Joshua Whiteside is an Associate in Lozano Smith’s Fresno Office. Mr. Whiteside provides support for school district and county office clients on Student and Labor and Employment issues, focusing on helping administrators keep schools safe from school violence and bullying, remain neutral with respect to politics and religion, and prioritize inclusivity and equity.
Mr. Whiteside has presented on a variety of topics at the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Personnel Academy, and before the California Association of Supervisors of Child Welfare and Attendance (CASCWA), California Latino School Boards Association (CLSBA) and the Small School Districts’ Association (SSDA). Mr. Whiteside is also a frequent presenter on the Lozano Smith podcast
Mr. Whiteside’s article on student social media speech was the cover story for the SSDA Today in Spring/Summer 2018. Mr. Whiteside also wrote a paper on "Religious Speech in Public Schools" for the National School Boards Association Council of School Attorneys, providing guidance nationally on the intersection of free speech, religion, and LGBTQ+ student rights.
Prior to joining Lozano Smith, Mr. Whiteside was a legal aid attorney, where he counseled and represented low-income and homeless clients in civil disputes involving landlord-tenant, consumer debt, domestic violence, immigration, public benefits, special education, and workplace discrimination matters. During law school, he interned for a prominent immigration firm in Orange County, assisting with family and employment-based immigration applications and visas.
Mr. Whiteside earned his J.D. degree from Chapman University School of Law. He received a B.A. in History from the University of California, San Diego.
November 2019Number 66Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB) 328, which establishes new mandatory school day start times for most middle schools and high schools. SB 328 adds section 46148 to the Education Code, requiring high schools to set the beginning of the school day no earlier than 8:30 a.m., and middle schools at no earlier than 8:00 a.m. The reasoning behind this new law is based on studies showing increased academic performance, school attendance, and health for students at s...
October 2019Number 46The California Legislature recently passed Assembly Bill (AB) 272, which will become effective January 1, 2020, specifically authorizing school districts to adopt a policy to limit or prohibit student smartphone use, while also granting students certain specific rights to possess and use a smartphone at school. Even though smartphone policies or guidelines are widely used already, this bill provides specific authorization, while also defining some limitations. In particul...
August 2019Number 38The California Legislature recently passed Senate Bill (SB) 188, known as the CROWN Act, which amends the definition of "race" contained in state anti-discrimination laws under both the Fair Employment and Housing Act and the Education Code to include "hair texture and protective hairstyles." The new law does not mean that public agencies have to change their dress codes unless specific hair texture and hairstyles are specified in their policy. Rather, the new law clarifie...
August 2018Number 38The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the United States Secret Service's National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) have released two important documents that offer insight into the pre-attack behavior of shooters and advice to help prevent targeted school violence through the use of threat assessments.The FBI reportThe FBI report, which was issued in June, is part of an FBI initiative to understand why shootings in confined and populated areas, like schools, occur ...
June 2018Number 24On June 4, 2018, the United States Supreme Court decided theMasterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case in a 7-2 decision. While this case had the potential to provide new guidance on the complex intersection between the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals and the rights of individuals to religious freedom, Justice Anthony Kennedy's opinion is narrow and leaves many questions unanswered. The Court's limited ruling is largely based upon the underlying facts of the ...
June 2018Number 25Update: On February 25, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the judgment and remanded the Rizo case back to the Ninth Circuit because the original decision included a vote from Judge Reinhardt, who had passed away by the time the decision was published. The Supreme Court's decision should have limited impact in California, as the California Fair Pay Act codifies much of the same principles of the Ninth Circuit's decision in Rizo and was amended post-Rizo, as explained in ou...
On October 15, 2017, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill (SB) 179, known as the "Gender Recognition Act," which adds a "nonbinary" gender option to state driver's licenses, identification cards, and birth certificates. Most of this bill's provisions are set to take effect on September 1, 2018, including a provision allowing an individual to petition a California court to recognize their gender as nonbinary, which would then allow them to subsequently request a new...
A federal district court has ruled that schools may discipline students for "liking" offensive, targeted social media posts.
In Shen v. Albany Unified School District, a Northern California district court concluded that a school could discipline students for liking or for writing approving comments on racist and offensive social media posts targeted at other students, even if the posts were created off campus. However, the court also ruled that the school's addi...
On October 3, 2017, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill (AB) 667, which generally requires schools to inform students about other means of correction that were attempted before suspending a student at the mandatory informal disciplinary conferences. This bill takes effect January 1, 2018.
Education Code section 48911, subdivision (b), requires a student being suspended to be informed during the mandatory informal pre-suspension conference of the reason for ...
Under existing law, school districts enjoy wide discretion in setting the terms for rejection and revocation of an interdistrict transfer under Education Code section 46600 et seq. Terms of transfer revocation are typically clearly specified in a transfer agreement between two school districts. Rejection and revocation of interdistrict transfers cannot be based on any discriminatory or other unlawful basis. Students denied an interdistrict transfer may appeal the de...
Local educational agencies (LEAs) that participate in the national school lunch and school breakfast programs must update their school wellness policies to include new requirements for the 2017-18 school year. The requirements were included in regulations finalized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service in 2016.
LEAs that participate in federal breakfast and lunch programs are required to create school wellness policies that describe...
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions provided clarity on which federal funding would be subject to a withholding for implementing "sanctuary" policies that direct employees to refuse to communicate with, or frustrate communication of immigration status information to, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as required by federal law.
On May 22, 2017, the Attorney General issued a memorandum regarding one of President Donald J. Trump's executive orders that would w...
In advance of his upcoming free seminar at California State University Fresno, attorney Michael Smith, joined by associate Josh Whiteside, talks with host Devon Lincoln about the role that religion plays in the lives of public school students and their teachers and other staff, and how schools can create a climate of inclusivity and support for students of every background and faith tradition. For more details on the upcoming seminar, see the show notes below.
Preventing school violence and ensuring school safety have become dominant topics and part of an ongoing national conversation. But what can a school district do, practically, to address these issues? This podcast will examine two recently released resource documents from the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the United States Secret Service which provide guidance on preventing school violence as well as pending California legislation to improve school climate and safety.
Last year, the United States Supreme Court identified social media as “perhaps the most powerful mechanism available” today to make a person’s voice heard. But can a government official block their constituents’ voices online? At what point does a personal social media page become open to the public? Join us as we discuss the ramifications of a recent federal district court case out of New York about President Trump’s personal Twitter account and the potential legal precedent being shaped now
Inclusivity is a mandate for all public entities – to create a positive, welcoming environment for all types of people and treat them fairly and equally. The government must also be neutral with respect to politics and religion. However, the rise of social justice movements in recent years have led public entities to carefully re-consider their policies, practices, and programs. Thus, public entities walk the narrow path of affirming the rights of all without expressing support for a particular political viewpoint or ignoring systemic and procedural biases. This podcast will discuss how local governments and school districts can act to work on providing an inclusive workplace and/or campus without limiting individual opinions and viewpoints.
Last year, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill (SB) 179, known as the “Gender Recognition Act,” which adds a “nonbinary” gender option to state driver’s licenses, identification cards, and birth certificates.