Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963992 | Print ISBN: 9781412906784 | Online ISBN: 9781412963992| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Rights of Students
Marsha Little Matthews
Prior to the 1950s and 1960s, students had few, if any, legal rights within public schools. It was subsequently ruled that state governments have created a property right to public education by establishing compulsory attendance laws. Therefore, students have procedural and substantive rights to due process in situations where school officials deny attendance (i.e., suspension or expulsion). Since the 1960s, state and federal courts have begun outlining the rights of students with regard to public schools, and students and parents have used litigation successfully to broaden those rights. Students maintain their constitutional rights when they enter public schools. However, the courts tend to support limitations when balancing student rights against the needs of public school boards to effectively manage schools; maintain a safe environment for students, staff, and faculty; and meet educational goals. Federal statutes provide specific rights for students with and without disabilities. The federal government has also enacted ...