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, San Diego sgarcia@lozanosmith.com
Stephanie M. White Senior Counsel
Walnut Creek swhite@lozanosmith.com

New Laws Promote Student Health and Safety

By:Ruth Mendyk, Nicholas Felahi -

November 2018 Number 68 California lawmakers demonstrated a concerted effort to promote student health and safety by approving several bills this session. Assembly Bills (AB) 1798, 2435 and 2816 were passed to create or expand requirements or funding for school districts in relation to bus transportation, air quality, and pesticide use. Assembly Bill 1798 - Passenger Restraint Systems on All School Buses by July 1, 2035 Existing law requires passenger restraint systems on certain c...

Non-Binding Order from OAH Requires School District Administer Medical Marijuana on Campus

By:Marcy Gutierrez, Aimee Perry, Alyssa Bivins -

October 2018 Number 55 In a non-binding order, a California state administrative law judge from the Office of Administrative Hearings ("OAH") ruled that a public school district must allow a student's nurse to administer medical marijuana, as needed, on campus and transportation. The September 21, 2018 decision inStudent v. Rincon Valley Union Elementary School District (2018) OAH Case No. 2018050651 is unprecedented, but is not binding on other school districts. Background The case...

The Pot Thickens: Legal Updates on Marijuana and Schools

By:Marcy Gutierrez, Aimee Perry, Alyssa Bivins -

October 2018 Number 56 Schools may soon be getting requests to permit students to take a marijuana-based epilepsy drug at school, thanks to a change in the way the federal government regulates it. Read on to learn more about Epidiolex and the state of the law regarding administration of medication at school, including marijuana based drugs. Separately, but related to administration of marijuana based drugs, Governor Jerry Brown recently vetoed a state bill that would have permitted sch...

Ninth Circuit Shoots Down Challenge to Law Prohibiting Concealed-Carry Permit Holders from Possessing Firearms on School Property

By:Thomas Manniello, Tilman Heyer -

September 2018 Number 46 In Gallinger v. Becerra, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a challenge to a 2015 change to California's Gun-Free School Zone Act that removed an exemption allowing concealed-carry permit holders to carry firearms on school grounds, but maintained the same exemption for retired peace officers. The Ninth Circuit held that lawmakers had a rational basis for approving this change, effected by Senate Bill (SB) 707, and also that the partial elimination of ...

The FBI and Secret Service Issue New Guidance on Addressing School Violence and Active Shooters

By:Trevin Sims, Joshua Whiteside -

August 2018 Number 38 The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the United States Secret Service's National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) have released two important documents that offer insight into the pre-attack behavior of shooters and advice to help prevent targeted school violence through the use of threat assessments. The FBI report The FBI report, which was issued in June, is part of an FBI initiative to understand why shootings in confined and populated areas, like s...

Lawmakers Declare April 10 Dolores Huerta Day

By:Sarah Kaatz, Carolyn Gemma -

August 2018 Number 40 The Legislature has declared that April 10 is Dolores Huerta Day. Assembly Bill (AB) 2644, which dedicates the day to the activist and labor leader, becomes effective January 1, 2019. The new law encourages public schools and other educational institutions to observe this day by conducting activities that commemorate the life and accomplishments of Dolores Huerta. However, the legislation does not create a new mandatory paid holiday. Huerta is known for working...

School Surveillance Video May be a Student Record, Triggering FERPA Obligations

By:Sloan Simmons, Aimee Perry, Kristy Boyes -

August 2018 Number 37 School surveillance video can be considered a student record under certain circumstances, triggering a school district's obligation under the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to allow parents to view it. In an informal guidance letter, the director of student privacy policy with the U.S. Department of Education's Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) concluded that a school surveillance video depicting eight students who were involved in ...