Statement to U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Regarding Peer Violence & Bullying
By Stuart Biegel
Statement delivered to Commissioner Roberta Achtenberg, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, regarding Peer Violence & Bullying:
First and foremost, K-12 public school officials are required to comply with the dictates of campus safety law. If educational institutions are not safe, little else matters. The primary importance of the unimpeachable legal mandates in this context is reflected in, but not limited to, the areas of negligence law, assault and battery, threat law, and the doctrine of in loco parentis.
Moreover, the law has recognized that individual constitutional rights are not absolute, and that when safety concerns are paramount, the scope of individual constitutional rights must be adjusted accordingly. In this country, for example, we appropriately place a high value on both our privacy rights and our freedom-of-expression rights, but these rights are often limited in circumstances where safety concerns predominate.