Teachers and the law
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TEACHERS AND THE LAW. Instructor: Kay H. Hunnicutt, Ph.D., J.D. @khh. Non-renewal and Dismissal. Bd. of Regents of State Colleges v. Roth-- -U.S Supreme Court decision

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Teachers and the law



Kay H. Hunnicutt, Ph.D., J.D.


Non renewal and dismissal
Non-renewal and Dismissal

  • Bd. of Regents of State Colleges v. Roth--

    -U.S Supreme Court decision

    -non-tenured teacher need not be given reasons for non-renewal unless non-renewal deprived teacher of “liberty” or “property” interest

    -statement of reason for non-renewal could result in teacher requesting due process

Reasons for dismissal of tenured teacher

  • Depends on state statutory provisions

  • Grounds for dismissal may include:

    -nonperformance of duty



    -conviction of crimes involving moral turpitude

    -failure to comply with reasonable orders

    -violation of contract provisions, local rules, regulations

    -persistent failure/refusal to maintain orderly discipline of students

    -revocation of teaching certificate

Due process hearing

  • Procedural aspects of hearing must be provided to theteacher, i.e.-- !4th Amendment and A.R.S

    -proper notice

    -list of charges

    -names and nature of the testimony of witnesses

    -time and place of the hearing

    -compulsory process or subpoena requiring the attendance of witnesses

    -production of relevant papers/documents

    -a fair hearing

    -an opportunity for appeal

Freedom of expression

  • Judicial view: “public employment is a privelege not a right”

  • Tenured Teacher’s Public Expression--

    -Pickering v. Bd. of Ed. of Township High School District 205

  • Non-tenured Teacher’s Freedom of Expression--

    -Mt. Healthy City School District Bd. of Ed. v. Doyle

Academic freedom

  • Generally due to an incongruence between the school systems views regarding academic freedom and the teacher’s perception of autonomy

  • Appropriate Material--

    -Fowler v. Bd. of Ed. of LincolnCounty

    -Cohen v.California

    -Boring v. Buncombe Cty. Bd. Of Ed.

    -Lacks v. Ferguson Reorganized Sch. Dist. R2

    -Monteiro v. Tempe U.H.S. District

    -1st Amendment protection?

Academic freedom cont

  • Political Speakers--

    -Wilson v. Chancellor – banning all political speakers

    -1st Amendment rights?

Drug testing

  • Screening teachers- 4th Amendment protection vs. government’s interest in having a drug –free environment, e.g. testing without suspicion--

    -Knox County. Ed. Assoc. v. Knox County Bd. Of Ed.

    -United Teachers of New Orleans v. Orleans Parish School Board

    -Hearn v. Savannah Bd. of Ed.

Personal appearance
Personal Appearance

  • Establishing a professional image, being a role model, and the maintenance of respect and discipline vs. a teachers’ right to privacy and liberty

  • Issues have included “long” hair, sideburns, beards, coats and ties for males and short skirts/immodest attire for females--

    -East Hartford Ed. Assoc. v. Bd. of Ed. of Town of East Hartford

Teacher as exemplar

  • Rules of Conduct for Teachers in W. Virginia in 1915:

    -not allowed to marry during the term of the teaching contract;

    -not allowed to keep company with men;

    -must be at home between the hours of 8 am and 6pm unless at school;

    -must have permission to leave city limits;

    -can’t smoke cigarettes;

    -not allowed to dress in bright colors;

    -not allowed to dye your hair under any circumstances;

    -must wear at least two petticoats;

    -dresses not shorter than 2 inches above the ankle.

Teacher as exemplar cont

  • Teachers expected to model dress, grooming, social amenities, and morals.

    -In re Grossman

  • Homosexual Teachers--

    -Gaylord v. Tacoma School District #10

    -Connick v. Myers

    -Glover v. Williamsburg Local School District Board of Education

    -Weaver v. Nebo School District

Teacher as exemplar cont1

  • Adulterous Teacher--

    -Erb v. Iowa State Board of Public Instruction

    -Goshe v. Calvert High School

  • Criminal Activities--

    -Gillette v. Unified School District # 276

    -Dubuclet v. Home Insurance Company

    -Kari v. Jefferson County School District

Teacher as exemplar cont2

  • Impropriety with Students—

    -Barcheski v. Board of Education of Grand Rapids Public Schools

    -Knowles v. Board of Education

    -DeMichele v. Greenburgh Central School District # 7

    -Howard v. Missouri State Board of Education

Employment discrimination
Employment Discrimination

  • Impacting racial minorities, women, pregnant women, religious groups, older persons, and people with disabilities.

  • 14th Amendment constitutional protections

  • Other Protections--

    -Civil Rights Act of 1964- Title VII

    -Sections 1981 through 1983 of Title 42, United States Code

    -Title IX of Education Amendments of 1972

    -Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

    -Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (section 504)

    -Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978

Employment discrimination cont
Employment Discrimination (cont.)

  • Racial Discrimination--

    -Brown v. Board of Education

    -Firefighters Local Union # 1784 v. Stotts

    -Taxman v. Board of Education of the Township of Piscataway

    -Wards Cove Packing Company v. Atonio

    -Thomas v. Washington County School Board

    -Clark v. Huntsville City Board of Education

    -Fyfe v. Curlee

    -United States v. South Carolina

    -United States v. LULAC

    -Texas v. Project Principle

Employment discrimination cont1
Employment Discrimination (cont.)

  • Sex Discrimination--

    -Marshall v. Kirkland

    -North Haven Board of Education v. Bell

    -Grove City College v. Bell

    -Schafer v. Board of Education of Pittsburg

Employment discrimination cont2
Employment Discrimination (cont.)

  • Pregnancy--

    -Cleveland Board of Education v. La Fleur

    -Eckmann v. Board of Education of Hawthorn School District

    -Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Comm.

    -Dike v. School Board of Orange County

    -Wimberly v. Labor and Industrial Relations Commission of Missouri

    -Cameron v. Board of Education of Hillsboro, Ohio City Sch. Dist.

Employment discrimination cont3
Employment Discrimination (cont.)

  • Religious Discrimination--

    -Ansonia Board of Education v. Philbrook

    -U.S. v. Board of Education for the School District of Philadelphia

    -E.E.O.C. v. Kamehameha Sch./Bishops Estate

    -May v. Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation

Employment discrimination cont4
Employment Discrimination (cont.)

  • Age Discrimination-Age Discrimination and Employment Act (ADEA), 1967- applies to state and federal employees & employers with at least 20 workers

    -Kimel v. Florida Board of Regents

    -Monnier v. Todd County Independent School District

Teacher bargaining
Teacher Bargaining

  • Statutes vary state by state

  • 70% of states have statutes providing for good-faith bargaining between local school boards and bargaining groups

  • Collective Bargaining vs. “Meet and Confer” (Az.)

  • Compulsory Dues--

    -Lehnert v. Ferris Faculty Association

Political activities
Political Activities

  • Holding office while employed as a teacher

  • Issues--

    -Employee’s 1st Amendment rights of freedom of expression and association;

    -Incompatibility of office provisions;

    -Conflict of interest provisions;

    -Nepotism provisions

Political activities cont
Political Activities (cont.)

-Montgomery v. Carr- nepotism

-Castle v. Colonial School District- teacher’s views on prospective school board members

-State Board for Elementary and Secondary Education v. Howard- political patronage and influence

  • Arizona Revised Statutes- not on school property and not on school time