Courts have long held that public school teachers are “state actors” when they carry out the duties of their job. Despite this, very few teacher preparation programs include an education law class. In order to understand teachers’ legal literacy, a survey was given to 300 public school teachers in Indiana. The survey assessed knowledge of constitutional law issues, statutory law issues, and case law relevant to public school settings (e.g., student free speech, search and seizure, special education law, etc.). Results indicate that very few teachers are legal literate, often mistaking what is within the realm of legal possibility in a school setting. Implications and suggestions for mitigating possible lawsuits are discussed.
Summers, Kelly H.; Kiracofe, Chrstine Rienstra; and James, Constantine
"Legal Literacy and K-12 Public School Teachers,"
Mid-Western Educational Researcher: Vol. 32:
4, Article 4.
Available at: https://scholarworks.bgsu.edu/mwer/vol32/iss4/4