Date of Award

1-1-2012

Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Leadership and Policies

Sub-Department

Educational Administration

First Advisor

Zach Kelehear

Abstract

This study examined the level of school law knowledge held by principals in selected school districts in the state of South Carolina. Specifically, it looked at the effect that the principal's district of employment, years of experience, and professional training had on his or her knowledge of school law. This study also examined the areas principals most frequently cited as areas they would have changed their practice had they known the law. Militello, Schimmel, and Eberwein's Educational Law Survey was administered, which investigated the areas of student rights (search/seizure, student freedom of expression, issues of religion and education, special education/limited English proficiency, student due process/discipline, and compulsory education) and teacher rights (liability regarding student injuries, contract issues/employee rights, teacher academic freedom, torts, abuse/neglect, discrimination/harassment, and student records). Only 15.9% of participants scored a 70% or higher on the survey, which was the acceptable level of performance as noted by the original authors of the survey. These results confirm the findings of previous studies in this area over the past 30 years by determining school principals continue to have a below-average knowledge level of concepts of school law as related to student and teacher rights.

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