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 Senior Counsel
Walnut Creek alink@lozanosmith.com
Sacramento, San Diego dmaruccia@lozanosmith.com
Desiree  Serrano Senior Counsel
Erin M. Hamor 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

California Passes New Laws to Protect Student-Athletes AED’s Required by July 1, 2019

By:Thomas Gauthier, Kyle Raney -

February 2019 Number 13 In the wake of several high profile deaths of high school student-athletes, California recently enacted two new laws aimed at improving school responses to heart and heat-related emergencies involving students. Assembly Bill (AB) 2009 Given that sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of death among young athletes, AB 2009 requires school districts and charter schools that offer interscholastic athletics to have written, posted emergency action plans ...

Settlement Addresses Discriminatory Treatment of Minority Students and Students with Disabilities

By:Thomas Manniello -

February 2019 Number 11 A settlement agreement was recently reached between the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Stockton Unified School District (District) to address discriminatory treatment of minority students and students with disabilities. The agreement resolves a comprehensive investigation conducted by the DOJ, which found that the District's policies and practices with respect to law enforcement referrals discriminated against African-American and Latino students as we...

Federal Agencies Withdraw Previously Issued Guidance On The Nondiscriminatory Administration Of School Discipline

By:Sloan Simmons, Marisa Montenegro -

February 2019 Number 9 The United States Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and Department of Justice (DOJ) have withdrawn their 2014 joint Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) on Nondiscriminatory Administration of School Discipline, which provided recommendations and guidance on remediating disproportionate student discipline of minority and disabled students. The stated justification for the agencies' reversal is that implementation of the 2014 DCL resulted in schools easin...

New OCR Case Processing Manual - Significant Changes For Public School Civil Rights Enforcement

By:Brenda Arzate, Sloan Simmons -

January 2019 Number 5 The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) made a second round of revisions to its Case Processing Manual (CPM), effective November 19, 2018. The CPM outlines the procedures OCR uses to investigate and resolve complaints under the civil rights laws which it enforces. The CPM last underwent revisions in March of 2015 and March of 2018. The most recent changes are wide ranging and include how OCR will evaluate, investigate and resolve complaints. ...

New Law Entitles Students To Wear Tribal Regalia Or Recognized Objects Of Religious, Ceremonial Or Cultural Significance As An Adornment At School Graduation Ceremonies

By:Sloan Simmons, Kristy Boyes -

January 2019 Number 1 Effective January 1 2019, a new law in California establishes students' right to wear tribal regalia or recognized objects of religious or cultural significance as an adornment at school graduation ceremonies. Background Generally speaking, federal and state law permits school districts, county offices of education and charter schools (local educational agencies, or LEAs) to develop and enforce reasonable dress code policies. Existing law has been understood to...

New Laws Grant Diplomas To Terminally Ill And Students That Have Departed California

By:Sarah Garcia, Brittaney Contreras -

January 2019 Number 3 Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a pair of laws related to granting honorary or retroactive high school diplomas for particular groups of students. Assembly Bill (AB) 2109 authorizes the granting of honorary diplomas to students who are terminally ill and, AB 3022 authorizes the retroactive granting of high school diplomas to students who have departed California against their will. AB 2109: Diplomas for Terminally Ill Students Existing law allows the gran...

New Law Limits the Use of Seclusion and Restraints in Schools, Requires Annual Data Report

By:Marcy Gutierrez, Amanda Ruiz, Amanda Cordova -

December 2018 Number 90 The California Legislature recently passed a new law aiming to promote student rights and safety by imposing limits on the use of behavioral restraints and seclusion in schools. Assembly Bill (AB) 2657, which prohibits the use of restraint or seclusion for any student except in specified circumstances, becomes effective on January 1, 2019. Current Law Existing law limits the use of seclusion and restraints in schools for students with exceptional needs. Speci...