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Artifact 2 for Standard 6

Brigitte Cunningham
EDU 610
Case Analysis 2
Some of the public policy issues at stake for the school and the community are protection
of individuals from government interference in the practice of their religion, protection and
safety of all students, preventing unreasonable searches, educating the community about diverse
cultures and beliefs, programs that educate people about harassment and discrimination,
protection of individuals from too much government control, promotion of social justice, and
treating all people equally.
There are a few notable ethical issues that are at stake in these types of disputes. As the
educational leader I will need to consider the “education and well-being” of Hap and all other
students in any decisions I make (AASA, 2007). I will support “the principle of due process” and
protect “civil and human rights” by making certain that Hap has been heard and he is not being
discriminated against. I will review school policies such as dress code and “take the appropriate
measures to correct those laws, policies, and regulations that are not consistent with sound
educational goals or that are not in the best interest of children”. I would uphold “local, state, and
national laws” by making sure that Hap’s civil rights are not being violated. Additionally, I will
make certain that McCartney
Additionally, according to the NEA, the educator:
Shall not unreasonably deny the student’s access to varying points of view
Shall not on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, national origin, marital status,
political or religious beliefs, family, social or cultural background, or sexual
orientation, unfairly
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Exclude any student from participation in any program
Deny benefits to any student
Grant any advantage to any student (1975).
There are several legal issues that exist in this case. Under the Fourteenth Amendment
Hap may have an equal-protection claim based on religious discrimination if evidence uncovers
that McCartney has intentionally and deliberately treated Hap differently than any other students
because he is a member of the Sikh religion (Nabozny v. Podlesny, 1996).
Another legal issue may be a violation of the First Amendment which states: “Congress
shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise
thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech” (Stader, p.34). If McCartney has an issue with Hap
wearing his turban during all band performances, then he may be violating Hap’s right to
religious expression (Tinker v. Desmoines,1969). Hap is also protected by the Free Speech
Clause and is justified in wearing the turban because it does not interfere with school activities or
the rights of others.
Another legal issue is the possibility of an unreasonable search & seizure. A search is
only permissible under the fourth amendment if there is reasonable suspicion that a school rule
has been broken (New Jersey v. TLO,1985). A racist remark from a student and Officer
Sullivan’s on-line research may not be enough to establish reasonable suspicion to justify a full
search of Hap to determine if he is carrying a ceremonial kirpan dagger.
Additionally, Hap may also have a due process claim. The Due Process Clause declares
that no State shall “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”
(Stader, p.86). McCartney has not given Hap a reason for not allowing him to join the band, and
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Sullivan is trying to expel Hap without any evidence that he is dangerous. Students have a right
to be heard before being disciplined (Goss v. Lopez, 1975).
To offer guidance to Dhanial, I conduct an investigation before the parent meeting. I
would begin with a discussion with McCartney to determine if he has a legitimate reason for
telling Hap that he is not eligible for band. Depending on the dress code policy, McCartney
might think that he is validated. If the school has a dress code policy that hinders non-threatening
religious expression then the policy will need to be revisited regardless of McCartney’s reasons.
There should be no policies in place that unfairly treat a particular group of students in school
(Stader, 2013). The next step will be to speak with Officer Sullivan to determine why he has
stated that Hap is dangerous and needs to be searched. Reasonable suspicion does not seem
evident since the currents facts suggest that Officer Sullivan’s information is second-hand and
not first-hand information. It appears that Hap is being targeted for his religion. Rules and
regulation may be needed to maintain order in schools, but discrimination against religiously
based activities is not allowed. If carrying a kirpan is part of the Sikh religion and the school has
no current policy in place, then it will need to be addressed. It would be wise to ask the parents if
Hap carries a kirpan to school and be ready to address the issue. The racist remark by the student
could also imply that Hap is being harassed by other students. If the investigation proves that a
violation of Hap’s civil rights has occurred then it is the duty of the school to end, eliminate, and
prevent any further harassment or discrimination. According to the Professional Standards for
Educational Leaders the principal has a duty to “safeguard and promote the values of democracy,
individual freedom and responsibility, equity, social justice, community, and diversity (2015).
As the superintendent of the school it will be vital to not make any assumptions about the
case and begin by communicating with all individuals involved (Stader,2013). It is important to
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keep an open mind, and listen to all perspectives before making any decisions. This case may
require coming to an understanding together and settling on an outcome that is legally just,
ethical, right, and fair for all those involved. This may require collaborating with the school
community and developing new policies that respect student religious expression and creating
clear guidelines for resolving new issues that may arise. It is also imperative to have a detailed
search & seizure policy that outlines why, when, where, and by whom.
As the head of a private school I would handle everything the same way because Hap’s
religious affiliation would have been considered during the admission process. Title VI of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on race, color, or national origin, but not
religion, so if the school is a religiously-controlled private school, it would be justified in asking
him to not wear his turban (Stader, 2013).
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AASA | American Association of School. (2007, March 1). Retrieved June 12, 2018, from
Goss v. Lopez, 419 U.S. 565 (United States Supreme Court January 22,1975).
Nabozny v. Podlesny, 92 F.3d 446 (United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh
Court Circuit, 1996).
NEA - Code of Ethics. (1975). Retrieved June 12, 2018, from
New Jersey v.T.L.O.,469 U.S. 325 (United States Supreme Court January 15,1985).
Professional Standards for Educational Leaders. (2015). Retrieved June 12, 2018, from
Stader, D. L. (2013). Law and ethics in educational leadership. Boston: Pearson.
Tinker v. Desmoines, 393 U.S. 503 (United States Supreme Court February 24, 1969).