Book Title: School Law Primer: A working guide for educational leaders
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Author: Daniel N. Johnson Ed.D.
This book is intended to be a useful tool for school administrators. Every day, school leaders make hundreds of decisions with far-ranging implications. They manage millions of dollars of scarce resources as well as assume major responsibility for the health, safety, and security of significant numbers of children and adults. For school administrators, legal issues and challenges are often problems to be reacted to—their modus operandi is frequently damage control. Yet all educational leaders are responsible even before an issue arises to understand, internalize, and take appropriate actions based on wise judgment and a sound legal foundation. Leaders must not only minimize the risks to the organization and its individuals but also create a healthy, proactive climate for all. Prevention, awareness, anticipation, analysis, and action are steps for establishing a positive legal environment as well as sustaining effective educational leadership. The purpose of the School Law Primer is to provide practicing and future school administrators with a clearer understanding of many of the critical legal issues facing educational leaders. Whether these issues are based in the U.S. Constitution, state laws, or local district and building policies and procedures, they serve to provide a framework for the work of school administrators. The School Law Primer is not intended to provide a comprehensive or in-depth perspective but rather a useful overview that will help inform you and your work. It is intended to stimulate you to become legally literate. The resources referenced provide much more depth and scope. You are encouraged to visit these references for advice and guidance in approaching the challenging legal issues you all will face. A formational premise of the School Law Primer is that solid and effective legal practices are interrelated with solid and effective administrative practices. Good legal thinking is based on sound judgment and wisdom when making decisions regarding students and adults as well as when approaching difficult issues. Good legal thinking is also good prevention thinking. All too often, because of inadequate information, lack of forethought, or incomplete work, thoughtful problem prevention becomes costly problem solving or, even worse, crisis intervention. Administrators are continually being called on to decipher the rights of the individuals – students, staff, parents and the community – as they frequently intersect with the obligations and requirements of maintaining a safe, non threatening, and productive school environment. While this book has an emphasis on Oregon Law, it can be useful for any administrator guided by best practice.