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Limitations on School Authority

Another area that has been debated by the courts is the extent of school authority. Under the Gun Free School Zones Act of 1995, a firearm could not be brought within 1,000 feet of a school. The Supreme Court, in a rare decision that overturned this Congressional Act, decided in United States v. Lopez (1995) that it was unconstitutional to declare schools gun-free zones in this manner. Further, the court held that claims of increased school violence could not override Second Amendment constitutional rights.

There have been other challenges to school authority under the Fourteenth Amendment which allows for due process. Students must be given notification of charges against them, in addition to an opportunity to defend themselves, and to be represented when being expelled or suspended. A written school policy on the appeals process is recommended.

Inside Limitations on School Authority