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

Lawmakers Extend Limits on Disruption and Defiance Discipline, Expand Use of Uniform Complaint Procedures

By:Sloan Simmons, Aimee Perry, Michelle Sinks -

July 2018 Number 31 State lawmakers have indefinitely extended previously approved limits on disciplining students for defiance and disruption and have expanded the list of issues that may be addressed through the Uniform Complaint Procedures (UCP). The changes were included in a budget trailer bill, Assembly Bill (AB) 1808, and became effective when Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill on June 27. Extension of Limits on Student Discipline for Disruption and Willful Defiance AB 1...

FDA Approves Marijuana-Based Drug for Pediatric Epilepsy

By:Sloan Simmons, Aimee Perry, Alyssa Bivins -

July 2018 Number 32 Schools may soon be fielding requests to administer Epidiolex, a drug containing cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical component of marijuana that does not create a "high," to students. On June 25, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Epidiolex to treat two types of pediatric epilepsy. The approval of Epidiolex will pave the way for school districts, for the first time, to administer a medicine derived from marijuana, provided that the Drug Enforcement...

Court of Appeal Clarifies Issues Impacting Student Expulsions for Sexual Battery

By:Sloan Simmons, Kyle Raney -

May 2018 Number 19 The California Court of Appeal’s recent opinion in M.N. v. Morgan Hill Unified School District (2018) 20 Cal.App.5th 607 (“Morgan Hill USD”) resolves several issues of first impression significant to student expulsion proceedings involving sexual battery. In M.N., a case in which Lozano Smith’s Sloan Simmons and Steve Ngo successfully represented the Morgan Hill Unified School District, the court set forth clear rulings on the legal standards for e...

Juvenile Court School Students Gain New Educational Options

By:Sarah Garcia, Vivian Chen -

May 2018 Number 18 A new law permits students enrolled in juvenile court schools to voluntarily defer or decline the issuance of a diploma for meeting state graduation requirements so that the student may take additional coursework at the juvenile court school or, once released, at a school operated by a local educational agency (LEA). Assembly Bill (AB) 1124, which went into effect on January 1, amended Education Code section 48645.3 and added Education Code section 48645.7. Prior law...

California Attorney General Publishes Guide on the Rights of Undocumented Immigrant Students and Families

By:Sloan Simmons, Nicholas Felahi -

April 2018 Number 17 The California Attorney General's Office (AG) has published a comprehensive guide and model policies to equip local educational agencies (LEAs) with information and resources for addressing immigration enforcement actions and also, hate crimes and bullying that target immigrants. The guide is intended to serve as an instructional tool for LEAs in addressing increased U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) activity and the impacts of the rescission of the De...

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...