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Goss V Lopez

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Charles Marsh

on 5 February 2014

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Transcript of Goss V Lopez

He was one of the students who testified that he was a bystander to the disturbance that happened in the lunch room, which involved damage to school property.
The students declared that the Ohio statute permitting suspensions was unconstitutional because their 14th Amendment rights were violated
14th Amendment requires what?
14th Amendment requires what!?!
If suspensions are 10 days or less, students need to be given an oral or written notice of charges against them.
If he/she denies the charges
, an explanation of the evidence and an opportunity to present his/her version must be provided.

1971- Columbus, Ohio
Public Schools
suspended nine students for destructive and disobedient behavior for up to 10 days.
Opinion of the Supreme Court
The court split 5-4 in favor of the students, and held that the state of Ohio had violated due process by suspending the students without a hearing.
No Hearing!
Dwight Lopez
None of the students were given a hearing to determine the facts underlying the suspension; not even within a reasonable time thereafter.
A three-judge district court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, due to them being denied due process of the law in violation of the 14th Amendment.
District Court Ruling
Class Action Suit
The Court stated that protected interests are NOT created by the Constitution but by its institutions (Board of Regents v. Roth) and held that...
The court also held that suspending a student had the potential to seriously harm their reputation and affect their future employment. (agreed with district court).
...the state had no authority to deprive students of their property interest in EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS without due process of the law.

Audio: Chief Justice Warren E. Burger and argument of Thomas A. Bustin

SPED Implications
The Education of All Handicapped
Children Act of 1975 did not significantly address disciplinary procedures.
Goss v. Lopez in a nutshell
Students must be given notice of the charges against them
Students must have access to evidence against them
Students must have the right to present their versions of events
For suspensions of 10+ days or for expulsions, students must be given the right to appeal.
The district court held that
recorded misconduct charges could seriously damage a student's reputation with peers, teachers, and later higher education and employment opportunities
14th Amendment says what?!?

Students facing temporary suspensions from a public school have property and liberty interests under 14th Amendment
The Ohio Public School system appealed the district court ruling and the case went directly to the Supreme Court
Students "do not shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse door." Tinker v. Des Moines School District (First Amendment Right: Freedom of Speech)
Full transcript