Laws on student constitutional rights

Students have the right to constitutional freedoms and protections in higher education. Prior to the 1960s institutions of higher education did not have to respect students constitutional rights but could act as a parent in the interest of the student (Nancy Thomas, 1991). In 1960 Shelton v. Turner found the vigilant protection of constitutional freedoms is nowhere more vital than in the community of American schools and in 1961 Dixon v. Alabama, found that students were not required to give up, as a condition of admission, their constitutional rights and protections.[157][7] [edit]Free Speech & Association Rights Right to free speech and association rights Students retain their first amendment rights in institutions of higher education.[158] Papish v. Board of Curators of the Univ. of Missouri (1973) and Joyner v. Whiting (1973) find students may engage in speech that do not interfere with the rights of others or of the operation of the school.[159] Because schools are places of education they may regulate speech by time, manner and place as long as they provide free speech zones for students[107][160] as long as they are not used to limit expression.[107][161] Right to free religious and unaccepted speech The first amendment protects religious, indecent speech and profane hand gestures including the middle finger.[162][107][163][164][165][166][7][167] Texas v. Johnson (1989)[168] found that [i]f there is a bedrock principle underlying the first amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable. The first amendment does not recognize exceptions for bigotry, racism, and religious intolerance or ideas or matters some may deem trivial, vulgar or profane. Right to expression through clothing Clothing, armbands, newspaper editorials and demonstrations have all been found legal forms of free speech.[169][170] Right to free speech on public forums The first amendment covers internet communications.[35][171][172][173] On forums designated by the institution as public forums or commonly used as public forums, students may express themselves without content regulation or removal.[35][172] Online Policy Group v. Diebold, Inc., 2004 Regulation may take place to prevent illegal activities.[47][171] [edit]Equality Rights Right to protection from sex discrimination in higher education Students are protected from discrimination based on sex in any program or activity receiving federal funding except military, fraternity, sorority organizations.[174][36][175][98] Right to the protection from sexual harassment in education Sexual harassment is considered a form of sex discrimination under Title IV of the 1964 Civil Rights Act[176][177][47][178] and applies to all federal programs and activities. Sexual harassment has been prohibited in educational settings[36][179][180] and applies also to both opposite and same sex harassment by students.[181][182] Right to sex equality in the provision of student activities Institutions have an obligation to provide equal opportunities in athletics, bands and clubs. This includes equal accommodation of interests and abilities for both sexes, provision of equipment and facility scheduling for such activities as games and practices, travel allowance and dorm room facilities. It includes also equal quality facilities including locker rooms, medical services, tutoring services, coaching and publicity.[97] To ensure that sufficient opportunities are made available for women, institutions are responsible for complying with Title IX in one of three ways. They must provide athletic opportunities proportionate to enrollment, prove that they are continually expanding opportunities for the underrepresented sex or accommodate the interests and abilities of the underrepresented sex.[98] Right to the disclosure of athletics plans and expenditures The 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act also requires the disclosure of athletics information including male and female undergraduate enrollment, number of teams and team statistics including the number of players, team operating expenses, recruitment, coach salaries, aid to teams and athletes and team revenue.[122] This information is required to ensure equality standards are met. Right to protection from ability discrimination in facilities The 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act[45] and Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act[46] prohibits ability discrimination in higher education.[107][43][36][129][51] This includes ability discrimination in facility use. Individuals designated with a disability by a medical professional, legally recognized with a disability[36][26][39] and deemed otherwise qualified are entitled to equal treatment and reasonable accommodations in both educational and employment related activities.[40][41] The Supreme Court defined Otherwise qualified as an individual who can perform the required tasks in spite of rather than except for their disability.[42][43] Right to protection from race discrimination The 1972 Equal Educational Opportunity Act protects students equal rights to educational opportunity regardless of race and the 1965 Lyndon B. Johnson Executive Order 11246 and the 1964 Civil Rights Act require equal access to employment opportunities regardless of race.[47][183][175][184] Right to protection from racial segregation Students are protected from racial segregation which compromises access to quality education.[185][186][47][35][187] Right to affirmative action All federal employers or federal contractors are required to take affirmative action[188] to help counteract the effects of historical discrimination. They must reate goals, timetables, action plans, budgets and reporting systems to ensure that marginalized populations are given equal employment opportunities. Regulations must also be posted in conspicuous places easily available to all staff and potential employees.[189] Right to freedom from discrimination in affirmative action Diversity is defined in much broader terms than race. Grutter v. Bollinger (2003)[64] found a broad range of qualities and experiences that may be considered valuable contributions and a wide variety of characteristics besides race and ethnicity. Members of the majority are also protected from reverse discrimination.[54][64][65][190] Race neutral affirmative action policies must make exceptions on an individual basis and may not discriminate based on race or color.[54][64][65][190] Right to protection from discrimination based on national origin In education Individuals have the right to equal treatment regardless of national origin in institutions of higher education (HEA, 1965) so long as they are citizens or resident aliens of the United States.[47][191] The 1986 Immigration and Reform Control Act also prohibits discrimination based on citizenship. Institutions have the right to discriminate based on national origin so long as objectives are both narrowly defined and neutrally applied.[47][192] It is, thus, permissible to require non-resident aliens who are legally present in the United States to have health insurance for instance. Right to protection from age discrimination Age discrimination in federally funded programs is prohibited by the 1975 Age Discrimination Act.[193] This act builds on the 1967 Age Discrimination in Employment Act.[194][195][196][197] It provides protection from unequal treatment between people of different ages from any explicit or implied distinctions which effect the benefits of participation. Right to equal treatment of student groups Gay Activists Alliance v. Board of Regents of University of Oklahoma (1981) found student groups are entitled to equal and unbiased recognition. Recognition includes the unbiased allocation of facility and equipment resources except when there is proof that a student group does not maintain reasonable housekeeping or poses a threat of danger, disruption or criminal action.[139][198] [edit]Autonomy Rights to Free Choice (26th amendment) Right to personal autonomy Healey v. James (1972)[199] found students have the right to self determination. Studentswho, by reason of the 26th Amendment, become eligible to vote when 18 years of ageare adults who are members of the college or university community. Their interests and concerns are often quite different from those of the faculty. They often have values, views, and ideologies that are at war with the ones which the college has traditionally espoused or indoctrinated.[199] Bradshaw v. Rawlings (1979),[200] found that adult students now demand and receive expanded rights of privacy in their college life.[201] [edit]Laws and court precedent on students contract rights Right to contract rights Carr v. St. Johns University (1962)[202] and Healey v. Larsson (1971, 1974)[203] established that students and institutions of higher education formed a contractual relationship. Institutions of higher education are responsible to ensure that contracts, including those implied and verbal, are fair,[7][8] in good faith[36][204] and not unconscionable.[47][205] Right to adherence to institutional documents Students are protected from deviation from information advertized in the following documents: registration materials, manuals,[36][66] course catalogues,[206][20] bulletins, circulars, regulations,[29] Ross v. Creighton University class syllabi,[68][69][70] student codes,[47][22] and handbooks.[47][23] These documents may be binding implied-n-fact contracts. Goodman v. President and Trustees of Bowdoin College (2001), has ruled that institutional documents are still contractual regardless if they have a disclaimer. This decision found that even though the college had reserved the right to change the student handbook unilaterally and without notice, this reservation of rights did not defeat the contractual nature of the student handbook. Right to fulfillment of verbal promises Ross v. Creighton University found that verbal contracts are binding.[207][30] The North Carolina Court of Appeals in Long v. University of North Carolina at Wilmington (1995), found, however, that verbal agreements must be made in an official capacity in order to be binding.[12] Dezick v. Umpqua Community College (1979) found a student was compensated because classes offered orally by the dean were not provided. Healy v. Larsson (1974) found that a student who completed degree requirements prescribed by an academic advisor was entitled to a degree on the basis that this was an implied contract. An advisor should, thus, be considered an official source of information. Right to adherence to institutional documents Students are protected from deviation from information advertized in the following documents: registration materials, manuals,[47][66] course catalogues,[29][19][20] bulletins, circulars, regulations,[29][19] class syllabi,[68][69][70] student codes,[36][22] and handbooks.[36][23] These documents may be binding implied-n-fact contracts. Goodman v. President and Trustees of Bowdoin College (2001), has ruled that institutional documents are still contractual regardless if they have a disclaimer. This decision found that even though the college had reserved the right to change the student handbook unilaterally and without notice, this reservation of rights did not defeat the contractual nature of the student handbook.

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