Nowadays, people find it obligatory to discuss and understand the essence of intersections that exist between law and education. On the one hand, such necessity may be explained by the fact that modern people live in a highly litigious society where numerous steps can be taken to advocate social and individual rights. On the other hand, different laws and judicial decisions have a tendency to reflect such fields as politics, philosophy, ethics, and communication (Dunklee & Shoop, 2006). Therefore, American citizens have to obtain a portion of knowledge and understanding of judicial liability and recent legal developments. Education law is a good example of the intersection between law and education that represents an attempt to evaluate such primary legal issues as case law or regulations in the chosen institutions. In this case assignment, the analysis of education and the existing legal system will be developed to clarify the worth of different legal issues, the role of the courts and legislatures in resolving these issues, and the urgency of education law in the United States.
Intersections between Law and Education
Legal literacy turns out to be an important issue in modern society. Knowledge of the law has to be properly introduced and developed to provide students and teachers with an opportunity to craft educational policies, recognize and follow university reforms, and monitor necessary regulations. Kemerer and Sansom (2013) define law as a complex subject that enrolls over 6.7 million students in California only. One mistake, misunderstanding, or wrong interpretation may lead to the events the results of which are hard to predict. In the United States, much attention is paid to the improvement of education law and the participation of high education institutions in specially developed programs.
Taylor (2001) underlines that the 21st century offers American citizens a number of new legal opportunities, as well as challenges, with the help of which educators may realize what a basic understanding of the laws is, what impact law has on education, and what concerns may bother educators in the field of education law. In their discussions, Dunklee and Shoop (2006) prove that American teachers have access to training programs that can hardly prepare them to understand the essence of the relationships that may be observed between the US constitution, statutes, and other legal tangles. Therefore, university administrators and teachers have to deal with a large responsibility when they have to explain or make legal decisions or be involved in certain legal processes. There are many lines where education and law may intersect, including the dependence of the education system on the understanding of the legal context, the application of education law, and the necessity to use appropriate pedagogical skills to cover the broad latitude of the law.
Primary Legal Issues in Educational Institutions
American citizens, as no other nation in the world, know how it is difficult to deal with numerous litigations, remember all ethical considerations, and differentiate true statements from slanders. Educational institutions and leaders may be surprised by different legal issues, and the most common that may also be defined as primary legal issues can be observed in such areas as teaching conditions, students’ safety and rights, and university attendance. To be a legally approved educational institution, its leaders have to take care of such issues as the distribution of duties and powers and negligence of responsibilities, the existing labor laws and the cases of immigrant students, the support of students’ rights, freedoms, and copyrights, and, finally, the possibility for students and teachers to participate in institutional governance.
University administrators, educators, and students have to be properly trained and prepared for the discussion of various legal issues. However, Russo (2010) points out that there is no necessity to turn educators into lawyers who are equipped to deal with legal and technical questions, but there is an obligation to teach educators how to use their knowledge, choose appropriate sources, and develop effective politics in terms of which it is possible to enhance sound teaching and learning conditions. Many high education institutions neglect the necessity to check students’ backgrounds or actual information but use the facts that can be obtained at the moment. The US government supports regular immigration audits and organizational checks to investigate if all students and teachers are satisfied with the conditions offered to them, if there are cases of unfair treatment, discrimination, or copyright negligence, and if there are suggestions that have already been offered but never followed.
Role of Courts and Legislatures
Courts and legislatures continue playing an important role in resolving various social issues, including civil rights, political politeness and processing, education, and mental health. In the United States, laws are usually made at state and federal levels (“The U.S. legal system”, 2017). Every state has its own court systems and legislatures which develop specific legal activities and rules. For example, state legislatures aim at passing laws and statutes, and the courts aim at enforcing and interpreting the existing statutes. In education, the resolution of legal issues has to be properly organized in order to understand and meet the demands of all possible participants, including administrators, parents, students, and teachers.
In case an educational institution, a leader, an academic employee, or a student faces the necessity to resolve a legal issue, they may address state trial courts or other facilities in regard to the existing state’s court system (“Getting to know the U.S. court systems”, n.d.). There are many situations where all parties of a case believe that they have enough rights to support the chosen position. The example of Legal Information Institute (n.d.) can be used to explain the unpredictability of education law. In the United States, parents are eager to use their right to direct the education of a child with the possibility to choose a private school or university. At the same time, states have enough legitimate power to regulate private schools and universities and make final decisions. There is a need to limit someone’s power and find a solution to possible problems and contradictions. Courts and legislatures are responsible for the resolution of such situations using the most appropriate facts, explanations, and legal statutes.
In general, the connection between such fields as law and education is evident and cannot be neglected or misunderstood. In addition to the fact that education aims at explaining different legal issues, procedures, legislatures, and events, the law can be used to support appropriate conditions of education, teaching and learning practices, and order. It is impossible to use the law correctly in case this field is not properly studied, and every learning process has to be legally approved and controlled. The United States has many federal and state courts and legislatures that help to resolve different legal issues and educational contradictions.
Dunklee, D.R., & Shoop, R.J. (2006). The principal’s quick-reference guide to school law: Reducing liability, litigation, and other potential legal tangles. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Getting to know the U.S. court system. (n.d.). Web.
Kemerer, S., & Sansom, P. (2013). California school law (3rd ed.). Stanford, CA: Stanford Law Books.
Legal Information Institute. (n.d.). Education law: An overview. Web.
Russo, C.J. (2010). Encyclopedia of law and high education. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Taylor, K.R. (2001). Yesterday’s principal, today’s legal eagle. Principal Leadership, 1(6), 75-78.
The U.S. legal system. (2017). Web.