Wednesday, December 3, 2014
The Mississippi Law Journal's symposium edition focusing on education law is now available at 83 Miss. L.J. 671 (2014). Although the symposium edition covers a range of national education issues, it comes at an important time in Mississippi, as the state faces an education funding lawsuit and as its governor and lieutenant governor square off this week against state education officials over scrapping the Common Core standards that the state adopted in 2010. The introduction by Prof. Kerry Brian Melear (Mississippi) and Mary Ann Connell summarizes the symposium's articles:
Scott Bauries explores the contests surrounding academic freedom and how the concept relates to individual faculty concerns. He notes that the United States Supreme Court has not recognized a unique right to individual faculty academic freedom, and argues that to do so would frustrate the First Amendment.
Robert O'Neil visits First Amendment jurisprudence across a range of issues through the lens of historical treatment, deftly surveying disputes involving hate speech, offensive utterings, and their judicial outcomes over time.
Laura Rothstein focuses on the foundations and current status of disability law as it relates to students across the educational spectrum, from K-12 through higher education.
Martha McCarthy directs her inquiry toward cyber-bullying and its impact on students in K-12 schools. Her article underscores that troublesome grey areas exist in the realm of student free expression rights, and that the ambiguity is further complicated by technology and the ease with which students can now bully and harass each other remotely--but still painfully. A key issue explored in this context is the role of speech made off campus via technology and how that informs new questions regarding student expression both on and off campus.
Barbara Lee turns her attention to student conflicts and discipline in the higher education setting, specifically addressing student-professor academic disputes on the college campus and the litigation that has recently resulted. She explores the fiduciary theory of the relationship between college and student, which requires a greater standard of conduct than that of good faith and fair dealing typically required in a contractual argument, and offers sound strategies to avoid litigation and insulate institutions of higher learning from liability.
Through empirical and legal analysis, Perry Zirkel's article examines student discipline on the private college campus, noting that students at private institutions are not veiled by constitutional protections, a stark distinction between such students and their counterparts at public institutions in the context of disciplinary decisions. He concludes that previous characterizations of private college student discipline merit reexamination.
Casey McKay (University of Mississippi law student) provides a note on Fisher v. University of Texas.
Claire Stamm (University of Mississippi law student) on recent Mississippi K-12 legislation designed to end social promotion.