Chapter 11 Test Items

School Law and Ethics




Match the description in column B with the term in column A.



Column A

Column B


1.   misfeasance

a.   freedom to teach without censorship


2.   malfeasance

b.   physical punishment


3.   nonfeasance

c.   required under Gun-Free Schools Act for schools to receive federal funds


4.   fair use

d.   direct teaching of a code of values


5.   zero-tolerance policy

e.   intentional behavior that is illegal and even harmful


6.   cumulative effect

f.   a right guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment


7.   corporal punishment

g.   failure to perform a duty


8.   due process

h.   punishment without physical ramifications


9.   academic freedom

i.    malpractice committed by school doctors


10.   traditional inculcation

j.    legal principle allowing limited use of copyrighted materials



k.   performance of a legal action in an improper or even illegal manner



l.    limits the number of works that can be reproduced even when criteria of brevity and spontaneity are met



Match the decision or description in column B with the court case, legislation, or principle in column A.



Column A

Column B


11.   Wallace v. Jaffree

a.   students were permitted to wear armbands in school, as long as there was no substantial disruption


12.   Franklin v. Gwinnett County Public Schools

b.   established a three-part test to determine whether a law violates the establishment clause


13.   Title IX

c.   the school’s responsibility under this principle may be claimed as justification for locker searches


14.   in loco parentis

d.   school boards do not have the authority to remove books from a school library based merely on their distaste for the books


15.   Goss v. Lopez

e.   students have the right to due process, which includes being presented with charges, before they can be suspended from school


16.   Buckley Amendment

f.   victims of sexual harassment may sue for monetary damages under Title IX


17.   Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District

g.   teachers cannot be compelled to list all organizations they have belonged to or contributed to


18.   Lemon v. Kurtzman

h.   school authorities can punish students by paddling. Paddling does not necessarily deprive students of their due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment


19.   establishment clause

i.    prohibits sex discrimination in educational programs receiving federal funds


20.   Ingraham v. Wright

j.    Family Rights and Privacy Act



k.   First Amendment principle prohibiting the state from sponsoring (or discouraging) religion



l.    a nondenominational, voluntary prayer in public schools violates the establishment clause and is unconstitutional



*denotes more challenging question

(Higher Order Question) - denotes a question at the application or higher level of Bloom’s taxonomy

21.       It is illegal for prospective employers to question an applicant’s

a.     age

b.     college grade-point average

c.     year of graduation

d.     prior experience

22.       (Higher Order Question) You apply for a teaching job in a school district and are directed to send in a photograph along with your application. You recognize this violates your rights under

a.     the Family Rights and Privacy Act

b.     the Buckley Amendment

c.     Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (1964)

d.     the establishment clause

23.       Which of the following statements about sexual harassment in schools is TRUE?

a.     Teachers who believe they are victims of sexual harassment need a lawyer to file a grievance with the Office of Civil Rights.

b.     Teachers are protected from students’ charges of sexual harassment by the legal principle known as nonfeasance.

c.     Fear of sexual harassment charges keeps many teachers from feeling comfortable reaching out to students.

d.     Sexual harassment claims against teachers have been decreasing.

24.       (Higher Order Question) When a teacher’s private life is called into question by the courts, a governing principle that determines whether or not the teacher may be dismissed is often

a.     whether there is “substantial disruption” of the educational process

b.     whether the teacher has kept careful notes of the offending behavior

c.     whether the teacher’s actions in his or her private life are considered in poor taste

d.     both a and c

25.       The principle protecting a teacher’s right to teach without coercion, censorship, or other restrictive interference

a.     is absolute

b.     is known as “academic freedom”

c.     is only limited in cases where the learning material or activity is considered “obscene”

d.     all of the above statements

26.       Legal liability has been least firmly associated with

a.     misfeasance

b.     malfeasance

c.     nonfeasance

d.     educational malpractice

*27.     What was the U.S. Supreme Court decision that protected teachers’ freedom of speech to publicly express themselves as long as the statements are not malicious or intentionally inaccurate and do not disclose confidential material or hamper teaching performance?

a.     Bethel School District v. Fraser

b.     Pickering v. Board of Education

c.     Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District

d.     Wallace v. Jaffree

28.       Without a license or permission, educational institutions may not keep copyrighted videotapes for more than

a.     1 year

b.     1 semester

c.     45 days

d.     30 days

29.       School teachers who participate in strikes

a.     are immune from prosecution

b.     are usually prosecuted or penalized

c.     are liable to legal sanctions in about half the states, but in practice, are rarely prosecuted

d.     are liable to legal sanctions in virtually all states and often incur penalties ranging from salary reduction to termination

30.       The Buckley Amendment ensures the rights of ______ to access educational records.

a.     parents and guardians

b.     professional personnel from other districts

c.     students between 12 and 16 years of age

d.     physicians

31.       (Higher Order Question) You are teaching in a school that has recently established a computer repair program. You notice that all the students in the program are male. You find out that the school has done nothing to attract females into this computer repair training, and in fact, the teacher in charge is hostile to teaching females, explaining that “they will get married, have kids, and never use what I teach them.” What federal legislation is being violated?

a.     The Elementary and Secondary Education Act

b.     PL 94-142

c.     Title VII of the Civil Rights Act

d.     Title IX of the Education Amendments

32.       (Higher Order Question) A child who is expelled for bringing nail clippers to school is probably feeling the consequence of

a.     corporal punishment

b.     a zero-tolerance policy

c.     sexual harassment

d.     traditional inculcation

33.       (Higher Order Question) Which statement best describes the use of corporal punishment in U.S. education?

a.     The Constitution outlaws corporal punishment as cruel and unusual punishment.

b.     Teachers are allowed to administer “paddlings” only to children under the age of 10.

c.     In Ingraham v. Wright, the Supreme Court prohibited corporal punishment in schools.

d.     Corporal punishment is legal in about half the states.

34.       (Higher Order Question) A student is quite upset with the use of special interest funds in the Congressional elections in her local district. As a protest, she attaches several corporate logos to her clothes, advertising everything from oil companies to automobiles. To the teachers and students who ask her, she explains that this is her way of protesting the influence of big business in national politics. Her right to undertake this activity was established in

a.     Goss v. Lopez

b.     Tinker v. Des Moines

c.     Brown v. Board of Education

d.     Serrano v. Priest

*35.     (Higher Order Question) Which of the following cases best demonstrates the U.S Supreme Court’s position on the “separation of church and state”?

a.     A teacher decides to offer a course on Christianity. She points out that most students in the school are Christian, but do not get an “adequate” Christian education at home. Her desire is to supplement that instruction and promote moral citizens. The community and the parents are all very supportive.

b.     A teacher is very upset when a Jewish child begins to say a Hebrew prayer in the cafeteria before he eats. The student explains that observant Jews are instructed to say such prayers before eating, and he offers to say the prayer quietly. The teacher points out that in a public school such religious demonstrations are not acceptable and instructs him to save his prayers for home.

c.     The principal announces that specific Christian, Jewish, or Muslim prayers will not be given over the school public address system each morning, since such prayers violate the Supreme Court decision on prohibiting specific religious prayer in school. Instead, a sectarian or nondenominational prayer will be said each morning so that all students feel included.

d.     A teacher decides to offer a course on the Bible as literature. She makes an extra effort not to promote or discount the religious beliefs in the book. Several students object and say that they do not want this course taught. She teaches the course anyway.

36.       (Higher Order Question) Student freedom of press would NOT protect the printing of an article that

a.     is critical of the president of the United States

b.     explores the issues surrounding prayer in school

c.     “roasts” some unpopular students and uses obscenities

d.     expresses student fears about AIDS

37.       A teacher who suspects a child is the victim of child abuse

a.     will lose teaching credentials if he or she reports suspected abuse and the charge cannot be proved

b.     should immediately contact the child’s parents

c.     should wait for concrete proof before filing a report

d.     has both an ethical and legal responsibility to report the suspected abuse

38.       In a traditional approach to moral education

a.     a single moral code is taught and promoted directly and indirectly through the curriculum

b.     students are encouraged to formulate a set of values based on their analysis of events

c.     students are taught the beliefs of the Roman Catholic Church

d.     historical beliefs, established years ago, are compiled into a single all-encompassing philosophy

39.       (Higher Order Question) Which of the following is the best example of a values clarification exercise?

a.     holding an awards ceremony to recognize outstanding students

b.     conducting an oral review of school rules

c.     providing students with literary examples of high moral standards

d.     having students identify their most important activities or goals

*40.     An argument used to support character education programs is:

a.     Individuals must develop and commit to their own code of behavior.

b.     The core attributes of moral individuals should be reinforced in the school curriculum and culture.

c.     Today’s complexities can be reduced through independent analysis and evaluation.

d.     Adult guidance and supervision are counterproductive in developing a moral code.




41.       Supply a brief description of each educational term or individual.


a.     misfeasance

b.     First Amendment

c.     educational malpractice

d.     “fair use” of copyrighted materials

         e.   in loco parentis

         f.    Buckley Amendment

         g.   sexual harassment

         h.   moral stages of development

         i.    Carol Gilligan

         j.    values clarification




42.    Briefly describe the ways the following influence school law: the U.S. Constitution; federal laws; state and local laws; the courts.


43.    You are preparing for an interview for a teaching job. What is the interviewer prohibited from asking you? What can you do if the interviewer does ask you for some of that information?



44.    Imagine you are a high school teacher. A group of college buddies invites you to join them at a local bar known for its admission of under-age people. You suspect you may see some of your students there. Should you accept the invitation? Could going to the bar be grounds for dismissal? Support your position.

45.    An English teacher includes in the classroom book collection a well-written novel that contains some violent sexual scenes. The teacher thinks that the book’s high quality outweighs the few obscenities. Is the teacher protected by academic freedom? Why or why not?

46.    Evaluate the importance of the Supreme Court ruling on Goss v. Lopez. In disciplining a student, what due process rights must be observed?

47.    Discuss the limits that may be placed on a teacher’s privacy. Evaluate the reasons for which teachers may be fired. Do you think they are fair? Why or why not?

48.    Discuss the limitations on teachers’ use of copyrighted materials.

49.    A student arrives in your class with extensive bruises the second time this year. She explains that she fell down a flight of steps. What would you do, and why?

50.    Two of your students want to share aspects of their religion with other members of your class. They bring in a statue of a man praying before a large cross. These students ask if they can lead the class in a prayer as part of their sharing time. As the teacher, how would you react? Is it legal to allow prayer in school?

51.    Compare and contrast the following ways of teaching values: traditional inculcation, values clarification, and character education. Which do you favor? Why?