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Right to Safe Schools (From School Safety Legal Anthology, P 114-132, 1985, George Nicholson, et al, eds. - See NCJ-101885)

NCJ Number
K A Sawyer
Date Published
19 pages
The June 1982 amendment to the California Constitution providing students and staff the inalienable right to safe schools should impose an affirmative duty on school districts to implement plans designed to alleviate school crime.
Article I, section 28(c) of the California Constitution states that all students and staff of primary, elementary, junior high, and senior high schools have the inalienable right to attend campuses that are 'safe, secure, and peaceful.' Federal and California court cases have produced the principle that public entities may not withhold protection of constitutional rights if that withholding deprives citizens of a constitutional right. Under this principle, the California courts should impose on school districts an affirmative duty to devise and implement plans to address the threat of school crime. One enforcement mechanism is injunctive relief that orders school districts to make their schools safe. Upon failure to comply, courts would intervene and impose their own crime reduction plans on school districts. The school district could also be liable for damages payable to crime victims injured on school property under the Tort Claims Act and the principle of constitutional deprivation. 201 notes.