3rd Edition

Best Interests of the Student Applying Ethical Constructs to Legal Cases in Education

    308 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    308 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Best Interests of the Student presents both a theoretical model for guiding educators as they confront legal and ethical dilemmas in their schools, as well as highly accessible and annotated court cases for exploration. The authors introduce an ethical decision-making model that focuses on strategies for determining what actions are in the "best interests of the student," and demonstrates the application of this theoretical model for examining legal and ethical dimensions of court cases. Discussion questions at the end of each case encourage readers to examine issues from differing viewpoints, helping them to become more self-reflective school leaders who can effectively address legal dilemmas in their own contexts. This important text is a valuable resource for both aspiring and practicing school administrators and leaders.

    This thoroughly revised edition features:

    • An entirely new chapter on conceptual and empirical insights grounding our understanding of students’ best interests

    • 10 new legal cases reflecting recent developments in school law including educational needs of transgender students, immunity for student searches, conflicts between religious expression and free speech, educators’ access to students’ cell phone data, education for children of undocumented immigrants, and access to literacy as a fundamental right

    • A focus on preparing school leaders to meet the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL)

    • Updated information and references throughout to reflect current context, resources, and education policy

    Part I:A Conceptual Framework 1.Introduction  2.Conceptualizing an Ethical Framework for Educational Leaders  3.A Model for Promoting the Student’s Best Interests  4.Grounding “Best Interests” in both Wisdom and Knowledge Traditions  5.The Courts, the Law, and Ethics 6.Applying Ethical Constructs to Legal Cases Part II:Students’ Fundamental Rights  7.Freedom of Speech  8 Religious Expression  9.Censorship and Viewpoint Discrimination  10.Technology, Cyberbullying, and Sexting  11.The Right to Privacy  12.School Safety and Zero Tolerance  Part III:School Governance, the Curriculum, and the Student  13.Academic Standards, Assessment, and the Right to Education  14.Teachers, Learning, and the Curriculum  15.Governmental Immunity  16.Equity, Equality, and Equal Protection  Part IV:Conclusions 17.Conclusions


    Jacqueline Stefkovich is an Independent Consultant, Researcher, and Professor Emerita in the Department of Education Policy Studies at the Pennsylvania State University, USA.

    William C. Frick is the Rainbolt Family Endowed Presidential Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Oklahoma, USA.

    "Best Interests of the Student is an ideal book to use in preparing school administrators. It provides a readable, accessible, thoughtful consideration of pertinent legal cases; gives readers an understanding of different perspectives on the cases; and raises questions to consider these legal rulings from an ethical perspective. I know of no other book on the market that offers such a thoughtful consideration of the intersection of law and ethics for school administrators and would-be administrators."

    --Norma T. Mertz, Professor Emerita, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, University of Tennessee

    "Within this broad theme, the authors examine students’ best interests in the categories of school curriculum, governmental immunity, academic standards, and the rights of students to equality, equity, and equal protection under the law. Professors and instructors who teach in educational leadership or curriculum studies programs will find Stevkovich and Frick’s book unique because it links ethical considerations and legal principles in dozens of case studies that the authors developed from actual court decisions.  Each case study is followed by questions that can help guide classroom discussions."

    --Richard Fossey, Teacher College Record