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 Impact Team

Title IX has taken center stage on a number of fronts. Long before the national attention, Lozano Smith’s Title IX Impact Team was formed as a specialized group dedicated to the pressing issues faced by school districts. From athletics to sexual violence, this team advises, trains, and educates clients on the various components of Title IX – from prevention and mitigation to investigation and response. The Title IX Impact Team draws from multiple practice groups and focuses to streamline advice and counsel. Areas in which the group provides advice and training include:

  • Audit of athletic programs
  • Audit of grievance procedures and policies
  • Discipline of employees and students
  • Sexual misconduct and harassment
  • Student and employee protections
  • Investigations
  • Title IX Coordinator roles and responsibilities
  • District and employee liability
  • Interaction with law enforcement agencies
  • Litigation

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.

Sacramento, San Diego dmaruccia@lozanosmith.com
Desiree  Serrano Senior Counsel
Erin M. Hamor Senior Counsel
Walnut Creek, Sacramento, San Diego krezendes@lozanosmith.com
Sacramento, Los Angeles mgutierrez@lozanosmith.com
Fresno, Bakersfield msmith@lozanosmith.com
Walnut Creek, Los Angeles sgarcia@lozanosmith.com
Stephanie M. White Senior Counsel
Walnut Creek swhite@lozanosmith.com

New Law Requiring Later Start Times For Middle Schools And High Schools Creates Uncertainty For Educational Agencies

By:Ruth Mendyk, Joshua Whiteside -

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...

Students Suspended For Two Or More Days Must Now Be Provided Homework Assignments

By:Manuel Martinez, Alyse Pacheco Nichols -

October 2019Number 64In an effort to prevent suspended students in grades 1-12 from falling behind in class assignments or homework, Governor Newsom has signed Assembly Bill (AB) 982, requiring all public and charter school teachers to provide homework assignments to suspended students, upon request. Teachers have historically had the option whether or not to require suspended students to complete any assignments and tests missed during the term of their suspension.AB 982 Beginning January 1,...

School Districts May Develop A Policy Permitting Parents To Administer Medical Marijuana To Students On Campus

By:Aimee Perry, Alyssa Bivins -

October 2019Number 57On October 9, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB) 223, which allows local educational agencies to adopt a policy regarding administration of medicinal cannabis to students on campus. The new law, referred to as "Jojo's Act," becomes effective on January 1, 2020, and was named after a San Francisco teenager who takes medicinal cannabis to control serious seizures. Jojo's Act adds section 49414.1 to the California Education Code and authorizes, but does not ...

New Laws Narrow The Use Of Medical Exemptions For Student Immunizations

By:Ruth Mendyk, Nicholas Felahi -

October 2019Number 54Through Senate Bills (SB) 276 and 714, California lawmakers demonstrated a concerted effort to narrow the use of medical exemptions from immunization requirements by requiring a singular exemption form and consolidating oversight through the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). In creating stricter scrutiny over medical exemptions, SB 276 and 714 continue in the spirit of SB 277, adopted in 2015, which eliminated religious and personal belief exemptions to schoo...

New Law Will Allow Students With IEPs To Take Assistive Technology Devices Home With Them

By:Marcy Gutierrez -

October 2019Number 51Governor Newsom recently signed Assembly Bill (AB) 605, which will require local educational agencies (LEAs) to allow students to use school-purchased assistive technology devices at the student's home or in other settings when the student's individualized education plan (IEP) team decides on a case-by-case basis that access to those devices is necessary in order for the student to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE). This new law takes effect on January 1,...

New Law Expands Ban On Suspensions For “Willful Defiance” And “Disruption” In Both Public And Charter Schools, Emphasizes Importance Of Alternative Means

By:Thomas Manniello, Erin Frazor -

October 2019Number 52Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 419, which expands the existing ban on suspending students in grades K-3 for disrupting school activities or committing an act of willful defiance. The ban on such suspensions now extends to grades 4-5 permanently and to grades 6-8 for five years. The new law, which takes effect on July 1, 2020, applies to both traditional public schools and charter schools.Subdivision (k), of Education Code section 48900, pr...

New Law Allows Former Students To Change Name And Gender On Past Student Records

By:Edward Sklar, Gayle Ketchie -

October 2019Number 48Assembly Bill (AB) 711 establishes a process for former students to change their name and gender on pupil records, including diplomas.Existing law requires school districts to maintain and preserve, in perpetuity, certain mandatory pupil records, even after a student graduates. AB 711 was enacted to address the needs of former students and to protect their privacy rights. Prior to the enactment of this statute, former students' prior legal names (or "dead names") and/or g...