Lozano Smith's Student Practice Group is recognized statewide for its steadfast, proactive and creative assistance to school districts and expertise on a broad range of student issues, due to the large number of school districts that we represent and the fact that we have represented schools for more than 30 years.

Areas of Practice

To best serve the needs and promote the success of its clients, the firm's Student Practice Group has broad expertise in:

• Student Free Speech Rights
• Student Publications
• Dress Codes
• Religion in Schools
• Search & Seizure
• Constitutional Due Process
• The Equal Access Act
• Jurisdiction for Discipline
• Suspension & Expulsion
• Expulsion Hearings
• Rehabilitation Plans
• Alternative Discipline
• Expulsion Appeals
• Involuntary Transfers
• Continuation Schools
• Student Fees & Charges
• Student Records
• Directory Information
• Access to Records
• Grade Changes
• Custody & Education Rights
• Caregiver Affidavits
• Retention of Records
• Public Records Act
• Law Enforcement at School
• Gang-Related Activity
• Child Abuse Reporting
• Megan's Law
• Media Access to Campus
• Community Day Schools
• Compulsory Education
• Student Residency
• Residency Verification
• Student Truancy & SARB
• All Student Transfers
• Open Enrollment
• Extracurricular Activities
• Student Athletics
• Athletic Eligibility
• Student Drug Testing
• Title IX, Title XI, Section 504
• Harassment & Discrimination
• Cyberbullying
• Graduation Requirements
• Promotion & Retention

Title IX

Lozano Smith’s Title IX Practice Area is comprised of specialists dedicated to the pressing issues faced clients. From athletics to sexual violence, this team advises, trains, and educates clients on the various components of Title IX – from prevention and mitigation to investigations resulting in disciplinary action. Areas in which the group provides advice and training include:

  • Athletics, including audits of athletic programs
  • Sex-based discrimination
  • Pregnant and parenting students
  • Single-sex education
  • Issues relating to transgender and students
  • Developing and auditing complaint grievance procedures and policies
  • Responding to reports of sexual misconduct and harassment
  • Investigating complaints of sexual misconduct and harassment
  • Title IX Coordinator roles and responsibilities
  • District and employee liability
  • Reporting obligations
  • Interaction with law enforcement agencies
  • Discipline of students
  • Litigation
  • VAWA/Clery Act
  • Trainings
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Real World Applications

The Student Practice Group at Lozano Smith understands the hurdles and opportunities facing its clients, and has an unsurpassed level of experience and expertise to protect the interests and promote the success of school districts, their staff and students. Of particular significance is the firm's leadership in student discipline matters. Lozano Smith regularly helps districts to develop comprehensive policies and regulations aimed at preventing student discipline problems, as well as all other policy issues impacting student rights, including student speech, student clubs, student transfers, and student fees, to name only a few. When discipline problems do surface, the firm provides practical advice and assistance as to all aspects of suspensions, expulsions, involuntary transfers and alternative forms of discipline.

Alyssa R. Bivins Associate
Sacramento, Fresno abivins@lozanosmith.com
Carolyn L. Gemma Senior Counsel
Chelsea  Olson Murphy Senior Counsel
Sacramento, San Luis Obispo colsonmurphy@lozanosmith.com
Sacramento, San Diego dmaruccia@lozanosmith.com
Desiree  Serrano Senior Counsel
Erin M. Hamor Senior Counsel
Walnut Creek, Sacramento, San Diego krezendes@lozanosmith.com
Kyle A. Raney Senior Counsel
Sacramento, Los Angeles mgutierrez@lozanosmith.com
Fresno, Bakersfield msmith@lozanosmith.com

Supreme Court Disallows Exclusion of Religious Schools from State Scholarship Program

By:Devon Lincoln, Bradley Sena -

August 2020Number 63On June 30, 2020, the United States Supreme Court held that Montana's exclusion of religious schools from a state scholarship program discriminated against religious schools and the families whose children attend or hope to attend them, and violated the Free Exercise Clause of the United States Constitution. (Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue (2020) 591 U.S. __ (Espinoza.) In doing so, the Supreme Court builds on its 2017 decision in Trinity Lutheran Church of Colu...

Questions Remain Regarding Face Coverings in Schools

By:Harold Freiman, Sophia Cohn -

July 2020Number 59As California's local educational agencies (LEAs) examine how and when schools can reopen, a frequent question has been the extent to which face coverings will be required for staff and students. While there have been numerous questions and some confusing guidance from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the issue has come more into focus with the latest guidance. Based on the July 17 CDPH "COVID-19 Industry Guidance: Schools and School-Based Programs" school ...

SB 98, COVID-19 and Special Education: What’s Next?

By:Sarah Garcia, Jennifer Baldassari -

July 2020Number 57SB 98 is the recent Education Budget Trailer Bill signed into law by Gavin Newsom on June 29, 2020. Among other things, it was enacted to protect school funding from uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It makes important statutory changes to almost every area of education from labor and employment, to average daily attendance (ADA), Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), charter schools, and special education. This article focuses on SB 98’s impacts to sp...

Distance Learning & In-Person Instruction Requirements Under SB 98

By:Aimee Perry, Marisa Montenegro -

July 2020Number 56On June 29, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill 98 (SB 98) into law. Though SB 98 is a budget bill, it includes requirements regarding distance learning and in-person instruction, among other topics, for the 2020-2021 school year. This CNB addresses distance learning, while other CNBs cover SB 98 as it relates to special education, charter schools, employee lay-offs CNB 55, and LCAP CNB 52.It should be noted at the outset that while there has been much discussion regard...

A Return to Sports? California Interscholastic Federation Issues Guidelines for Return to Physical Activity and Training

By:Edward Sklar, Chelsea Olson Murphy -

July 2020Number 53Among the many questions school districts are struggling with as they prepare for the fall semester, is whether, and to what extent, athletics and other extracurricular activities may resume. The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), the organization that governs high school sports in California, has partially answered that question by issuing its initial "CIF Guidelines for Return to Physical Activity/Training" ("Guidance"). CIF also announced the decision about whet...

Senate Bill 98 Suspends LCAPs for 2020-2021; Instead, LEAs Must Adopt a Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan

By:Ruth Mendyk, Amanda Cordova -

July 2020Number 52Senate Bill (SB) 98, the Education Budget Trailer Bill, suspends the requirement to adopt a Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) for the 2020-2021 school year. Instead, for the 2020-21 school year, local educational agencies (LEA) will be required to adopt a "learning continuity and attendance plan."The Governor had previously, through Executive Order N-56-20, extended the 2020-21 LCAP adoption and LCAP budget overview deadlines from July 1 to December 15, 2020. (See 202...

U.S. Supreme Court Holds that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Prohibits Workplace Discrimination Based on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation

By:Gabriela Flowers, Michelle Sliwa -

June 2020Number 50On June 15, 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States reached a landmark decision in Bostock v. Clayton County Georgia (2020) ___ U.S. __ [(U.S., June 15, 2020) 139 S.Ct. 1599] (Bostock) to extend protections against employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which prohibits workplace discrimination because of race, sex, religion or national origin.Relevant FactsThe Supreme Court ...