5 important Supreme Court cases about education


When reading through legal case briefs the chances are you will come across numerous education court cases. There are even terms in the law dictionary that describe different court terminology specifically about education. Read on to find out about some of the more notable cases that changed education as we know it.

The Board of Education verses Brown in 1954

Back in 1954 education was just as important, especially to those with the disadvantage of being a minority. Back in 1954 it was common for schools to be segregated by race. This caused a lot of uproar in the black community where people claimed that those taught at an all-black school were disadvantaged by lower standards than their peers. The case was successful and schools that were segregated by race were stopped.

The Lemon verses Kurtzman case

Again another case about equality came about when it was argued that the financial aid that was given to support the teachers salaries and the books used in parochial schools was unfair. The legal case briefsdecided that the scheme was in violation of the Establishment Clause which meant that they could not receive additional funding just for being a school of religion. The Establishment Clause is now known as the Lemon Test where unfair funding is not given based on religion.

Amish vs the Education

The legal case briefs stated that back in 1972 it was the law that every child stayed in school until they turned 16, however Mr Yoder felt that this was in violation of the Amish life he led and brought his children up to follow. He reasoned that as his son was to be tending to agriculture anything over the 8th grade was unnecessary. Noting the Amish religion the law dictionary was changed to make a legal exception for the Amish and other similar religious ways of life.

Unfair searches in schools in 1985

In New Jersey in 1985 there werelegal case briefs regarding a student got caught out smoking a cigarette on the school grounds. As a result she was searched by a member of staff who to her surprise found not only cigarettes but evidence of drugs. The police were called in and charged her and the school excluded her. In court her defence lawyer claimed that the Fourth amendment which protects against searches without a good reason was breached and for that reason the evidence was inadmissible. It was on this occasion noted that students have a right to privacy however the search was deemed reasonable and the case was thrown out.

Lopez verses the United States

The Gun-Free School Zones Act which was put in place to stop firearm possession in specific school zones being legal. The act was challenged by a high school student from Texas after being caught with a gun on his possession in the school and was charged as a result. The conviction was challenged because it was argued that as there was no constitutional authority able to pass the act of banning guns from school zone areas after reading through legal loopholes. The courts ruled in the schoolboys favour stating that congress were in fact over their heads in passing the act as it did not affect the commerce interstate.  Only state governments have the power to change such laws/acts.

First published on blog: http://docgate.world.edu/5-important-supreme-court-cases-education/