Self-Defense in Schools?
Self defense, not allowed in schools?
i dont understand why self defense is not allowed in our school district, and i need to do a speech on it… any ideas would surely help, ty
Your question better phrased is this:
Is it constitutional for a public school to deny a student the right to self-defense by enacting a zero-tolerance policy for the use of violence in the student code of conduct?
That should clear up some of the confusion here among the non-lawyers. If you use that question at the beginning of your speech, you should do well.
Your topic has incredibly recent legal relevance. Right now, our Supreme Court is determining whether the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution can be applied to the states. This is after the recent decision in DC v. Heller which significantly expanded our 2nd Amendment Rights, but only in a federal sense. Should the Supreme Court decide that we have a fundamental right to bare arms, your school policy could be unconstitutional.
The reason why is because fundamental rights enjoy a special kind of treatment in courts known as “strict scrutiny.” For a regulation that impacts a fundamental right to be valid, it must be narrowly tailored to serving a compelling government interest. It is very limited when an action can satisfy this test (e.g. yelling fire in a crowded theater). Your school board would have a very difficult time justifying a ban on a fundamental right were your right to self-defense to be declared fundamental to a free democracy.
I could only find one court case with limited research that involves your issue directly and that is Brett v. Board of Ed. In that case, the trial judge held that a zero-tolerance policy is valid because self-defense IS NOT a fundamental right, but only a liberty interest subject to RATIONAL BASIS REVIEW. Of course, if your state (or the Supreme Court pending the decision in McDonald v. Chicago) declare that it is a fundamental right, then the policy would be unconstitutional.
So your speech should center on the theme of “The Right of Self-Defense is a fundamental right of a free democracy”
Start by asking a question: “Is it constitutional for a public school to deny a student the right to self-defense by enacting a zero-tolerance policy for the use of violence in the student code of conduct?”
Say, “We can answer this question by determing if we have a fundamental right to defend ourselves.”
You should mention our right to self-defense under the 2nd Amendment
Our right to self-defense as a nation to retaliate against terrorists who would attack us
You should mention our right to personal autonomy that goes hand in hand with self-defense
Your right to self-autonomy permits a 16 year-old to seek an abortion without parental consent in most states.
You should mention that a public education system is subject to the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, which guarantees certain unalienable rights.
You should mention that a public education imparts on you a sense of what it means to be an American and what it means to have rights
Finally, you should declare that the right of self-defense is fundamental and that the zero tolerance policy is therefore not only unconstitutional, but a breach in the schools duty to teach us what it means to be an American with unalienable rights. Do we have a fundamental right to defend ourselves? Yes. Is the school’s policy constitutional? No.
The “in loco parentis” doctrine is not irrelevant here. In loco parentis is not a defense to a claim of a breach of a fundamental right nor for a restriction on a liberty interest.
As a martial arts instructor and a lawyer, I would sue the school if my kid protected him or herself and was disciplined for it.
Brett v. Board of Ed
District of Columbia v. Heller
McDonald v. City of Chicago