FW: Student reprimanded for religious absences
sjamar at law.howard.edu
Wed Nov 24 05:12:45 PST 2004
The rule is "could be expelled." There is no reason to think that a
kid would be expelled only for missing 8 or 10 classes. It seems to me
that sending a notice is proper and may even be required and that
discretion in enforcement is proper as well. So, how could this rule
NOT stand -- especially if it is enforced as we all expect it to be --
without expulsion unless the pattern of absences gets really excessive.
Is "risk" of expulsion enough to even get past the case and controversy
standard? What if no one has ever been expelled for such circumstances?
On Wednesday, November 24, 2004, at 12:32 AM, Christopher C. Lund
> Putting aside the Indiana Free Exercise Clause, aren't there
> some serious problems here under the ordinary federal Free Exercise
> Clause as well?
> As an initial matter, the principal claims that "[s]tudents are
> allowed [only] five days of excused absences per semester" and that
> "[e]xcused absences include illness with a doctor's note, a death in
> the immediate family, quarantine or court appearance." I find it hard
> to believe this rule is being enforced in a generally applicable
> manner. Students who miss class more than five times get expelled?
> An eleven-year old child who has to have surgery or gets mono.
> Expelled? Really? Exceptions to such a stringent rule will surely be
> common -- which the Superintendent seems to acknowledge both when she
> says that the five-absence rule "could" (not should or will or must)
> lead to expulsion and also when she hints that the rule might be
> suspended in times of "emergency."
> This is just a scheme of individualized exceptions, isn't it? With
> strict scrutiny applying -- the real kind of strict scrutiny, not the
> watered-down pre-Smith kind -- how could this rule stand?
Prof. Steven D. Jamar vox: 202-806-8017
Howard University School of Law fax: 202-806-8567
2900 Van Ness Street NW mailto:sjamar at law.howard.edu
Washington, DC 20008 http://www.law.howard.edu/faculty/pages/jamar/
"I care not what subject is taught if only it be taught well."
Thomas H. Huxley
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