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What to Do When Your Child's School Suspects Abuse at Home

If a school or teacher suspects your child is being abused or neglected at home, state laws generally require that the teacher or school administrator report the suspected abuse to authorities. It is a requirement of their jobs to spot the signs of abuse or neglect, and make the report.

If your child has bruises all over their body and doesn’t explain that the bruises are from football camp, for example, then the teacher will likely be required by law to report their suspicions.

There are few topics more politically polarizing at the moment than charter schools. One side of the argument claims that bad teachers have too much job security and we need to run public schools more like private businesses. The other contends public schools are underfunded, teachers are underpaid, and the solution is not diverting public funds to schools lacking public oversight.

No matter which side of the fence you're on, there is little debate that the quality of charter schools varies greatly, and some have been used as schemes to pocket millions in government funds. So what if this happens at a charter school in which your child is enrolled? Or a charter school made unfulfilled educational promises? Do you have any legal recourse? Here's a look.

There are all kinds of child custody issues that could arise during the school year. What if one parent is moving out of state? Maybe a previous custody agreement is being modified, going from one parent having full custody to sharing custody. And if each parent lives in a different school district, how do you determine which school the child goes to? Maybe the child needs to transfer to a school out of either parent’s district.

Child custody issues can be complicated even before taking school into account. So here’s what you need to know about changing a child custody arrangement during the school year.

Balancing the rights of children in school can be difficult. On the one hand, they don't forfeit all of their constitutional rights just by walking onto school grounds. On the other hand, schools have an interest in maintaining a safe educational environment for all students. So where does forcing a 12-year-old student to take off his underwear and bend over in front of the vice-principal, a school resource officer, and three classmates fall on that scale?

Too far, ruled the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. The court is allowing the boy's lawsuit against the school district and assistant principal to proceed, despite the school arguing that it couldn't be held liable for strip searching students in public.

On the 50th anniversary of one of the deadliest campus shootings in U.S. history, which incidentally happened at the state's premier university, a Texas law went into effect allowing students to carry guns into classrooms. Not everyone was pleased with the new legislation, however, least of all professors at the University of Texas. Three of them sued the school and the state, asking for the law to be overturned or to be allowed to ban guns in their classrooms.

Those professors were in court yesterday, arguing that permitted firearms in class would chill the free speech rights of both students and teachers. So how will those rights be balanced with the right to bear arms of others?

Texas U. Profs Challenge New Campus Concealed Carry Gun Law

It's summertime and the livin' should be easy for college professors, who often have the season off. But last week, instead of enjoying summer vacation, a few University of Texas professors were busy filing a lawsuit in preparation for the coming semester.

Next month, a new law goes into effect that will allow handgun license holders over 21 to carry concealed firearms on campus. The professors argue that the guns are a danger in light of the many emotional social issues discussed in classes, according to U.S. News and World Report. They worry that discussion will be muted by the presence of weapons and argue that the new state law forces schools to adopt "dangerously experimental gun policies."

Should Schools Have a Medical Marijuana Policy?

Schools in Colorado have an unusual mandate that may be coming to your state soon. They have been ordered to formulate policies allowing medical marijuana possession by students who use cannabis to treat illness.

The law applies only to non-smoked marijuana, so it's not like the Colorado schoolyards will be packed with blunt-puffing kids. It is intended to protect children with serious illnesses who rely on cannabis and, before the passage of this law, were technically violating policy by consuming it in school.

We want our kids to get the best education possible, and to be nurtured and safe while they're in school. So how do schools balance the educational, interpersonal, and safety concerns of their students, while also taking into account their legal rights and Constitutional protections?

Here's what you need to know about a student's rights in school, and what to do when legal issues arise on campus.

The phrase "white privilege" comes with the same kind of contextual and cultural baggage as the phrases "gun control" or "First Amendment" at this point. And it's also becoming the same kind of conversational third rail on social media. But some people are tackling not just white privilege, but gender, religious, and class privilege in some very important contexts: teachers are talking to their students about privilege.

And now that phrase is starting to come with the same legal baggage as those other two. A Florida middle school teacher was suspended after giving her students a questionnaire on gender, sexual identity, and religion as part of a lesson on privilege. So when and how can you talk to your students about privilege, and what can you do or say about it?

Teachers Challenge Law Barring Sex With Teen Students

School employees in Alabama are barred by statute from having sex with students under 19. That law is being challenged as unconstitutional for criminalizing otherwise sanctioned behavior, according to the Decatur Daily.

Carrie Cabri Witt, 42, a teacher accused of sleeping with two male students, both 17, moved to dismiss criminal charges against her based on that law. The age of consent in Alabama is 16, so aside from the school employee rule, the relationship would have been cool, legally speaking at least.