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 nearly 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.

Aimee  Perry Senior Counsel
Aria  Link Associate
Walnut Creek alink@lozanosmith.com
Sacramento, San Diego dmaruccia@lozanosmith.com
Desiree  Serrano Senior Counsel
Walnut Creek, Sacramento, San Diego krezendes@lozanosmith.com
Sacramento, Los Angeles mgutierrez@lozanosmith.com
Fresno, Bakersfield msmith@lozanosmith.com
Penelope R. Glover Senior Counsel
Walnut Creek, Fresno sgarcia@lozanosmith.com
Stephanie M. White Senior Counsel
Walnut Creek swhite@lozanosmith.com
Vivian  Chen Associate
Walnut Creek vchen@lozanosmith.com

Student Athlete's Right to Kneel during National Anthem Protected by the First Amendment

By:Sloan Simmons, Leila Alamri-Kassim -

January 2018 Number 2 A federal district court in California has granted a preliminary injunction blocking a school district's policy requiring student athletes to stand during the national anthem at school sporting events. In V.A. v. San Pasqual Valley Unified School District, the Southern District of California court ruled that kneeling in silent protest is a form of student symbolic speech protected under the First Amendment. Background During the first game of the 2017 varsit...

Schools May Discipline Students for “Liking” Offensive, Targeted Social Media Posts

By:Sarah Garcia, Joshua Whiteside -

December 2017 Number 87 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...

New Law Requires Legal Consult Prior to Custodial Interrogation of Minor under Age 16

By:Jenell Van Bindsbergen, Leila Alamri-Kassim -

November 2017 Number 78 Beginning January 1, 2018, minors under the age of 16 must consult with legal counsel prior to a custodial interrogation and before waiving their Miranda rights. Existing law requires a peace officer to advise minors of their rights by providing a Miranda warning. But if the minor or parent waives those rights, officers can interrogate the minor. Senate Bill (SB) 395, which adds section 625.6 to the Welfare and Institutions Code, will prohibit a law enforcement ...

New Laws Ease Residency and Coursework Requirements for Children of Active Duty Military Personnel

By:Thomas Manniello, Kyle Raney -

November 2017 Number 77 A pair of new laws intended to ease residency and coursework requirements for students in military families will go into effect on January 1, 2018. Senate Bill (SB) 455 expands on prior legislation to permit students whose parents are on active duty military orders to remotely enroll in school, while Assembly Bill (AB) 365 extends coursework exemptions for other groups of transient students to children of active duty members of the military. SB 455: Updated Resi...

Legislative Update: New Immigration Laws Protect Undocumented Students

By:Sarah Garcia, Sara Santoyo -

October 2017 Number 64 On October 5, 2017, Governor Jerry Brown signed a package of bills aimed at enhancing protections for immigrants. Three of the bills have significant implications for schools and students. The three bills become effective January 1, 2018. Assembly Bill 699: Mandates New Supports and Policies for Immigrant Families Assembly Bill (AB) 699 requires schools and school districts to provide an array of new supports for immigrant families and limits the assistance sc...

Legislative Update: Governor Approves Changes to Pre-Suspension Conferences

By:Roberta Rowe, Joshua Whiteside -

October 2017 Number 65 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 ...

Legislative Update: New Timelines for Interdistrict Transfer Appeals at Certain County Offices of Education

By:Roberta Rowe, Joshua Whiteside -

October 2017 Number 66 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...