This Legal Entanglement Plan seeks to examine the policies, programs, strategies, and practices of a particular school with respect to its moral, legal, and ethical implications. The plan is developed based on a three-step process that will help in addressing the issue that could potentially become a liability or legal entanglement if left unaddressed. The plan will help in addressing the issue since it will be communicated to appropriate stakeholders.
Step 1 – Analysis
Moral and Legal Issues in School Strategies
One of the moral, ethical or legal issue facing Carson Elementary School in West Price and could escalate into a legal entanglement is school bullying, which poses significant threats on the welfare and well-being of students. Bullying is a broad concept that involves intentional aggression, power imbalance between the perpetrator and victim, and repetitive aggressive behavior (Cornell & Limber, 2015). Carson Elementary School recognizes that preventing bullying is critical toward enhancing the safety of all students within the classroom setting and school environment. In this regard, the school has established policies that seek to prevent or lessen bullying incidents. The policies are based on guidelines by Cincinnati Public Schools district and act as the basis for determining how to deal with bullying incidents.
As part of the school’s strategies toward meeting this moral and legal obligation, the administration and teaching staff focus on encouraging positive behaviors among students. Moreover, the school has established strategies for dealing with problematic behavior including suspension or expulsion of students who are considered to pose threats to the health and wellbeing of others. Teachers and other staff in the school receive intensive training on preventing and/or lessening bullying (Lake, 2018). While the strategies have been relatively effective in promoting student safety in the school, they could be problematic morally or legally on the premise that some of them are primarily reactive rather than proactive. For example, the establishment of measures for dealing with problematic behavior at Carson Elementary School are seemingly focused on the impact of such behaviors rather than preventing them from occurring. Therefore, the school could experience legal and moral issues if such behaviors end up harming a student. The Legal Entanglement Plan in the final part of this paper seeks to provide a proactive approach toward preventing problematic behavior in order to avoid any potential legal ramifications relating to school bullying.
Values in School Policies, Programs, and Practices
Carson Elementary School has undertaken suitable measures toward preventing and/or addressing bullying in the school based on policies established by the Cincinnati Public Schools district. However, there is lack of accountability on how the administration and teaching staff are held accountable in preventing bullying incidents and promoting the safety of all students. The strategies also lack transparency through which parents can work collaboratively with the school to prevent such incidents. Additionally, there is lack of transparency on how the school’s bullying policies are implemented and measures teachers and other staff undertake to ensure that all students are safe within and outside the classroom environment. The school teaching staff has embraced values education approach as a means of promoting safety and positive behaviors among students. During this process students are taught on moral and social principles that seek to enhance morality and positive actions among students. However, there is lack of acceptance and respect among students because of lack of transparency and accountability in enforcing these moral and social principles.
The school’s administration and teaching staff have also failed in promoting collaboration with parents towards enforcing these moral and social principles as well as preventing bullying. The Legal Entanglement Plan will help address this by providing guidelines on collaboration between parents, teachers, and the school administration.
Collaboration in Addressing School Bullying
From the above analysis, parents and caregivers need to work together with teachers and the school administration to promote safety of all students. Collaboration between these different stakeholders is vital toward ensuring that students adhere to the moral and social principles for modeling positive behaviors in the school setting and at home. Parents and caregivers will help in reinforcing these positive behaviors and principles to the students as well as dealing with problematic behaviors. Collaboration is also crucial toward promoting transparency and accountability in implementation of bullying policies in the school environment. Following engagement with parents and caregivers in the school, these stakeholders have highlighted the need to promote collaboration with teachers and school administration as a means of ensuring transparency and accountability. They have reported that some of the student safety issues in the school emerge because of lack of clarity on policies adopted by the school to prevent and/or lessen safety issues. Therefore, collaboration will help them understand and play a leading role in enforcing positive behaviors. Parents and teachers influenced the topic for the Legal Entanglement Plan through providing feedback and opinions regarding the measures employed by the school in promoting student safety. In light of the feedback and opinion, the topic for the Legal Entanglement Plan is “Collaboration between different stakeholders in Preventing Bullying at Carson
Step 2 - Knowledge Base
Case Law Review
School bullying has been the subject of numerous court cases across various jurisdictions in the United States. These court cases have significantly affected school policies on ruling including accountability for enforcement of policies and practices that enhance the safety of all students within the school environment. One of the court cases that applies to how bullying is handled fairly, consistently, and ethically in a school is Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education (1999). In this case, Aurelia Davis sued the county’s Board of Education on behalf of her fifth grade daughter, LaShonda who was allegedly a victim of sexual harassment by another student. The plaintiff argued that school officials failed to prevent her daughter from suffering sexual harassment, which is an example of school bullying. Davis further contended that the school’s officials were complacent in creating a safe learning environment and therefore robbed her daughter of educational benefits granted by the law (Legal Information Institute, 2018). The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Davis by arguing that the school was guilty of indifference to LaShonda’s sexual harassment and ignored several complaints. This case highlights how schools are held accountable for preventing and dealing with bullying and other student safety issues.
In Flores v. Morgan Hill Unified School District, 324 F.3d 1130 (9th Cir. 2003), six LGBT students filed a lawsuit against the school district on allegations that they experienced anti-gay harassment for a period of seven years. While these students reported incidents of anti-gay name-calling, anti-gay rumors, physical assaults and anti-gay vandalism, employees in this school district repeatedly ignored the….....
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Cornell, D. & Limber, S.P. (2015, May-June). Law and Policy on the Concept of Bullying at School. American Psychological Association, 70(4), 333-343.
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Lake, H. (2018, January 5). Cincinnati Public Schools Make Changes on Bullying After Gabriel Taye’s Death. WCPO Cincinnati. Retrieved March 31, 2018, from https://www.wcpo.com/news/insider/cincinnati-public-schools-make-changes-on-bullying-after-gabriel-tayes-death
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Lewis, M. (2016). Legal Entanglement Project. Retrieved March 31, 2018, from https://www.livetext.com/doc/2232960?print=1
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