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

Colleges Have a Duty to Warn or Protect Students from Foreseeable Violence

By:Michelle Cannon, Carrie Rasmussen -

April 2018 Number 14 Colleges have a legal duty, under certain circumstances, to protect their students from or warn them about foreseeable violence in the classroom or during curricular activities, the California Supreme Court has ruled. In The Regents of the University of California, et al., v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County, the Court considered whether colleges owe a duty of care to their students to protect them from or warn them about foreseeable violence. This question is ...

California Adds “Nonbinary” Gender Option to Identification Documents, Impacting All Public Entities

By:Dulcinea Grantham, Sarah Garcia, Joshua Whiteside -

March 2018 Number 13 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...

Vanquishing "Vaping" on Campus

By:Michelle Cannon, Alyssa Bivins -

March 2018 Number 11 This article originally appeared on the Association of California School Administrators' ACSA Resource Hub. School administrators are facing a growing threat to student health that is often disguised as a standard school tool. JUULs are a type of vaporizing device-commonly referred to as "vapes"-that is soaring in popularity among young people. The use of vapes, JUULs, and similar products is extremely prevalent among high school students, creating a new generat...

2018 Updates: Annual Notice of Parental Rights and Responsibilities

By:Claudia Weaver -

March 2018 Number 12 California school districts and county offices of education are required annually, at the beginning of each school year, to provide written notice of parental rights and responsibilities. Lozano Smith continuously tracks legislation impacting these notices. The following summarizes changes in California law that call for required or optional updates to the Annual Notice of Parental Rights and Responsibilities. Children of Military Service Members - Residency Pr...

Immigration Enforcement Actions in California

By:Sloan Simmons, Manuel Martinez, Kristy Boyes -

March 2018 Number 9 In recent weeks, media outlets have reported on immigration raids by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents that targeted various areas in California. These raids have focused on the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Sacramento areas. Other reports have confirmed ICE agents raiding dozens of 7-Eleven stores throughout the nation, and serving notices of inspection at 77 Northern California businesses within San Francisco, San Jose, and Sacramento. As these en...

Student Walkouts: What Your District Needs to Know

By:Sloan Simmons, Aimee Perry, Tilman Heyer -

February 2018 Number 7 This Client News Brief was updated on March 6, 2018. UPDATE: California Department of Education Issues Guidance The California Department of Education (CDE) and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson released guidance on March 2 regarding student walkouts. Echoing the suggestions below, the CDE calls for schools to provide outlets for student political expression through classroom or school-wide discussions, as well as for proactive discussio...

Student Athlete's Right to Kneel during National Anthem Likely 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...