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

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 ...

Ninth Circuit Affirms Legislative Prayer Exception Does Not Apply to School Board Meetings

By:William Curley III, Leila Alamri-Kassim -

August 2018 Number 34 The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a federal district court ruling that school-sponsored prayer, Bible readings and proselytizing at school board meetings are unconstitutional. In Freedom from Religion Foundation v. Chino Valley Unified School District Board of Education, the Ninth Circuit upheld an injunction against a school board's policy and practice of allowing school-sponsored religious exercise during board meetings. This decision distinguishes p...

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...