Q & A: Christian Educators members ask…
The answers or opinions expressed in this article are not intended to render legal advice. The factual and legal issues in each circumstance must be considered and may require the advice of an attorney.
What liabilities and legal limitations are involved with allowing high school students to drive themselves and/or others to extracurricular activities?Providing bus transportation for students to school-sponsored events presents the least risk for liability. However, the law does not require this nor is bus transportation always possible or practical. If transportation is not provided, the best practice is for educators not to get involved with how students get to the event. If a school employee arranges student carpooling or even suggests students drive themselves or each other, the risk of school and employee liability increases. In other words, letting parents decide how students get to the activity reduces the risk of liability.
My assistant principal has been rude and puts me down in front of my colleagues and students. I’ve tried to brush it off, but this disrespectful behavior is only getting worse. Even my peers have begun making comments to me about her impolite behavior and insulting comments. What should I do?I suggest dealing with the assistant principal in the following ways:
- Schedule a private meeting with the assistant principal. Before entering the meeting, pray for her and release all bitterness toward her. Invite the peace of the Lord to surround you as you share the challenges resulting from being disrespected in front of staff and students. During the meeting, explain how it makes you feel and how her rude actions and insults are breaking down staff morale and student discipline. Use a humble and respectful tone, remembering that the Lord loves her as much as He loves you.
- If a meeting does not yield any results, bring your concerns to your principal.
- If that fails, Christian Educators can help you file a grievance.
A group of Christian students wants to start a Christian club at my public high school. After stalling approval for months, my principal invited only four of the seven student leaders to meet with her to discuss the next steps and excluded all of the adult advisors from the meeting. My concern is that the principal plans to further delay the startup of the club and/or intimidate the student leaders (most of whom are immigrants and refugees whose parents are unable to advocate for them even though they fully support their students’ desires to start this club). Is it legal for her to exclude the adults? What steps can I take to protect my students’ rights to lead the club and to get the club approved as soon as possible?Since it will be a student-led club, meeting solely with the student leaders is legal. However, it is best practice to include the advisors of a club in a meeting like this.
First, I suggest you assure the students that they have done nothing wrong. Encourage them to meet with the principal and answer her questions. After the meeting, ask the students to share the next steps they were given by the principal and let the students know that Christian Educators can connect them with an attorney who can provide them pro bono legal representation if they are being roadblocked.
To submit questions regarding:
- Religious freedoms - visit Ask an Attorney
- Educational issues - visit Ask an Educator
- All other legal issues - email firstname.lastname@example.org
Like what you’re reading? Then don’t miss an issue. Subscribe to be notified when the next issue is published.