Legal Issues in Education

Subject: Law
Type: Analytical Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 859
Topics: Human Rights, Early Childhood Education, Job, Social Issues


The present case study involves the expression of rights among students, both as independent citizens and as students within a learning facility. In this case, the teacher has been accused of infringing on the rights of a student by breaking their fight. The question is whether the action of the teacher contravenes the students’ right to liberty and expression. America’s legal regime promotes and protects the rights of independent citizens (White, 2007). However, as with every right, there are restrictions and limitations based on the rule of law. This analysis explores whether the student’s rights included assaulting another. In addition, the analysis will examine whether the action of the teacher of restricting the student amounted to an infringement on their rights. In the end, the paper will analyze whether the teacher would be found liable in an action for infringement upon the right to liberty of the student.

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Analysis of the Legal Rights

The case study brings to light the rights of expression and freedom from detainment. The right to expression denotes to an individual’s entitlement to voice their opinions and demand audience from authorities. In the case of students, the right to expression refers to the liberty to share their views with the teaching staff and other students. Such a right cannot be taken away arbitrarily or without any reasonable cause. Stemming from the constitution, the right to expression permits citizens to air their grievances without the risk of reprisals. However, the right can be limited to the extent that it infringes upon the rights of others. For instance, the right to expression is limited where the continued expression would disparage the character of others or cause them undue discomfort. Similarly, this right can be limited where it may cause a nuisance to the members of the public. The right to expression is therefore not absolute and can be limited within the confines of the law.

On the other hand, the freedom from detainment extends to the right not to be unlawfully held, restricted or imprisoned. In the present case, the student was alleging that the action of the teacher of holding them back amounted to an infringement on their rights. Strictly speaking, the right to liberty can be limited within the confines of the law. Where a person is causing a public nuisance or in situations where their actions may injure others, they can restricted by imprisonment or detainment. Such detainment is usually for the public good and it is a justifiable action in any democracy.

Infringement upon the Student’s Rights

In the present case, to determine the possible infringement upon the rights of the student, it is important to establish whether such rights existed in the first place. According to the fact pattern, the students did not have a right to cause havoc within the school compound. Similarly, the student who punched the other did not have a right over the fellow student’s body as to cause them unwarranted pain. The action of the teacher in separating the two students and restricting one does not amount to infringing upon the student’s right. Teachers have an obligation to enforce the individual rights of the students, but not at the expense of fellow students (Covell, Howe, & McNeil, 2010).

Liability of the Teacher

Teachers have a duty to protect the students within the school compound. In addition, they can enforce disciplinary measures on errand students. In most cases, students caught misbehaving could be detained at school for some hours as punishment. In aggravated instances, they could be suspended or expelled. Teachers in enforcing the disciplinary measures must adhere to the prescribed code and can only act within certain confines (Bowden, 2007). Teachers also have a duty to protect students from being harassed by others. In the present case, the teacher was merely discharging her duty of breaking the fight. Thus, under the circumstances, it was necessary to restrict one of the students who were throwing punches. The action did not in any way amount to an infringement upon the right of the student involved. In fact, the errant student was infringing upon the rights of a fellow student. Thus, the teacher is not liable under the circumstances.


The concept of civil rights and liberties has emboldened people, causing them to agitate for their rights whenever they fell that there has been an infringement. Within learning institutions, teachers have been enlightened on the concept of rights and urged to confine their dealings with students within the legal parameters. Teachers are also encouraged to uphold the rights of all students and prevent the limitation of rights of some students by others. In such cases, teachers must rise up and defend the weak students.

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  1. Bowden, R. (2007). Evolution of responsibility: From “in loco parentis” to “ad meliora 
  2. vertamur”. Education, 127(4), 480-489.
  3. Covell, K., Howe, R., & McNeil, J. (2010). Implementing children’s human rights education in 
  4. schools. Improving Schools, 13(2), 117-132.
  5. White, B. (2007). Student rights: From in loco parentis to sine parentibus and back again? 
  6. Understanding the family educational rights and privacy act in higher education. Brigham Young University Education & Law Journal, 2(321-350).
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