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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 128478 Find in a Library
Title: Student Misbehavior and the Law
Journal: School Safety  Dated:(Winter 1991)  Pages:28-29
Author(s): B James
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 2
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
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Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
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Grant Number: 85-MU-CX-0003
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
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NCJRS Photocopy Services
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United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews the implications of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Bethel School District v. Fraser (1986) which upheld the disciplinary action of school officials toward a student accused of giving a lewd speech at a school assembly.
Abstract: This decision gives school officials the authority to regulate lewd and offensive conduct by students as a way of teaching values and to discipline students so as to protect the school education mission from the appearance of compromise. There is now a sufficient base of State and Federal cases to analyze the impact of these rules on school discipline cases. Two distinct notions of "Bethel discipline" have emerged. In the first, schools impose a higher standard of conduct and as a result punish inappropriate behavior, even off-campus behavior, when the student appears to be representing the school. In the second notion, school-sponsored activities are subject to greater control by school authorities than unsponsored activities, and participating students are held to a higher standard of conduct. The first of the two areas is the most far-reaching and controversial, because school officials hold students accountable for their conduct as a condition for maintaining some ongoing relationship. The relationship, in most cases, involves an extracurricular activity that draws attention to students and makes them unofficial agents for the school in the community. 7 notes
Main Term(s): School discipline
Index Term(s): Freedom of speech; US Supreme Court decisions
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