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November 30 , 2008

Bullying and Harassment: A Legal Guide for Educators


A student creates a Web site that contains fake obituaries of fellow students. The school suspends him. His parents then sue and win in court.Incidents of bullying, harassment, and threats in schools are growing, but the line between students' rights to expression and the school's rights to protect children and faculty is increasingly blurred. To create effective disciplinary and management policies, educators need to understand the legal ramifications of their actions. Bullying and Harassment: A Legal Guide for Educators provides the practical information that they need to help students while avoiding litigation pitfalls. In language readily understandable to administrators, teachers, and other school personnel, educator and attorney Kathleen Conn examines the various twists and turns of the legal issues, including * The distinction between bullying and teasing; * Civil rights and free speech protection under the U.S. Constitution; * Legal definitions of harassment based on gender, race, religion, and disability; * Student threats of violence against schools or classmates; * Internet-enabled forms of bullying and harassment; and * Appropriate guidelines for both short- and long-term responses. Using recent court cases and school events that made major headlines, Conn explains how educators should respond to incidents where the law isn't clear and where different court interpretations seem to apply. With its timely information and analysis, Bullying and Harassment shows how every educator can take a proactive stand to ensure safe schools and communities.
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