Education Law Questions? Ask an Education Lawyer
My name is***** have been an attorney for 26 years and in the field of Education for 16 years. I will help you with your questions today.
Can you tell me if you spoke with the teacher about this or an administrator in the school?
Is your daughter in Dunbar High School?
I was looking on the Lee County and Trafalgar Middle School websites for employee and student handbooks and complaint procedures. I have not found any as of yet.
In any school, the first thing to do is to take your concerns to the teacher. Your daughter had a reasonable request to use the bathroom. Because of the denial by the teacher, she was subjected to teasing by other students.
If you are not satisfied by your meeting with the teacher, you can then ask to see the principal. After the principal, the superintendent. Then the Board of Education.
When you ask about precedents, are you asking if there is a lawsuit? Teacher discipline?
I am researching this for you.
I am actually finding some cases for you. Give me a little while to organize it for you.
This link is a law article explaining how the use of the bathroom is a constitutional right. There have been lawsuits for denial of the right where students have been publicly embarrassed. Also, damage can be caused to the body in waiting to use the bathroom.
You can use this to talk about the health risks.
http://safehealthyschoolsfl.org/Home.aspx Here is a link to the Florida Department of Education Safe and Healthy School policies. In the policies they promote a healthy "School Climate" and "Health Education", "Healthy School Environment." I think you should bring up how these policies are not being followed if your daughter is denied a basic human right to use the bathroom. Just as healthy school lunches are promoted, so should healthy bathroom practices. How is it a healthy school climate if your daughter fears advocating for her need to use the bathroom? How is it she fears discipline when she knows she has to use the bathroom and it is the right thing to do? I was able to find news reports in Florida where parents sued schools under similar situations. However, I could not find case law. I think this is because these cases have settled and did not go to trial and later to appeal.
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