Loyola University Chicago

School of Law

Child and Family Law Courses

683: Legal Issues in School Discipline (Online)

Credit Hours



The course will address the Constitutional implications of student discipline and the statutory provisions governing student discipline and the administrative hearing process. Students will learn about ‘zero tolerance’ policies, the role that school discipline plays in the ‘school-to-prison pipeline’ and the discriminatory impact of school discipline policies. Issues relating to discipline in charter schools and discipline of students with disabilities will also be addressed. Other topics to be discussed include disciplinary-related challenges that arise in the context of protecting vulnerable children, including issues of harassment and bullying of LGBT students and students with disabilities, and the legal tenets governing school districts’ responses to cyberbullying and the rise of social networks and digital media. Emerging trends in alternatives to punitive school discipline practices, such as human rights approaches, positive behavior interventions and supports, and restorative justice, will be examined.