An analysis of selected legal rights and responsibilities of georgia public school educators
Sadler, Charlotte Rose
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This study identified and analyzed Georgia and Federal legislation, regulations, and judicial decisions that directly relate to the legal rights and responsibilities of Georgia public school educators. In determining the selected legal rights and responsibilities of Georgia public school educators, the literature and laws were closely studied. Those areas that were most prominent were analyzed and discussed. This study addressed the legal principles in the following areas of public school education: 1) education of students with disabilities; 2) terms and conditions of teacher employment; 3) tort liability; and 4) legal responsibilities regarding students. The data for the study included a detailed analysis of historical documents, constitutional provisions, statutes, regulations, and case law. Findings of the study include the following: 1) Education of students with disabilities: The primary legislation pertaining to the education of students with disabilities is found in the Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1997 (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These acts provide substantive and procedural rights and ensure that children with disabilities receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE). 2) Terms and Conditions of Teacher Employment: In Georgia, the Professional Standards Commission (PSC) is the governing agency for certification of educators. The PSC Code of Ethics defines professional behavior for educators. The Georgia Fair Dismissal Law and the Georgia A Plus Educational Reform Act of 2000 serve to protect educators’ rights and establish accountability. 3) Tort Liability: Negligence is the most common tort faced by educators. Georgia retains limited sovereign immunity. 4) Legal Responsibilities Regarding Students: Student rights regarding speech, due process, and search and seizure must be considered. Student records are protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.