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.

Alyssa R. Bivins Associate
Sacramento, Fresno abivins@lozanosmith.com
Carolyn L. Gemma Senior Counsel
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

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 ...

Supreme Court Keeps DACA in Place, Emphasizing Importance of Procedural Requirements for the Program’s Rescission

By:Sloan Simmons, Nicholas Felahi -

June 2020Number 51On June 18, 2020, in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California (June 18, 2020, Nos. 18-587, 18-588, and 18-589) __ U.S. __[2020 U.S. LEXIS 3254], the United States Supreme Court found unlawful the way in which the Trump Administration sought to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Specifically, in the 5-4 majority opinion, the Supreme Court held that the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) original analysis a...

New Title IX Regulations Issued by the Department of Education Take Effect August 14, 2020

By:Michelle Cannon, Stephanie White, Sarah Fama -

June 2020Number 49On May 6, 2020, the United States Department of Education (DOE) issued much-anticipated Regulations (Regulations) addressing how schools and colleges (referred to as Recipients) must respond to claims of sexual harassment covered by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX). Title IX is the federal law which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational settings. The Regulations make significant changes to current requirements and practices and re...

Status of Federal and State Laws on Student Gender Identify Rights: Federal Lawsuit Seeks to Block Participation of Transgender Athletes and the Office for Civil Rights Weighs In

By:Sloan Simmons, Stephanie White, Brooke Bolton Tiutan -

June 2020Number 48In February of this year, the families of three cisgender female high school athletes (Plaintiffs) filed a federal lawsuit against the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) and multiple Connecticut school boards over a CIAC policy (Policy) that allows transgender athletes to participate in sports based on their gender identity. The complaint focuses on the biological differences between males and females, stating that the Policy permits athletes "who are mal...

New Law Calls for Greater Collaboration between Court Schools and Counties

By:Michael Smith, Joshua Whiteside -

May 2020 Number 38 Last fall, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill (AB) 1354 which creates new legal requirements for a county office of education and certain charter schools operating juvenile court schools. Notably, AB 1354 reaffirms the Legislature's intent for greater collaboration between county offices of education, county probation departments, and local educational agencies regarding students transitioning in and out of juvenile court schools. Many county offices of educati...

Ninth Circuit Rejects Constitutional Challenge to School Safety Plan Allowing Transgender Student Use of Single Sex Facilities

By:Michelle Cannon, Carolyn Gemma -

May 2020 Number 40 The Ninth Circuit said it best: "Schools face the difficult task of navigating varying student (and parent) beliefs and interests in order to foster a safe and productive learning environment, free from discrimination that accommodates the needs of all students." In the recent case of Parents for Privacy v. Barr (9th Cir. 2020) 949 F.3d 1210, the Ninth Circuit artfully untangled these "varying beliefs and interests" when it upheld a "Student Safety Plan" that allowed...