (1991)47
    DeRolph v. State, 78 Ohio St. 3d 193, 677 N.E.2d 733 (1997)351
    Deshaney v. Winnebago Cnty. Dep. Soc. Serv., 489 U.S. 189 (1989)331
    Dike v. School Board of Orange County, Florida, 650 F.2d 783 (5th Cir. 1981)211
    Doe v. Knox County Board of Education, 918 F.Supp. 181 (E.D. Ky.1996)140
    Donohue v. Copiague Union Free School District, 47 N.Y.2d 440, 418 N.Y.S.2d 375, 391 N.E. 2d 1352 (1979)328
    East Hartford Ed. Ass'n v. Bd of Ed., 562 F.2d 838 (2d Cir. 1977)211
    E.E.O.C. v. Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate, 990 F. 2d 458 (9th Cir. 1993)228
    E.E.O.C. v. Madison Community Unit School District No. 12, 818 F.2d 577 (7th Cir. 1987)275
    Eisner v. Stamford Board of Education, 440 F.2d 803 (2d Cir. 1971)125
    Epperson v. Arkansas, 393 U.S. 97, 89 S. Ct. 266 (1968)306
    Erb v. Iowa State Board of Public Instruction, 216 N.W.2d 339 (1974)275
    Everson v. Board of Education of the Township of Ewing, 330 U.S. 855 (1947)49
    Fay v. South Colonie Central School District, 802 F.2d 21 (2d Cir. 1986)132
    Fisher v. Snyder, 476 F.2d 375 (8th Cir. 1973)275
    Flaherty v. Keystone Oaks School Dist., 247 F.Supp 2d 698 (W.D.Pa. 2003)377
    Fowler v. Board of Education of Lincoln County, 819 F.2d 657 (6th Cir. 1987)275
    Franklin v. Gwinnett County Public Schools, 503 U.S. 60 (1992)253
    Freeman v. Pitts, 503 U.S. 467, 112 S. Ct. 1430 (1992)23
    Fresh Start Academy v. Toledo Board of Education 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5336 (N.D. Ohio, 2005)78
    Geller v. Markham, 635 F.2d 1027 (2d Cir. 1980)232
    Gillett v. Unified School District No. 276, 227 Kan. 71 (1980)275
    Goetz v. Ansell, 477 F.2d 636 (2d Cir. 1973)294
    Goldberg v. Kelly, 397 U.S. 254, 90 S. Ct. 1011 (1970)178
    Golden State Transit Corp. v. Los Angeles, 498 U.S. 103 (1989)333
    Gong Lum v. Rice, 275 U.S. 78 (1927)9
    Gonzaga Univ. v. Doe, 536 U.S. 273 (2002)137
    Good News Club v. Milford Central School, 533 U.S. 98, 121 S. Ct. 2093 (2001)57
    Gosney v. Sonora Independent School District, 603 F.2d 522 (5th Cir. 1979)275
    Goss v. Lopez, 419 U.S. 565, 95 S. Ct. 729 (1975)123
    Green v. New Kent County School Board, 391 U.S. 430 (1968)23
    Griffin v. County School Bd. of Prince Edward County, 377 U.S. 218, 84 S. Ct. 1226 (1964)26
    Griggs v. Duke Power Co., 401 U.S. 424, 91 S. Ct. 849 (1971)230
    Grube v. Bethlehem Area School District, 550 F. Supp. 418 (1982)162
    Gurmankin v. Costanzo, 556 F.2d 184 (3d Cir. 1977)275
    Guzick v. Drebus, 431 F.2d 594 (6th Cir. 1970)124
    Harrah Independent School District v. Martin, 440 U.S. 194, 99 S. Ct. 1062 (1979)225
    Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, 484 U.S. 260, 108 S. Ct. 562 (1988)116
    Hendrick Hudson Central School District v. Rowley, 485 U.S. 176 (1982)179
    Hibbs v. Arensberg, 276 Pa. 24, 119 A. 727 (1923)300
    Honig, California Superintendent of Public Instruction v. Doe, 484 U.S. 305, 108 S. Ct. 592 (1988)182
    Howlett v. Rose, 496 U.S. 356 (1990)299
    Hunter v. Board of Education of Montgomery County, 292 Md. 481 (1982)329
    Hurry v. Jones, 734 F.2d 879 (1st Cir. 1984)360
    Ingraham v. Wright, 430 U.S. 651 (1977)125
    Ingram v. Boone, 91 A.D.2d 1063 (N.Y. App. 1983)359
    In re Patchogue-Medford Congress of Teachers v. Bd. of Ed., 510 N.E.2d 325 (1987)206
    Irving Independent School District v. Tatro, 468 U.S. 883 (1984)180
    Jackson v. Benson, 578 N.W.2d 602 (Wis.1998)61
    Jackson v. Birmingham Board of Education, 2005 U.S. Lexis 2928 (2005)264
    Jacobson v. Cincinnati Bd. Of Educ., 961 F.2d 100 (6th Cir 1992)211
    Johnson v. Pinkerton Academy, 861 F.2d 335 (1st Cir. 1988)333
    J.S. v. Bethlehem Area School Dist., 807 A.2d 847 (N.D.Ohio 2002)375
    Juneau Academy v. Chicago Board of Education, 122 Ill. App.3d 553 (1984)304
    Keefe v. Geanokos, 418 F.2d 359 (1st Cir. 1969)192
    Kenai Penin. Bor. Sch. Dist. and Kenai Penin. Bor. v. Kenai Penin. Ed. Assn., 572 P.2d 416 (1977)244
    Keyes v. School District No.1, 413 U.S. 189 (1973)19
    Kingsville Independent School District v. Cooper, 611 F.2d 1109 (5th Cir. 1980)275
    Knight v. Board of Regents of University of State of New York, 269 F.Supp. 339 (1967)211
    Knox County Board of Education v. Willis, 405 S.W.2d 952 (1966)274
    Knox County Education Association v. Knox County Board of Education, 158 F.3d 361 (6th Cir. 1998)197
    Lamb's Chapel et al. v. Center Moriches Union Free School District et al. 1135 S. Ct. 2141 (1993)47
    Lau v. Nichols, 414 U.S. 563 (1974)151
    Lawes v. Board of Education of the City of New York, 16 N.Y.2d 302 (1965)320
    Lee v. Weisman, 505 U.S. 577 (1992)30
    Leffal v. Dallas Independent School District, 28 F.3d 521 (1994)374
    Lehnert v. Ferris Faculty Assn., 111 S. Ct. 1950 (1991)247
    Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1971)50
    Logan v. City of New York, 148 A.D. 2d 167 (1989)373
    Machinists v. Street, 367 U.S. 740, (1961)242
    Mallory v. Barrera, 544 S.W.2d 556 (1976)61
    Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 137 (1803)xxiv
    Marion & McPherson Ry. Co. v. Alexander, 63 Kan 72 (1901)354
    Marshall v. Kirkland, 602 F.2d 1282 (8th Cir. 1979)232
    Martinez v. Bynum, 461 U.S. 321 (1983)91
    Martin Luther King, Jr., Elementary School Children v. Michigan Board of Education, 473 F.Supp. 1371 (E.D. Mich. 1979)154
    Massie v. Henry, 455 F.2d 779 (4th Cir. 1972)125
    Matter of McMillan, 226 S.E.2d 693 (N.C. Ct. App. 1976)146
    McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, 339 U.S. 637 (1950)5
    Meek v. Pittenger, 421 U.S. 349 (1975)55
    Meritor Savings Bank, FSB v. Vinson 477 U.S. 57 (1986)260
    Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390 (1923)152
    Milliken v. Bradley, 418U.S.717(1974)20
    Milliken v. Bradley, 433 U.S. 267 (1977)27
    Mills v. Board of Education of District of Columbia, 348 F.Supp. 866 (D.D.C. 1972)178
    Minarcini v. Strongesville City School District, 541 F.2d 577 (6th Cir. 1976)297
    Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada, 305 U.S. 337 (1938)4
    Missouri v. Jenkins, 495 U.S. 33 (1990)22
    Mitchell v. Helms, 530 U.S. 1296 (2000)38
    Monell v. Department of Social Services of the City of New York, 436 U.S. 658 (1978)326
    Monroe v. Pape, 365 U.S. 167 (1961)327
    Mt. Healthy v. Doyle, 429 U.S. 274 (1977)209
    Mueller v. Allen, 463 U.S. 388, 103 S. Ct. 3062 (1983)61
    National Treasury Employees Union v. Von Raab, 109 S. Ct. 1384 (1989)205
    Nat'l Gay Task Force v. Bd. of Education of Oklahoma City, 729 F.2d 1270 (10th Cir. 1984)202
    New Jersey v. Massa, 95 N.J. Super. 382 (1967)95
    New Jersey v. T.L.O., 469 U.S. 325 (1985)119
    O'Connor v. Ortega, 480 U.S. 709 (1987)211
    Oklahoma ex rel. Thompson v. Ekberg, 613 P.2d 466 (1980)232
    Oracle Sch. Dist. #2 v. Mammoth High School Distric No. 88, 130 Ariz. App. 41 (1981)306
    Owasso Indep. School Dist. No 1—11 v. Falvo, 534 U.S. 426 (2002)136
    Palmer v. Board of Educ. of City of Chicago, 603 F.2d 1271 (7th Cir. 1979)275
    Palmer v. Merluzzi, 868 F.2d 90 (3rd Cir. 1989)125
    Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 et al. No. 05-908 (Decided June 28, 2007)25
    Penasco Independent School District No.4 v. Lucero, 86 N.M. 683 (1974)275
    Pennsylvania Ass'n for Retarded Children v. Commonwealth, 334 F. Supp. 1257 (E.D. Pa. 1971)162
    People of State of Illinois ex rel. McCollum v. Board of Ed. of School Dist. No. 71, Champaign County, 333 U.S. 203 (1948)61
    People v. Turner, 263 P.2d 685 (Cal. Super. Ct. 1953)101
    People v. William G., 709 P.2d 1287 (S. Ct. Calif. 1985)110
    Perry v. Sinderman, 408 U.S. 593 (1972)266
    Peter v. San Francisco Unified School Dist., 60 C.A. 3d 814 (1976)325
    Phelps v. Bd. of Education of Town of West New York, 300 U.S. 319 (1937)211
    Pickering v. Board of Education of Township High School District, 391 U.S. 563 (1968)208
    Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510 (1925)94
    Pinsker v. Joint District No. 28J of Adams and Arapahoe Counties, 735 F.2d 388 (10th Cir. 1984)203
    Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896)3
    Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982)98
    President's Council, Dist. 25 v. Community School Board, 457 F.2d 289 (2nd Cir. 1972)297
    Price v. Young, 580 F.Supp. 1 (E.D. Ark. 1983)138
    Railway Employees' Department v. Hanson, 351 U.S. 225 (1956)248
    Raleigh v. Independent School District No. 625, 275 N.W. 2d 572 (Minn. 1979)333
    Resnick v. East Brunswick Township Board of Education, 77 N.J. 88 (1978)360
    Responsive Environments Corp. v. Pulaski Cnty. Special School Dist., 366 F.Supp. 241 (E.D. Ark 1973)303
    Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145 (1879)30
    Roberts v. City of Boston, 59 Mass. 198 (1896)4
    Robinson v. Cahill, 70 N.J. 465 (1973)337
    Rosenberger v. Rector of University of Virginia, 515 U.S. 819 (1995)61
    Rose v. Council for Better Education, Inc., 790 S.W.2d (1989)337
    Rose v. Nashua Board of Education, 679 F.2d 279 (1st Cir. 1982)357
    Rupp v. Bryant, 417 So. 2d 658 (Fla. 1982)333
    S. v. Board of Education, of S.F. Unif. Sch. Dist., 97 Cal. Rptr. 422 (1971)125
    San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1 (1973)356
    Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe, 530 U.S. 290 (2000)41
    Sawyer v. Gilmore, State Treasurer, 109 Me. 169 (1912)355
    Schafer v. Board of Public Ed., 903 F.2d 243 (3d Cir. 1990)211
    Schaffer v. Weast, 546 U.S. 49, 53 (2005)187
    School Board of Nassau County, Florida v. Arline, 480 U.S. 273 (1987)271
    The School Board of Palm Beach County v. Anderson, 411 So. 2d 940 (1982)372
    School Dist. of Abington Township, Pennsylvania v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203 (1963)42
    School District of the City of Grand Rapids v. Ball, 473 U.S. 373 (1985)55
    School District of the City of Pontiac, et al. v. Spellings (filed April 20, 2005)80
    Serrano v. Priest, 5 Cal.3d 584 P.2d. 1241 (1971)360
    Singleton v. Jackson Municipal Separate School Dist., 419 F.2d 1211 (5th Cir. 1970), cert. den. 396 U.S. 1032 (1970)12
    Skinner v. Railway Labor Executives Assn., 489 U.S. 602 (1989)204
    Slochower v. Board of Higher Education of New York City, 350 U.S. 551 (1956)211
    Smith v. St. Tammany Parish School Board, 448 F.2d 414 (5th Cir. 1971)125
    Southeastern Community College v. Davis, 442 U.S. 397 (1979)187
    State of Wisconsin v. Popanz, 112 Wis.2d 166 (1983)99
    State v. Priest, 210 La. 389, 27 So. 2d 173 (1946)90
    Stroman v. Colleton County School District, 981 F.2d 152 (4th Cir. 1993)196
    Sullivan v. Meade Independent School District No. 101, 530 F.2d 799 (1976)389
    Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Bd. of Ed., 402 U.S. 1 (1971)10
    Sweatt v. Painter, 340 U.S. 846 (1950)4
    Tate v. Bd. of Ed. of Jonesboro, Ark., Special Education District, 453 F.2d 975 (8th Cir. 1972)124
    Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968)120
    Texas State Teachers Assn. v. Garland Independent School District, 777 F.2d 1046 (5th Cir. 1985)333
    Tibbs v. Board of Education of Township of Franklin, 276 A.2d 165 (NJ Super. Ct. 1971)125
    Timothy v. Rochester, New Hampshire School District, 875 F.2d 954 (1st Cir. 1989)183
    Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, 393 U.S. 503 (1969)121
    Titus v. Lindberg, 49 N.J. 66, 228 A.2d 65 (1967)321
    Trietley v. Board of Ed. of Buffalo, 409 N.Y.S. 2d 912 (App. Div. 1978)47
    United States v. Montgomery County Bd. of Ed., 395 U.S. 225, 89 S. Ct. 1670 (1969)12
    United States v. State of South Carolina, 445 F.Supp. 1094 (1978)224
    Utah Plumb./Heat. Contractor Assn. v. Bd. of Ed. Weiser Cnty. Sch. Dist., 19 Utah 2d. 203 (1967)302
    Van Allen v. McCleary, 211 N.Y.S.2d 501 (N.Y.Sup. Ct. 1961)142
    Vanelli v. Reynolds School Dist. No. 7, 667 F.2d 773 (9th Cir. 1982)268
    Vernonia School District 471 v. Acton, 515 U.S. 646 (1995)105
    Viemeister v. Board of Education of Borough of Prospect Park, 5 N.J. Super 215 (1949)265
    Viveiros v. Hawaii, 54 Haw. 611 (1973)322
    Wallace v. Veterans Admin., 683 F.Supp. 758 (D. Kan. 1988)173
    Wards Cove Packing Company, Inc. v. Atonio, 490 U.S. 642 (1989)227
    Warner v. St. Bernard Parish School District, 99 F.Supp.2d 748 (E.D. La. 2000)141
    Warren v. National Association of Secondary School Principals, 375 F. Supp. 1043 (1974)125
    Washington v. Seattle School District No.1, 458 U.S. 457 (1982)27
    West Virginia v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943)43
    Widmar v. Vincent, 454 U.S. 263 (1981)54
    Winkelman, a Minor, by and Through His Parents and Legal Guardians Winkelman et ux., et al. v. Parma City School District, No. 05-983, U.S. Supreme Court (2007)184
    Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205, (1972)96
    Witters v. Washington Dept. of Services for Blind, 474 U.S. 481 (1986)62
    Wolman v. Walter, 433 U.S. 229 (1977)51
    Wolman v. Walter, 444 U.S. 801 (1979)5
    Wood v. Strickland, 420 U.S. 308 (1975)323
    Wygant v. Jackson Bd. of Ed., 476 U.S. 267, 106 S. Ct. 1842 (1986)13
    Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, 536 U.S. 639, 122 S. Ct. 2460 (2002)59
    Zobrest et al. v. Catalina Foothills School District, 113 S. Ct. 2462 (1993)54
    Zorach v. Clauson, 343 U.S. 306 (1952)61
    Zykan v. Warsaw Community School Corp., 631 F.2d 1300 (7th Cir. 1980)211


    • Absolute Unconditional; complete and perfect in itself; without relation to or dependence on other things or persons.
    • Act A law passed by the Congress or a state legislature; a statute.
    • Action A judicial proceeding in which one party prosecutes another for the enforcement or protection of a right, for the redress or prevention of a wrong, or for punishment of a public offense.
    • Adduced Presented as evidence.
    • Admission A voluntary acknowledgment by a party of the truth of certain facts that are inconsistent with his claims in an action.
    • Advocate To speak in favor of.
    • Affidavit A written or printed declaration of statement of facts made voluntarily and confirmed by the oath or affirmation of the party making it, taken before an officer having authority to administer such an oath.
    • Affirmed In the practice of appellate courts, to affirm a judgment, decree, or order, is to declare that it is valid and right and must stand as rendered below.
    • Amicus Curiae Latin: Friend of the court. A person with strong interest in or views on the subject matter of an action, but who is not a party to the action, may petition the court for permission to file a brief, ostensibly on behalf of a party but actually to suggest a rationale consistent with his or her own views.
    • Appeal The complaint to a superior court of an injustice done or error committed by an inferior court, whose judgment or decision the court above is called upon to correct or reverse.
    • Appellant The party who takes an appeal from one court or jurisdiction to another.
    • Appellate Court A state or federal court that may review the judgment of a lower court. In a trial de novo, the appellate court may also hear new evidence or redetermine the facts that appear in the record of the original trial. In the United States, the U.S. Supreme Court is the final court of appeals.
    • Appellee Party against whom an appeal is taken.
    • Assault Any intentional display of force or a movement that could reasonably give the victim reason to fear or expect immediate bodily harm.
    • Battery Intentional and wrongful physical contact of a person without his or her consent that entails some injury or offensive touching.
    • Bill The draft of a proposed law.
    • Bill of Rights The first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
    • Brief A written statement prepared by the counsel arguing a case in court. It contains a summary of the facts of the case, the pertinent laws, and how the laws apply to the facts supporting counsel's position.
    • Case An action, cause, suit, or controversy; a question contested before a court of justice.
    • Certiorari Writ issued by a superior to an inferior court requiring the latter to produce a certified record of a particular case tried therein. The Supreme Court of the United States uses the writ of certiorari as a discretionary device to choose the cases it wishes to hear.
    • Challenge To object or take exception to.
    • Citation The system used to identify the law report in which a court case is published. The citation includes the title, volume, and page number of the law report and the year of the decision.
    • Cite To read or refer to legal authorities in support of propositions of law.
    • Class Action The means by which one or more persons interested in a matter may sue or be sued as representatives of a class without needing to join every member of the class.
    • Clause A subdivision of a legal document, such as a contract, deed, will, constitution, or statute.
    • Code See Statutes.
    • Common Law A body of law derived from usages and customs of antiquity or from court judgments affirming and enforcing such usages and customs, as distinguished from legislative enactments.
    • Complaint The original or initial pleading by which an action is commenced under codes or Rules of Civil Procedure.
    • Concurring Opinion A judge's decision that agrees with the result reached by the majority, but disagrees with the precise reasoning leading to that result.
    • Constitutional Consistent with or authorized by the Constitution.
    • Construe To ascertain the meaning of language by arranging and interpreting the words of an instrument, statute, regulation, court decision, or other legal authority.
    • Count A charge; one of the offenses in the plaintiff's stated causes for an action.
    • Court of Appeals See Appellate Court.
    • Decide To arrive at a determination. To “decide” includes the power and right to deliberate, to weigh the reasons for and against, to see which preponderate, and to be governed by that preponderance.
    • Declaratory Judgment Statutory remedy for the determination of a justiciable controversy in which the plaintiff is in doubt as to his legal rights.
    • De Facto In fact; actually; a reality.
    • Defendant The person against whom the case is brought. Essentially, the person who must make a response to the complaint that the plaintiff has initiated and put on the record.
    • De Jure Of right; legitimate; lawful.
    • De Minimis Under this doctrine, the law does not care for, or take notice of, very small or trifling matters.
    • Demurrer An objection made by one party to his opponent's pleading, alleging that he ought not to answer it for some defect in law. It admits the facts but argues they do not warrant legal action.
    • Dicta From the Latin Obiter Dicta: Remarks by the way. Statements and comments in a judge's opinion concerning some rule of law or legal proposition not essential to the determination of the case in hand.
    • Directory A provision in a statute, rule, procedure, or the like that is mere direction of no obligatory force and involves no invalidating consequence for its disregard. See also Mandatory.
    • Dissenting Opinion A judge's decision that disagrees with the result reached by the majority and thus disagrees with the reasoning and/or the principles of law used by the majority in deciding the case.
    • Distinguished Pointed out an essential difference; proved a case is inapplicable.
    • Diversity Jurisdiction Diversity jurisdiction applies when there is a conflict between a citizen of one state and a citizen of a different state. When such diversity occurs, the case goes into a federal court, which will apply the laws of the relevant state.
    • Doctrine A rule, principle, theory, or tenet of the law.
    • Due Process A course of legal proceeding designed to safeguard the legal rights of the individual.
    • En Banc Full bench. Refers to a session where the entire membership of the court will participate in the decision rather than the regular quorum. Only occurs when the issues involved are unusually novel or of wide impact.
    • Equal Protection of the Laws The constitutional guarantee that no person or class of persons can be denied the protection of the laws that is enjoyed by other persons in similar circumstances.
    • Equity Concept from English common law that empowers a court to remedy a situation in which rights are being violated but existing law does not provide a remedy.
    • Error A mistake of law, or false or irregular application of it, that vitiates the proceedings and warrants the reversal of judgment.
    • Et al. Latin: And others.
    • Express Authority Authority delegated to an agent by words that expressly authorize him to do a delegable act. That which confers power to do a particular identical thing set forth and declared exactly, plainly, and directly within well-defined limits.
    • Ex rel. From the Latin Ex Relatione: On the relation. Legal proceedings that are instituted by the attorney general (or other proper person) in the name and on behalf of the state, but on the information and at the instigation of an individual who has a private interest in the matter.
    • Federal Courts The principal federal courts are the District Court, a trial court of general federal jurisdiction, and the U.S. Court of Appeals, intermediate appellate courts sitting in 11 numbered circuits, the District of Columbia, and the Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit and having jurisdiction over most cases decided by District Courts. The decisions of the Court of Appeals are reviewable on appeal only by the U.S. Supreme Court.
    • Felony Generally, a crime punishable by death or imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.
    • Finding A court's decision as to the facts in a case, an interpretation of the facts, or the case as a whole.
    • Implied This word is used in law in contrast to “express,” that is, the intention is not manifested by explicit and direct words, but is gathered by implication or necessary deduction from the circumstances, the general language, or the conduct of the parties.
    • Injunction A court order prohibiting someone from doing some specified act or commanding someone to undo some wrong or injury.
    • In Loco Parentis Latin: In the place of a parent.
    • In Re Latin: In the matter of. In the title of a case, usually indicates that it is not an adversarial proceeding, but is merely asking for a judgment about some matter.
    • Inter Alia Latin: Among other things. A term used in pleading, especially in reciting statements in which the whole statute is not set forth.
    • Jurisdiction The power and authority of a court to hear and determine legal proceedings. Presupposes the existence of a duly constituted court with control over the subject matter and the parties.
    • Justice Title given to judges, particularly to judges of U.S. and state supreme courts, as well as to judges of appellate courts.
    • Liable Legally responsible; usually applies in a civil matter.
    • Libel One of the twin torts of defamation; this is defamation by printed or written communication.
    • Majority Opinion The majority opinion in a case is usually written by one judge and represents the principles of law that a majority of his or her colleagues on the court deem operative in a given decision; it has more precedential value than any other type of decision.
    • Mandatory Containing a command; perceptive; imperative; peremptory; obligatory. Failure to follow a “mandatory” provision in a statute renders the proceedings to which it relates void, while following a “directory” provision is not necessary to the validity of the proceeding.
    • Ministerial Authority Authority regarding which nothing is left to discretion. A simple and definite duty imposed by law.
    • Misfeasance The improper performance of some act that a person may lawfully do (a misdeed).
    • Moot A case is “moot” when a determination is sought on a matter that, when rendered, cannot have any practical effect on the existing controversy.
    • Negligence The omission to do something that a reasonable man, guided by those ordinary considerations that ordinarily regulate human affairs, would do, or the doing of something that a reasonable and prudent man would not do. The failure to use ordinary care.
    • Nonfeasance Nonperformance of some act that a person is obligated or has a responsibility to perform; omission to perform a required duty at all; or, total neglect of duty.
    • Opinion The statement by a judge or court of the decision reached in regard to a cause tried or argued before either of them, expounding the law as applied to the case, and detailing the reasons upon which the judgment is based.
    • Ordinance A municipal law.
    • Parens Patriae Latin: Parent of the country. Refers traditionally to the role of the state as sovereign and guardian of persons under legal disability, such as juveniles or the insane.
    • Per Curiam Latin: By the court. Used to distinguish an opinion of the whole court from written opinions of one judge.
    • Petition: Written application or prayer to the court seeking redress of a wrong or requesting the grant of a privilege or license.
    • Plaintiff A person who brings an action; the party who complains or sues in a civil action and is so named on the record.
    • Plurality Decision A decision that is agreed to by less than a majority of the court with respect to the reasoning of the decision, but is agreed to by a majority with respect to the result.
    • Police Power A state's power to make and enforce laws for the general welfare of the public, including regulation of education, both public and nonpublic.
    • Precedent A decision by a higher court providing an authority for an identical or similar case later arising on a similar question of law.
    • Prima Facie Latin: At first view, on its first appearance, on its face. Evidence supporting a conclusion unless it is rebutted.
    • Proceeding Any action, hearing, investigation, inquest, or inquiry in which, pursuant to law, testimony can be compelled to be given; also called judicial proceedings.
    • Proximate Cause That which, in a natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by an efficient intervening cause, produces the injury and without which the result would not have occurred.
    • Punitive Damages An award in a civil case that is intended to punish.
    • Quid Pro Quo Giving one valuable thing for another.
    • Remand To send back. The act of an appellate court when it sends a case back to the trial court and orders the trial court to conduct limited new hearings or an entirely new trial or to take some further action.
    • Reports Published volumes of case decisions by a particular court or group of courts, for
    • example, Supreme Court Reporter.
    • Res Judicata Latin: A thing decided. The final outcome in a case.
    • Respondent The party who makes an answer to a bill or other proceeding in an equity. In appellate practice, the party who contends against an appeal; the appellee.
    • Reversed To overthrow, vacate, set aside, make void, annul, repeal, or revoke; to reverse a judgment, sentence, or decree of a lower court by an appellate court, or to change to the contrary or to a former condition.
    • Sect As applied to religious bodies, a party or body of persons who unite in holding certain special doctrines or opinions concerning religion, which distinguish them from others holding the same general religious belief.
    • Sovereign Immunity A judicial doctrine that precludes bringing suit against the government without its consent.
    • Standing to Sue The right to take the initial step that frames legal issues for ultimate adjudication by a court or jury.
    • Stare Decisis Latin: Stand by what has been decided. Adhering to precedent, applying a previous decision to the present case; the previous decision has become the rule.
    • Statutes Laws enacted by the legislative power of a country or state.
    • Strict Scrutiny This standard is applied to suspect classifications in an equal protection analysis as well as to fundamental rights in a due process analysis; essentially, the state must establish that it has a compelling interest that justifies and necessitates the law being challenged.
    • Subpoena A command to appear at a certain time and place to give testimony upon a certain matter.
    • Summary Judgment Procedural device available for prompt and expeditious disposition of controversy without trial when there is no dispute as to either material fact or inferences to be drawn from undisputed facts, or if only a question of law is involved.
    • Supra Above; upon. This word occurring by itself in a book refers the reader to a previous part of the book.
    • Term When used with reference to a court, signifies the space of time during which the court holds session. A session signifies the time during the term when the court sits for the transaction of business, and the session commences when the court convenes for the term and continues until final adjournment, either before or at the expiration of the term.
    • Theory See doctrine.
    • Tort A private or civil wrong or injury for which the court will provide a remedy in the form of money damages.
    • Trial Court A court of original jurisdiction; the initial court to consider litigation.
    • Ultra Vires An act performed without any authority to act on the subject. Acts beyond the scope of the powers of a corporation, as defined by its charter or laws of state of incorporation.
    • Unanimous To say that a proposition was adopted by a “unanimous” vote does not always mean that everyone present voted for the proposition, but it may, and generally does, mean when a viva voce vote is taken, that no one voted in the negative.
    • Venue A neighborhood, place, or county in which an injury is declared to have been done or a fact declared to have happened. Venue does not refer to jurisdiction.
    • Warrant A written order of the court that is made on behalf of the state, or United States, and is based upon a complaint issued pursuant to statute and/or court rule and commands a law enforcement officer to arrest a person and bring him before a magistrate.
    • Writ of Mandamus Latin: We command. A writ that issues from a court of superior jurisdiction, directed to a private or municipal corporation or any of its officers or to an executive, administrative, or judicial officer or to an inferior court, commanding the performance of a particular act therein specified.

    About the Author

    Frank D. Aquila is a professor of educational administration at Cleveland State University. Aquila received his doctoral degree from Kent State University and his law degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. In addition to his graduate teaching and direction of several grant programs, he has served as a teacher, coach, principal, supervisor, and central office administrator. In addition to over 100 journal articles and research studies and several books focusing on school administration, he has published two books of education law cases. Aquila serves as a hearing officer for several school districts. His legal practice has focused on youth and he has participated in over 200 guardian ad litem cases in both juvenile court and domestic relations court. He presently serves as of-counsel with McGown & Markling Co., LPA where he concentrates on special education law, collective bargaining, and issues related to civil rights.

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