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Courts & Schools

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Running Head: COURTS & SCHOOLS 1

Courts & Schools 2
The Courts and Schools: Teachers Private Lives
Overview
Heralded by many as one of the noblest professions, teachers have been held at a higher standard of conduct than the general public for centuries. Many times this does not only apply to the classroom, but rolls over to the teacher’s private life. Parents, administrators and communities expect teachers to be beyond reproach both in and out of the classroom due to the common idea that values and morality are an integral part of teaching. Fair or unfair, teachers are role models for their students 24 hours a day and increased focus on character education in public schools has parents and school boards casting a more scrutinizing look at those individuals expected to teach our children right from wrong. Many wonder how the coach with smokeless tobacco in his mouth during practice can effectively teach students about its dangers in the classroom. If student athletes trying to emulate the coach start using smokeless tobacco, is the coach liable?
Legal Issues
With regards to the law it can be stated that teachers are privy to the same First Amendment rights as any other citizen. In actuality teachers, especially in small towns, are afforded very limited personal privacy. (Phelps, 2003) Some rights activists argue the unfairness of this higher standard and maintain that teachers should be treated no differently than any other citizen. Yet, many school districts rebut that a teachers actions outside of school are private only when the teacher’s ability in the classroom or the integrity of the school system are not at risk. (Phelps, 2003) Individual states have policies in place stating specifics regarding when teacher licensure can be revoked or a teacher can be dismissed. For example in Tennessee a…...

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