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Teachers Need to Know the Law

Posted By: Della DeKay on December 19, 2009
As Mark Paige points out there are many areas where legal training can help teachers protect both their students' rights as well as their own. I would recommend a two semester course focused on practical legal issues to be included in all teacher training programs. Some of the topics which this course could address are outlined below. When teachers understand IDEA they can write IEPs to help special need students get the services to which they are entitled. ESL teachers need to know the constitutional right of immigrant children to an education, the rights of illegal immigrants, and the ability of illegal immigrant children to obtain financial aid when they graduate from high school. Further, teachers need to be aware of students rights in school so they can protect their students from overly invasive school searches. In this climate of school lay-offs, it is also essential for teachers to understand basic contractual law to protect their personal rights. Further, teachers need to know their rights as an employee whether they work in public schools, charter schools, parochial or independent schools. They should also know the practical procedures for using the legal system to protect their legal rights.
Della DeKay, Ed.D., J.D.
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 Teachers Need to Know the Law by Della DeKay on December 19, 2009
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