Legal System

Public schools function in a complex legal environment. They must comply with constitutional, statutory, regulatory, and judicial legal requirements at the federal, state, and local levels. They may encounter liability claims from any part of this system. This section contains information on the American legal system generally and on general issues of the liability and immunity of public school systems, including insurance.

Additional Resources

FCN email
Email to First Coast News RE: accuracy of news story

Mount v. Richmond Cnty. Sch, Sys.
Legal complaint alleging school district ban on parent volunteer violation of parent's Second Amendment right to bear arms

American Tort Reform Association
The American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) is a broad based, bipartisan coalition of more than 300 businesses, corporations, municipalities, associations, and professional firms who support civil justice reform.

Common Good on Schools
Common Good is a bipartisan initiative dedicated to “reforming America’s Lawsuit culture.” It has launched an effort to bring attention to how fear of lawsuits and overregulation can interfere with common sense educational decisions by public school boards, school administrators, and educators. is a website devoted to "chronicling the high cost of our legal system" and "documenting the need for reform of the American civil justice system." The site includes a section on schools and institutions of higher education.

Education Law Association
The Education Law Association, formerly NOLPE, is a national, nonprofit, nonadvocacy member association that promotes interest in and understanding of the legal framework of education and the rights of students, parents, school boards, and school employees.

COSA eDocs Store resources on Legal System
A collection of downloadable resources available individually for purchase from the NSBA Council of School Attorneys (COSA) for modest fees.

Teacher Liability Protection Act
A summary of the federal Coverdell Teacher Protection Act of 2001, which protects school board members and school employees from individual liability for actions related to student discipline.

The Legal System
First chapter from the NSBA publication, Understanding and Limiting School Board Member Liability. The chapter provides a great description of how the legal system is connected to education.

A Guide to the U.S. Courts and Legal System
A quick guide to the United States Legal System by

U.S. Courts
The website of the Federal Judiciary.

Federal Register
Published by the Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents.

United States Circuit Courts of Appeals Map
A map showing which states and territories comprise the jurisdiction of which of the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals. From this site one also can access links to court websites and many other links related to the federal judiciary.

The Legal List: Top 10 Issues for Public Schools
The cover story in the February 2009 issue of the American School Board Journal and an accompanying article on “Hiring an Attorney” presented the results of a survey of the NSBA Council of School Attorneys as to the most important legal issues confronting school districts today.

Need to know: Legal literacy in school districts
May 2009 issue of NSBA newsletter Leadership Insider. In this issue: The dangers of not knowing: Why your teachers should be legally literate; Free education law resources in the Internet age; A view from the silo: The future of education leadership programs.

HICA v. Alabama - Pet. for Rehearing En Banc
State of Alabama petition for rehearing en banc by Elenth Circuit - immigration law school data collection provision

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