Monday, January 22, 2007

In Loco Parentis and the Duke Case

Some who find it difficult to support the Duke University lacrosse players because of their stupidity in drinking to excess and hiring a stripper in the first place should help put pressure to end the tolerance and even encouragement of these practices by college administrators and alumni.

When I first started teaching, the term, 'in loco parentis' still somewhat applied.

Due to the efforts of liberals on faculty and in the administration, and even, surprisingly, to parents complaints, 'in loco parentis' has turned into 'anything goes'. Colleges have become places where binge drinking, pervasive casual sex and robotic liberal propaganda with no tolerance for dissent is the norm. And it’s not just that these practices are accepted, they are encouraged by the prevailing liberal philosophy that what you do is your own business (so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else). This applies to drugs, alcohol, sex, obscenities and men hanging foot-long chains from their ears. I can’t begin to recall the number of arguments I have had with liberal colleagues over the harm some television programs and movies were doing to our children. They can’t understand that these behaviors ALWAYS affect other people.

The real reason for the stance of liberals is that they want to engage in this behavior themselves, and they don’t want to feel any heat from society or from their neighbors for their actions. “Don’t be judgmental, you Neanderthal; besides, it’s no one’s business but mine.”

From Wikipedia:
“Taking root in colonial American schools, in loco parentis was an idea derived from English common law. The colonists borrowed it from the English ideal of schools having not only educational but also moral responsibility for students. With this duty went the equivalent of parental authority. The idea especially suited the puritanical values of the colonists, and after the American Revolution, it persisted in elementary and high schools, colleges, and universities. The judiciary respected it: like their English counterparts, U.S. courts in the nineteenth century were unwilling to interfere when students brought grievances, particularly in the area of rules, discipline, and expulsion.

Two important shifts in society and law diminished the effect of the doctrine. One was the evolution of educational standards. Beginning in the late 1800s and advancing rapidly during the mid-1900s, the increasing secularization of schools brought an emphasis on practical education over moral instruction. At a slower rate, courts adapted to this change, according greater rights to students than were previously recognized. This trend began during the turbulent era of social change in the 1960s.

The first to benefit were students in higher education, through rulings such as the landmark Dixon v. Alabama State Board of Education, 294 F.2d 150 (5th Cir. 1961). In Dixon, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit extended due process rights to students at tax-supported colleges, ruling that the Constitution "requires notice and some opportunity for hearing" before students can be expelled for misconduct. After Dixon, courts largely abandoned in loco parentis in favor of contract law for adjudicating disputes between students and their institutions. Partly in reaction to free speech movements, other changes came as courts recognized that students at public colleges and universities were entitled to full enjoyment of their First and Fourth Amendment rights.

Over the next decade, public school students received greater recognition of their rights, too. In ruling that high school students could not be expelled for wearing black armbands to protest the Vietnam War, the U.S. Supreme Court held in 1969 that students do not "shed their constitutional rights … at the schoolhouse gate" (Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, 393 U.S. 503, 89 S. Ct. 733, 21 L. Ed. 2d 731). In 1975, it held in Goss v. Lopez, 419 U.S. 565, 95 S. Ct. 729, 42 L. Ed. 2d 725, that the suspension of high school students for alleged disruptive or disobedient conduct required some sort of notice of charges and a prior hearing.

But the underlying premise of in loco parentis did not disappear completely from public schools. Instead, the Supreme Court limited students' rights based on what it found appropriate for children in school. In 1977, it held that the disciplinary paddling of public school students was not a cruel and unusual punishment prohibited by the Eighth Amendment (Ingraham v. Wright, 430 U.S. 651, 97 S. Ct. 1401, 51 L. Ed. 2d 711). Public school students have also traditionally enjoyed less protection of their First and Fourth Amendment rights. Recognizing the duty of schools to safeguard students, the Court in 1995 permitted high schools to conduct random urinalysis of student athletes even without prior suspicion (Vernonia School District v. Acton, 515 U.S. 646, 115 S. Ct. 2386, 132 L. Ed. 2d 564).

The progression from the courts' early acceptance of in loco parentis to a broader recognition of students' rights transformed U.S. education. Students in public universities gained the most from this shift in philosophy and law, but students in high school also earned recognition of their due process rights. The judicial revolution that began with Dixon did not give constitutional protection to the rights of private school students, who are distinct under the law from public school students.

In the 1980s, new issues involving the in loco parentis doctrine arose for colleges and universities. Victims of campus crime insisted that these institutions owed a duty to provide safe campuses to students. The schools, noting that the doctrine of in loco parentis was no longer upheld, resisted the idea because of the increased liability that would accrue to them. At the same time, many institutions enacted controversial rules governing so-called hate speech, and these codes returned them in some measure to the days when they tightly regulated student behavior.” Wikipedia

After reading this, I hope my viewers can gain a greater understanding of just why our public schools and formerly great universities have descended into a maelstrom of undisciplined mishmash – graduating ignoramuses who never heard of Thomas Jefferson, think Dick Cheney is a basketball star and Britney Spears is an appropriate role-model.

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At 3:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad that my children never went to college. Not because of the cost of sending them, but because these schools are controlled by degenerate morons who hate their country; die-hard worthless drug using fools from the hippy generation of the sixties. They don't teach. They indoctrinate. It's bad enough that my taxes are paying for these scum!


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