Why Volunteering in College is Important

Marilyn Gardner Milton’s Latest Blog Post

Going to college marks a very important stage in a person’s life. It is the time when they grow from adolescence into adulthood while figuring out who they want to be in life. This is the time of new experiences and finding discoveries about oneself. This is why college is the best time to begin volunteering. 

Mental Health

It is not a secret that when attending college for the first time, students can often experience depression and anxiety. With the combination of being away from home for the first time and much more pressure of being on their own, it’s easy for students to fall into depression. It’s been found that students who participate in volunteer work were able to ward off depression. By volunteering on a semi-regular basis, students are able to lower their stress, increase their self-esteem, and feel much happier. 

 

Making Connections

Being away from home and out on their own, many students find it difficult to make new friends. Thankfully, volunteering offers many opportunities to make new friends and connections. Not only are students able to find others who have a passion for helping the community, but they can also build lasting relationships. Often times, volunteering can take place in the same location with the same people, which helps volunteers develop strong friendships. These friendships and connections may also help them career-wise after graduation. 

Improved Resume

Another way volunteering can help students after college is by boosting their resume. Many employers will see the same type of resume over and over again. When they see volunteering on a resume, especially at a young age, many employers are very impressed. It shows a student cares about their community and is driven.  Volunteering can also be viewed as an internship and an alternative way to build and develop professional skills. 

It’s important for college students to find a cause and give back to their community. Not only will they be helping people, but they will also be building themselves a better future. 

from Marilyn Gardner Milton | Lawyer & Volunteer https://ift.tt/2nPKZa1

Why Volunteering in College is Important

Going to college marks a very important stage in a person’s life. It is the time when they grow from adolescence into adulthood while figuring out who they want to be in life. This is the time of new experiences and finding discoveries about oneself. This is why college is the best time to begin volunteering. 

Mental Health

It is not a secret that when attending college for the first time, students can often experience depression and anxiety. With the combination of being away from home for the first time and much more pressure of being on their own, it’s easy for students to fall into depression. It’s been found that students who participate in volunteer work were able to ward off depression. By volunteering on a semi-regular basis, students are able to lower their stress, increase their self-esteem, and feel much happier. 

Making Connections

Being away from home and out on their own, many students find it difficult to make new friends. Thankfully, volunteering offers many opportunities to make new friends and connections. Not only are students able to find others who have a passion for helping the community, but they can also build lasting relationships. Often times, volunteering can take place in the same location with the same people, which helps volunteers develop strong friendships. These friendships and connections may also help them career-wise after graduation. 

Improved Resume

Another way volunteering can help students after college is by boosting their resume. Many employers will see the same type of resume over and over again. When they see volunteering on a resume, especially at a young age, many employers are very impressed. It shows a student cares about their community and is driven.  Volunteering can also be viewed as an internship and an alternative way to build and develop professional skills. 

It’s important for college students to find a cause and give back to their community. Not only will they be helping people, but they will also be building themselves a better future. 

Three Education Trends to Watch

Marilyn Gardner Milton’s Latest Blog Post

Technology is rapidly evolving, and subsequently, it has the power to transform different industries as well. Though schools and academia have not traditionally been the quickest to pick up on digital trends, that doesn’t mean that change isn’t happening. Today we’re exploring three education trends to watch. 

Artificial Intelligence

Businesses have been harnessing the power of artificial intelligence for its ability to rapidly process vast quantities of data and generate insights. Soon, the education sector can also be transformed with the adoption of this technology. Artificial intelligence is capable of performing tasks such as speech recognition, language translation, and decision-making. The best application for it so far is as a teaching tool, although supporters say that it may help to alleviate teacher shortages in the future. In the classroom, artificial intelligence is being used for personalized learning

Virtual Reality

According to education researcher Melissa Pelletier, “creative learning spaces play an important role in student engagement.” Virtual reality can do just that by creating immersive learning environments for students and help them to experience things like history, travel, and even STEM programs. Imagine virtual field trips through time and space that allow students a deeper and more personal understanding of the material. Products like Google Expeditions and various phone apps aim to make virtual reality affordable and accessible for all.  

Blockchain

Blockchain is a technology used to connect, house, and encrypt digital data. Through blockchain, the stored data is not centralized in any one location, making it publicly accessible, easily tracked, and very difficult to corrupt. As such, this has the potential to revolutionize the way that student and faculty records are stored, among a myriad of other possible applications.

Artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and blockchain the three digital trends at the top of our list for the 2019-2020 school year. What are some other trends in education that you think we should watch for in the coming year?  

from Marilyn Gardner Milton and Education https://ift.tt/2yodRYs

Three Education Trends to Watch

Technology is rapidly evolving, and subsequently, it has the power to transform different industries as well. Though schools and academia have not traditionally been the quickest to pick up on digital trends, that doesn’t mean that change isn’t happening. Today we’re exploring three education trends to watch. 

Artificial Intelligence

Businesses have been harnessing the power of artificial intelligence for its ability to rapidly process vast quantities of data and generate insights. Soon, the education sector can also be transformed with the adoption of this technology. Artificial intelligence is capable of performing tasks such as speech recognition, language translation, and decision-making. The best application for it so far is as a teaching tool, although supporters say that it may help to alleviate teacher shortages in the future. In the classroom, artificial intelligence is being used for personalized learning

Virtual Reality

According to education researcher Melissa Pelletier, “creative learning spaces play an important role in student engagement.” Virtual reality can do just that by creating immersive learning environments for students and help them to experience things like history, travel, and even STEM programs. Imagine virtual field trips through time and space that allow students a deeper and more personal understanding of the material. Products like Google Expeditions and various phone apps aim to make virtual reality affordable and accessible for all.  

Blockchain

Blockchain is a technology used to connect, house, and encrypt digital data. Through blockchain, the stored data is not centralized in any one location, making it publicly accessible, easily tracked, and very difficult to corrupt. As such, this has the potential to revolutionize the way that student and faculty records are stored, among a myriad of other possible applications.

Artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and blockchain the three digital trends at the top of our list for the 2019-2020 school year. What are some other trends in education that you think we should watch for in the coming year?  

This article was originally published on MarilynGardnerMilton.org

How to Find the Right Volunteer Opportunity for You

Marilyn Gardner Milton’s Latest Blog Post

Do you have a desire to make a difference in your community through volunteer work? Sometimes it can be difficult to know where to begin. Here are some tips to help you find volunteer opportunities that are perfect for your unique skills and interests:

  1. Consider what you’re passionate about.

Before getting started, figure out what you’re passionate about and what area of work you are most interested in. Consider your personal strengths, as well as the issues that are most important to you. After you become clear about what matters to you, choosing an opportunity will be easier.

  1. Consider your community’s needs.

Every community has different needs. Do some research about your area and try to discover what the most pressing problems are. Does your city have a high homeless population? If so, you can volunteer at a local shelter or food bank. Maybe you live near a children’s hospital and can offer your services there. Try to find an organization or an opportunity where you feel like you’re needed. 

  1. Start small.

As you begin volunteering with a new opportunity, it’s OK to start small. Work for a few hours at a time and see how it goes. See if your values align with the work that you’re doing. After you find the right organization, you can always increase your service as your schedule allows. Be careful to avoid over-committing yourself or you may quickly become burnt out. 

Did you know that there is a website dedicated to helping you find the perfect volunteer opportunity? It’s called Volunteer Match. You can start there, or even with a simple Google search like “volunteer opportunities in my area.” 

You may have to try a few different things before you find the perfect place for you. No matter what route you choose, you can expect your life to be enriched as you add value to the lives of others.

from Marilyn Gardner Milton | Lawyer & Volunteer https://ift.tt/2NFJ3wX

3 Ways That Education is Changing

Marilyn Gardner Milton’s Latest Blog Post

Our world is rapidly changing, and, as a result, our education system is quickly transforming as well. Here are three of the ways that American education is changing:

1. Personalization

Schools in 2019 are making moves towards personalization. Whereas once students were all taught the same way, today we recognize that some people learn differently than others. We also know that, although learning differences exist, they are not necessarily a reflection of intelligence or potential. These realizations have resulted in a collective effort to ensure that all students are being taught in a way that gives them the best chance of success.

Large-scale education is difficult to personalize, but schools are making efforts nonetheless. Private and public schools often address personalization differently. In general, though, teachers can personalize learning by incorporating several learning styles into their lessons. For example, a Kindergarten teacher may be teaching about the life-cycle of a butterfly. He or she could read about it to their students, show them pictures or videos, or bring in caterpillars and allow the students to witness the life cycle for themselves. The teacher will know what learning styles they need to incorporate for their unique body of students, but using methods that like this covers multiple learning styles— allowing each student to learn in their own individual way.

2. Technology

Technology is rapidly changing and infiltrating our education systems. It’s not unusual to see students as young as elementary-age with IPads or other tablets. Video has become commonplace in the classroom and will likely be seen even more in the future.

Online and blended classrooms, which are a mix of online and face-to-face meetings, are also becoming popular in schools throughout the US. The inclusion of technology in education has made it more accessible. Knowledge is easier to obtain than ever. Technology has also “breaks down the walls” of traditional education by allowing students to “travel” anywhere in the world with the help of video.

3. Standards

In the early 2000s, each US state had its own educational standards. These standards, however, were not consistent across the country. In one state, high schoolers could be required to know certain things or demonstrate specific skills to graduate. Meanwhile,  the high school students in a neighboring state may have been able to graduate without the same knowledge or skills. These discrepancies led us to the system of education we now know as “Common Core.”

Forty-one states have adopted the Common Core state standards. CoreStandards.org defines the Common Core as “a set of high-quality academic standards in mathematics and English language arts/literacy (ELA).” These standards were put into effect in 2009 after state leaders pulled together to create high and consistent goals for all students in American classrooms.

Although personalization and standardization seem to be opposite in some ways, both are being pushed in today’s education. We want all of our students to have the same opportunities to learn and succeed, but we also understand that’s it is necessary to ensure that standards are met in our schools. Personalization and standardization can work together if they are appropriately balanced.

We can expect to see our education system continue to change with new technology breakthroughs, new learning discoveries, and as standards are proven to be effective (or ineffective). Who knows what education will look like 20 years from now? Only time will tell.

from Marilyn Gardner Milton and Education http://bit.ly/2XowZR4

Is Law School for Everyone?

Marilyn Gardner Milton’s Latest Blog Post

Law school is one of those life-altering decisions that many people face, whether it’s a decision in their early years or later on, as a second career choice. In either case, it’s a major commitment that must not be entered into lightly.

The Cost

Unless you are independently wealthy, be prepared to pay a lot of money to get your law degree. After paying for four years of undergraduate school, there are still another four years of law school to pay for, in addition to exam fees ranging upwards of $200. The honest truth is the better the law school, the higher the likelihood of a decent clerkship and job offer upon graduation.

The Time

Getting a law degree takes time. Although any type of undergraduate degree is accepted in order to apply for a law school degree, there are some that provide a better backdrop than others. Degrees in history, philosophy, criminal justice, and political science are the areas of focus that will give you the best head start in pursuing a law degree. In addition to requiring an undergraduate degree and real-world law experience, a law degree demands a passing Law School Admission Test (LSAT) grade before getting into grad school. This is a test that measures analytical thinking, critical reading, and verbal reasoning in order to determine whether you are eligible to attend law school. Once accepted, plan on at least another four years of schooling. If you are working at the same time, you should budget accordingly. In many cases, it takes longer than eight years to achieve combined undergrad and postgraduate studies.

The Actual Job

Unhappiness is so common in the law industry there are blogs, books, and counselors solely devoted to soothing the souls of former attorneys. The main areas of contention are stress and discourteousness among colleagues as well as clients. Some people ended up choosing the quickest job opportunity after graduation, not prioritizing the type of industry they are truly seeking. Some are stunned to learn they aren’t hired by their dream job immediately after graduation. Some only wanted to make money but lacked any passion at all for this industry. There is an element of empathy and compassion for the human race that must be in place in order to pursue the field of law. Otherwise, a growing resentment will cause nonstop stress and hatred towards not only coworkers but the clientele you are supposed to advocate for.

By definition, the nature of the judicial system is going to be adversarial. Having a tough outer shell is paramount if one is to succeed as an attorney, regardless of which side of the opposing counsel fence they base their career choices on.  

from Marilyn Gardner Milton and Education http://bit.ly/2V3BWNo

Student Drug Testing

K-12 Law School Series

Student Drug Testing

Marilyn Gardner, lawyer, spent years teaching Advanced School Law at the university doctoral level. Her focus was court decisions at all levels of government which have had an impact on the governance of schools and what school personnel can do in terms of the operation of schools, curriculum, instruction, assessment and school personnel, and treatment of candidates. Marilyn Gardner, Lawyer, would always stress that failure to comply with school law can have far reaching and costly implications.

The K-12 School Law Series curriculum focuses on the Pearson Educational Leadership Series books which focus on the major areas of school litigation and promotes an understanding of the principles of law that guide the governance and operations of schools while equipping school authorities with appropriate knowledge, skills and disposition to fulfill their obligations to school-aged youngsters.

In her research, she identified four Pearson Educational Leadership Series books (https://www.amazon.com/School-Law-Public-Schools-Educational/dp/0137072759) that are valuable resources on these topics.  They cover many facets of K-12 School Law and are important resources to empower school administrators and staff.  They are:

  • Law and Ethics in Educational leadership, David Stader ISBN: 978-0-13-268587-0
  • School Law and the Public Schools, Nathan Essex, ISBN: 978-0-13-707275-0
  • A Teacher’s Pocket Guide to School Law, Nathan Essex, ISBN: 978-0-13-335191-0
  • School Law: Cases and Concepts, Michael W. LaMorte, ISBN:978-0-13-707247-7

Pearson’s resources (https://www.pearson.com/us/sign-in.html) focus on the major areas of school-related litigation and the implications of court rulings for school leaders, teachers as well as the related changes in policy affecting the school environment. School staff will be empowered to deal in legally defensible ways with school- and community-based situations and remain current with school related law and policy.

Topic: Student Drug Testing

Pearson Educational Leadership Series

  • Sample Scenarios from: Law and Ethics in Educational leadership, David Stader (ISBN: 978-0-13-268587-0) and School Law and the Public Schools, Nathan Essex, ISBN: 978-0-13-707275-0

By way of precedent, the first major Supreme Court case that dealt with the legality of random drug testing in a public school occurred in 1995.  The school in the case required random urinalysis for testing as a prerequisite for participating in sports. The school, at the time, was dealing with an increase in disciplinary problems including rudeness in classes and outbursts of profane language. (Veronia School District v Acton)

There was no evidence that the student in question used drugs. However, the parents of a seventh-grade student refused to sign the consent form for drug testing for him to play football. Consequently, he was suspended from athletics. The parents claimed unreasonable intrusion.

The Supreme Court ruled that the school district based its decision on an earlier landmark case (New Jersey v. T.L.O) which ruled that school officials had greater latitude to search students in the school environment to maintain conduct.

It is interesting that the court in Veronia ruled that this type of environment could be considered “special needs in that it warranted “suspicion-less testing” of athletes as a condition for their participation.  The court ruled that “students within the school environment have less expectation of privacy than members of the population in general and that student athletes have even less legitimate privacy expectations than non-athletes.”

The court further ruled that under the drug detection program, the collection of urine, its testing, and disclosure of results were unobtrusive. The court also noted the program served an important governmental interest to deter drug use.

However, you should know that the dissenting justices were vocal in disagreeing with the majority.

But in another split 5 to 4 court decision in 2002 (Pottawatonimi Count v Earls ) the court once again upheld random drug testing of students in any extracurricular activities. This case was different in that it allowed drug testing of students who wanted to be part of any school sponsored club or activity, not just athletics.  They also reiterated that school officials only needed “reasonable suspicion” and not the higher standard to probable cause

The dissenting judges in this case felt that the “special needs” outlined in Veronia were not present. In fact, the Superintendent testified that drugs were not a major issue in the school as outlined in the Veronia case. The courts also did not like that it was drug testing of all extracurricular activities, versus the athletes where there is the risk of immediate physical harm.

However, the court, once again noted that there was a strong government interest in having drug free schools. In the final analysis, the courts are viewing the problems school districts are dealing with drugs and as such, warrant the testing.  It is the price a student must pay if they want to play sports.

School athletes are commonly required to consent to drug testing as a condition of their participation in a particular sport. Some schools have attempted to broaden this requirement to students participating in all extracurricular activities. School leaders need to appropriately apply legal principles in these circumstances.

Trickle Down or Unreasonable Search:

Drug Testing of Students Participating In Extracurricular Activities

Jenny’s parents are refusing to sign a consent form authorizing the school to conduct random urinalysis testing for drug use on their daughter. Because of their refusal, Jenny will not be allowed to participate in band, or other extracurricular school activities. Although you provide them a copy of the School Board policy requiring the signed consent form as a prerequisite for participating in extracurricular activities, they want you to make an exception because it is just unfair to drug test an academically high achieving student.

Let’s legally review this scenario by answering the following questions.

Question 1: Should you make the requested exception? What are the implications of making the exception?

An exception, for the stated reason, should be avoided for several reasons. First, it is generally inaccurate that academically high achieving students are immune from drug use. Secondly, this exception will likely stimulate many other requests for the same reason. As you make additional exceptions, you are technically undermining School Board policy.

Question 2: What’s the legal principle applicable in this situation? What’s the precedent setting case?

The U.S. Supreme Court in Board of Education of Independent School District No. 92 of Pottawatomie County v. Earls (122 S. Ct. 2559), authorized drug tests for middle school students participating in several extracurricular activities. The scope of student drug testing was significantly expanded in this case from just athletes, to students participating in various extracurricular activities. In Jenny’s situation, therefore, it would be legally permissible to deny her participation in band until the parental consent form is signed, based on this Supreme Court case.

Question 3: In this U.S. Supreme Court case, the ruling was directly applicable to specific

extracurricular activities in this particular school. Could this decision be used to include other extracurricular activities?

How do precedent setting cases affect future school practices?

In the Board of Education of Independent School District No. 92 of Pottawatomie County v. Earls (122 S. Ct. 2559), the following extracurricular were specifically mentioned in the ruling: band, color guard, choir, Future Farmers of America, Future Homemakers of America, and the school’s athletic and academic teams. However, this precedent setting case establishes a solid legal foundation to require drug testing consent as a perquisite for participation.

Facebook Postings

K-12 Law School Series

Facebook Postings

Marilyn Gardner, lawyer, spent years teaching Advanced School Law at the university doctoral level. Her focus was court decisions at all levels of government which have had an impact on the governance of schools and what school personnel can do in terms of the operation of schools, curriculum, instruction, assessment and school personnel, and treatment of candidates. Marilyn Gardner, Lawyer, would always stress that failure to comply with school law can have far reaching and costly implications.

The K-12 School Law Series curriculum focuses on the Pearson Educational
Leadership Series books which focus on the major areas of school litigation and promotes an understanding of the principles of law that guide the governance and operations of schools while equipping school authorities with appropriate knowledge, skills and disposition to fulfill their
obligations to school-aged youngsters.


In her research, she identified four Pearson Educational Leadership Series books (https://www.amazon.com/School-Law-Public-Schools-Educational/dp/0137072759) that are valuable resources on these topics. They cover many facets of K-12 School Law and are important resources to empower school administrators and staff.

They are:
 Law and Ethics in Educational leadership, David Stader ISBN: 978-0-13-268587-0
 School Law and the Public Schools, Nathan Essex, ISBN: 978-0-13-707275-0
 A Teacher’s Pocket Guide to School Law, Nathan Essex, ISBN: 978-0-13-335191-0
 School Law: Cases and Concepts, Michael W. LaMorte, ISBN:978-0-13-707247-7


Pearson’s resources (https://www.pearson.com/us/sign-in.html) focus on the major areas of school-related litigation and the implications of court rulings for school leaders, teachers as well as the related changes in policy affecting the school environment. School staff will be empowered to deal in legally defensible ways with school- and community-based situations and remain current with school related law and policy.

Topic: Facebook Postings
Pearson Educational Leadership Series

 Sample Scenarios from: Law and Ethics in Educational leadership, David Stader (ISBN: 978-0-13-268587-0) and School Law and the Public Schools, Nathan Essex, ISBN: 978-0-13-707275-0

As you are probably aware, there are more than 800 million active users on Facebook, according to their own statistics. Although some students may claim that all of their Facebook postings are protected by the freedom of expression right afforded all citizens through the U.S. Constitution, there are circumstances when school leaders may take action to limit or eliminate this right under certain conditions.

Let’s work through a case scenario.

You have obtained access to some troubling Facebook postings made by David, a middle school student in your school. His highly derogatory postings are directed at his social studies teacher, Mr. Williams. David’s statements are inflammatory, and clearly untrue.

When you confront David and his parents, they tell you that the “satire” is cutting-edge and popular. Obviously, you just do not get it from your mundane school principal perspective. They substantiate their popularity claim by reporting that hundreds of David’s Facebook friends from school think it is hilarious. Furthermore, they do not understand why you are trying to infringe on David’s freedom of expression, since he writes the satire from his home computer. They also claim that it has nothing to do with school because it is located on his personal Facebook account. They accuse you of illegally trying to censor David’s creativity. They tell you to “mind your own business.”

Let’s legally review this scenario by answering the following four questions.

Question 1: Should you share David’s Facebook postings with Mr. Williams?

The main issue on which we will want to reflect is if there any professional liability if you fail to share the postings with him? You need to realize that you will acquire significant professional liability if you decide to not share this information with Mr. Williams. Many school leaders would consider a private meeting with Mr. Williams, to share David’s Facebook postings in a timely manner, as essential.

Question 2: What legal principle applies in this case?

The controlling question is Do you need to take action, or “mind your own business”?

The primary legal principle applicable in this case centers on whether there is a nexus (connection) between David’s Facebook posting and your school. Since the Facebook postings have admittedly been viewed by “hundreds of David’s Facebook friends from school” and potentially others, including parents, these untrue rants could significantly impact Mr. William’s status as a respected teacher in your school. Since there is a nexus, action is necessary.

Question 3:  Based on this legal principle, what action (if any) do you take? Since this is a school matter, do certain student policies apply?

Your applicable student code of conduct policies, acceptable use of technology policies, and/or other student policies should be fairly applied in this case. This student misbehavior, even though it occurred “out-of-school”, has become a school issue. As such, decisive administrative action is required.

Out of School Student Misbehavior

K-12 Law School Series

Out of School Student Misbehavior

Marilyn Gardner, a lawyer, spent years teaching Advanced School Law at the university doctoral level. Her focus was court decisions at all levels of government which have had an impact on the governance of schools and what school personnel can do in terms of the operation of schools, curriculum, instruction, assessment and school personnel, and treatment of candidates. Marilyn Gardner, Lawyer, would always stress that failure to comply with school law can have far-reaching and costly implications.

The K-12 School Law Series curriculum focuses on the Pearson Educational Leadership Series books which focus on the major areas of school litigation and promotes an understanding of the principles of law that guide the governance and operations of schools while equipping school authorities with appropriate knowledge, skills, and disposition to fulfill their obligations to school-aged youngsters.

In her research, she identified four Pearson Educational Leadership Series books (https://www.amazon.com/School-Law-Public-Schools-Educational/dp/0137072759) that are valuable resources on these topics.  They cover many facets of K-12 School Law and are important resources to empower school administrators and staff.  They are:

Law and Ethics in Educational leadership, David Stader ISBN: 978-0-13-268587-0
School Law and the Public Schools, Nathan Essex, ISBN: 978-0-13-707275-0
A Teacher’s Pocket Guide to School Law, Nathan Essex, ISBN: 978-0-13-335191-0
School Law: Cases and Concepts, Michael W. LaMorte, ISBN:978-0-13-707247-7

Pearson’s resources (https://www.pearson.com/us/sign-in.html) focus on the major areas of school-related litigation and the implications of court rulings for school leaders, teachers as well as the related changes in policy affecting the school environment. School staff will be empowered to deal in legally defensible ways with school- and community-based situations and remain current with school-related law and policy.

Topic: Out of School Student Misbehavior

Pearson Educational Leadership Series
Sample Scenarios from: Law and Ethics in Educational leadership, David Stader (ISBN: 978-0-13-268587-0) and School Law and the Public Schools, Nathan Essex, ISBN: 978-0-13-707275-0

Today we are going to focus on Out of School Student Misbehavior. School leaders are generally familiar with their authority in disciplining students while attending a school or participating in school-sponsored activities. However, their disciplinary authority becomes severely limited when the alleged student misbehavior occurs out of school. Administrators need a certain set of Skills in this area.  for knowing, understanding, analyzing, and communicating include the following:

They need to:

  • Know I when to be the investigative Authority
  • Understand their Administrative Authority
  • Be able to Analyze Facts and Applying Legal Principles and
  • Communicate their Decisions

Let’s go into more detail for each.

Knowing Your Investigative Authority means the effective administrator knows when to question students accused of out of school misbehaviors.

Understanding your Administrative Authority means the effective administrator knows when to become involved and take action in out of school alleged student misbehaviors.

When Analyzing Facts and Applying Legal Principles – The effective administrator analyzes the facts surrounding a specific case and takes appropriate action based
on legal principles. and finally, The effective administrator tactfully and diplomatically communicate unpopular decisions.

Let’s discuss the following scenario. In this activity, you will answer the following questions, and then write a letter to a local store owner explaining the rationale for your decision. Mr. Al Fred, a community business owner and a significant financial supporter of your school’s athletic programs has complained again about two of your students.
Apparently, these students visit Mr. Fredd’s nearby variety store daily after school and cause problems. Specifically, they curse at him and his wife and are generally just rude. They also suspect that these students spray-paint graffiti on the back and sides of the store, although they cannot prove it. He wants you to do something. He is now threatening to withhold further substantial financial donations to your school. Furthermore, he intends to contact his best friend on the School Board to complain about your inaction.
Let’s legally review this scenario by answering the following four questions.

Question 1: Since the incident occurred outside of school, can the school principal legally discuss the matter with the students?

It is important to note that there a difference between fact-finding and taking adverse action against the students? Yes, the school principal may talk with the students about the allegations to obtain additional information. The results of this fact-finding investigation should assist the principal in deciding whether to take action for an out of school incident allegedly committed by these students.

Question 2: Under what conditions may a school principal legally take adverse action against students for out of school alleged misbehaviors?

The big question in this scenario is Does a school principal’s administrative authority differ for in-school and out of school student misbehavior? Yes, a school principal’s authority varies greatly depending on whether the student’s misbehavior occurs in-school or out of school. School principals enjoy wide authoritative latitude for in school incidents. Their authority, however, is severely limited for out of school student misbehaviors.

School leaders should act only if there’s a nexus (direct connection) between the alleged out of school incident and the school. For example, two students fighting at the mall on Saturday does not necessarily create a nexus with the school. Therefore, principals should not become involved. If on the other hand, the students vow to continue fighting when they arrive at school on Monday, it becomes a school matter. Principals should, therefore, take decisive action, such as meeting with both students immediately upon their arrival.

Question 3: In this case, does the principal have the legal authority to take action?

Although the students are enrolled in your school and their behavior is regrettable, their alleged misbehavior has no nexus with your school (their misbehavior at Mr. Fred’s store is not being exhibited in your school). Therefore, you have no legal authority to take adverse action against these students.

Question 4: What could you do to help the situation?

As noted earlier, the store owner is a significant financial supporter of your school. One suggestion is to write a letter that is direct, yet diplomatic.