Case Regarding student rights: Isaacs v. Bd. Of Howard County
Description : This case involved a student whose ancestors were from Jamaica. In eighth grade she attended Harper's Choice middle school and in ninth grade she attended Wilde Lake High School. Both of the schools made exceptions for religious headgear such as yarmulkes and Muslim hijab, including head- scarves. On March 23, 1998, The student decided to wear a multicolored head wrap to school, which she considered to be an African cultural symbol. She wore them outside of school along with the rest of her family. When the assistant principal saw her wearing the head wrap, she was forced to go to the office and was asked to remove the head wrap because it violated the schools policies.
The student contended that the defendant's refusal to allow her to wear the head wrap in school in order to celebrate her cultural heritage, violated her constitutional right to free speech. She and her mother brought this action against defendants Board of Education of Howard County. The judge in the case ruled against the student, as situations like this are not protected under Supreme Court. The judge also agreed with the school board policy which stated the ban on a hats for a list of specific reasons. Although the students put up a good fight, the judge concluded that it would be unrealistic for schools to decide if each hat worn to school would be acceptable, therefore no hats should be allowed except for non disruptive head covers.
Significance: I picked this case because I feel it is an issue that will most likely take place at some point in my teaching career and I wanted to know the specific guidelines. Also, while recently working as a para educator I witnessed an Amish child being forced to take off their bonnet. According to this case, if it is part of a religious belief they should be allowed to wear it.
Impact on Teachers: Often times teachers are the first to deal with situations such as these; they will need to know the rules and regulations they are to enforce. Teachers should set the rule straight for her whole class at the beginning of the school year. This way the students will all be aware of these expectations and will not be taken back by any consequences given.
Diversity: Teachers will need to become aware of all of the different religious diversity in his or her classroom and be familiar with the customs associated with each religion. If a student comes to school wearing a head covering, the teacher should be able to decipher whether or not it falls under the regulations for the hats allowed.
Technology can be used: To educate the students on different cultures and religions that may affect their educational environment. Teaching them customs and what is expected of different people will eliminate any questioning of the head covers that some of their peers may be allowed to wear in school.This would be the level of Modification on the SAMR Model, as this task could have been carried out in the classroom before computers through books and other resources, but now it can be done through computer technology.
Student Benefit: Students will benefit if these regulations are followed because they will not have any extra distractions in school and will be properly educated on certain appearance beliefs of other religions. Since teachers should be familiar with diverse customs, the students will be able to wear headgear if their religion allows. Students will become more understanding and excepting of everyone in their school as well as community. Also, by making these specific regulations clear to the students from the first day of school, they will know what is expected of them and should not run into any problems regarding hats.
Citation: 1. law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/FSupp2/40/335/2380728 2. Shuttle://sites.google.com/a/ msd60.org/technology-is-learning/same-model
Case regarding Teacher professional Responsibility: spear v. Jefferson Pariah Sch. Bd.
Description: A School district was found liable for damages in a case where a physical education teacher played a trick on a male kindergarten student by leading the student to believe that one of his classmates had hung himself. The student was diagnosed with post dramatic stress disorder, separation anxiety, and social phobia disorder. The district was with held liable for $100,000 in general damages, 2160 for future therapy, and $5000 to each parents for loss of consortium.
Significance: This case is significant in a big way to all teachers. I chose this case because when we think about liability the first thing that probably comes to most people's minds is a physical injury. This case stands as a reminder that we must also think about a child's mental state. Every single one of our actions can impact a child's mind and we will be held accountable for those results.
Impact on teachers: Educators need to be very cautious in regards to our words and actions around the students. Somethings that may not be considered a big deal to us or to most of the students in the classroom can be taken in a totally different way by a certain student or parent. Mental safety is beginning to be more and more of a concern in today's society and educators must take responsibility for the students mental safety as well as physical.
Diversity: Diversity plays a big role in this case whether it was stated or not. Different cultures and religions have different beliefs and ideas, and therefore may take certain situations that happen in the classroom differently. Teachers need to be aware of these beliefs and ideas and respect those values when teaching and caring for students. Four example, talking about death and war may be acceptable to one family and traumatizing to another.
Teachnology can be used: To teach students to also be thoughtful when it comes to their peers feelings and emotional state. It is also important for them to understand how to cope and express their own feelings. This will help maintain everyone's mental state. This website ( blog.playdrhutch.com/2012/10/10/playful-activities-to-help-kids-learn-about-feelings/ ) is very informative for the children and has a lot of helpful game ideas for the classroom about feelings. Even though the teacher may not be the one doing the bullying, they will still be held accountable. This is also the modification level of the SAMR Model. The teacher could have read books to the children and came up with their own games about feelings without the computer, but the computer will enhance those activities.
Student benefit: Students mental well-being will be thought about every day while at school. Students will be treated and talked to in a way that will enhance their mental health, not decline it. Students will also learn how to associate with other people in an appropriate manner through observations of the teachers actions.
Citations: 1. faculty.coehd.utsa.edu/Thompson/Chapter_11_Cases. html 2. www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bF1e6Xux9A
Case regarding Teacher personal rights/responsibilities: Spanierman V. Hughes
Discrimination: This case involved a teacher named Jeffrey Spanierman, Who created a MySpace page to communicate with students about homework and also to learn more about them so he could relate to them on a more personal level. The page was supposed to be used to conduct casual, non-school related discussions. A school colleague of his became concerned about the page because according to her it contained pictures of naked men with inappropriate comments underneath them. The colleague was concerned about the nature of the personal conversations that the teacher was having with the students, and she convinced Spanierman to remove the page. Shortly after the old page was taken down, a new MySpace page was created and included similar content within it. The colleague then reported the page to the school administration, who than placed Spanierman on administrative leave and eventually declined to renew his teaching contract for the following year. Spanierman's free speech claim was rejected and the courts did not find the schools judgements to be unreasonable.
Significance: This case is significant because it reminds us of what relationships are appropriate with students even outside of school. We must stay professional at all times and stop any sort of relationship that may be distracting to the students. Even though educators do have freedom of speech, we must stay ethical.
Impact on teachers: This should impact every teachers actions. We must think before acting in a way that may affect the student's education. This web page was considered to be distracting to students, just like many other things could be to. Teachers need to learn to cut back on what they post on social media. Even if it is not directly posted for the students, it can eventually be leaked to them, their family, or other professionals. Our actions also need to be thought about in and outside of school.
Diversity: We need to keep in mind that all culturals and religions share different values and beliefs. Something we do outside of school that we may consider ethical may be seen diffently to a student or their family. Parents need to feel comfortable with who they leave their children with; this may change depending on their beliefs.
Technology: A page or a website can definitely be used to communicate with students in a professional manner, to make postings that may be beneficial to the students, and to improve their quality of education in general; however educators must keep it school related and recognize boundaries.
Student Benifits: The age of students will affect their judgment of what is appropriate or not and may make it hard for them to determine if something is distracting or affecting them negatively. This case makes situations like this scarce and easy to stop.
Citations: 1. Mediashift.org/2008/10/teacher-fired-for-inappropriate-behavior-on-MySpace-page289/