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Law in School: Top 9 Student Rights Issues

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By Christopher Coble, Esq. on June 06, 2016 12:58 PM

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.

1. Student Rights: Can I Get Searched at School?

Schools have an obligation to keep all of their students safe. But do they need to comply with the 4th Amendment's rules on search and seizure in doing so?

2. Can a School Take My Kid's Cell Phone?

Maybe you gave your daughter a phone so she can keep in touch after school. But if she gets in trouble using it in class, is the school allowed to confiscate it?

3. When Is School Drug Testing Legal?

And if so, for which drugs may schools test? And do tests need to be random? How old do students need to be before getting tested?

4. Can Schools Monitor Students on Social Media?

Cyberbullying happens. But how much responsibility do schools share to prevent their students from committing criminal acts online?

5. Can High Schools Require Official Approval for Prom Dresses?

If you thought keeping an eye on Facebook was bad, wait until school officials tell a girl she can't wear her dress to prom.

6. Each Special Needs Child Has Educational Rights

Every child has a right to an education, and many schools have an obligation to provide certain services to special needs children.

7. CA's Transgender Student Law Is 1st in U.S.

Students also have the right to use the bathroom corresponding to their preferred gender identity.

8. Is It Legal to Record Your Teachers or Professors?

Maybe you have a hard time taking notes as fast as your teacher speaks. Or your teacher says some particularly wacky things. Does that mean you can record lectures?

9. Are Graduate Students Employees?

Graduate students do a lot of work: for their professors, other students, and graduate departments as a whole. But does all that work make them employees?

The intersection of law and education can get tricky. If you have more questions or concerns about student rights, you can consult with an experienced education attorney in your area.

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