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 more than 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
• Electronic Records Systems

Title IX

Lozano Smith’s Title IX Practice Area is comprised of specialists dedicated to the pressing issues faced clients. From athletics to sexual violence, this team advises, trains, and educates clients on the various components of Title IX – from prevention and mitigation to investigations resulting in disciplinary action. Areas in which the group provides advice and training include:

  • Athletics, including audits of athletic programs
  • Sex-based discrimination
  • Pregnant and parenting students
  • Single-sex education
  • Issues relating to transgender and students
  • Developing and auditing complaint grievance procedures and policies
  • Responding to reports of sexual misconduct and harassment
  • Investigating complaints of sexual misconduct and harassment
  • Title IX Coordinator roles and responsibilities
  • District and employee liability
  • Reporting obligations
  • Interaction with law enforcement agencies
  • Discipline of students
  • Litigation
  • VAWA/Clery Act
  • Trainings
Read More

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.

Alyssa R. Bivins Senior Counsel
Sacramento, Fresno abivins@lozanosmith.com
Los Angeles, San Diego acordova@lozanosmith.com
Andrew  Fausto Associate
Los Angeles, Fresno afausto@lozanosmith.com
Sacramento, San Luis Obispo colsonmurphy@lozanosmith.com
Sacramento, San Diego dmaruccia@lozanosmith.com
Emma J. Sol Associate
Walnut Creek esol@lozanosmith.com
Erin  Frazor Senior Counsel
Joshua  Whiteside Senior Counsel
San Luis Obispo jwhiteside@lozanosmith.com
Walnut Creek, Sacramento, San Diego krezendes@lozanosmith.com
Kendra G. Tovey Senior Counsel
Sacramento, Fresno, San Luis Obispo msmith@lozanosmith.com
Ryan P. Tung Partner
Los Angeles, Walnut Creek rtung@lozanosmith.com

Legislative Update: Changes in DOJ Background Checks and Expansion of the Statewide Immunization Database

By:Michelle Cannon, Sophia Cohn -

November 2022Number 54Two important bills, Senate Bill (SB) 731 and Assembly Bill (AB) 1797, were enacted in September, impacting the information available to school districts conducting background checks, and expanding the use of a Statewide immunization database.SB 731The Education Code prohibits local educational agencies (LEAs) from hiring staff who have been convicted of controlled substance abuse offenses, serious felonies, violent felonies, or sexual abuse offenses, unless the applican...

Legislation Roundup: New Holidays, Extended Statute of Limitations for Mandatory Reporter Violations, and Health Benefits for Striking Employees

By:Gabriela Flowers, Crystal Pizano -

November 2022Number 52September was a busy month for Governor Newsom, who signed into law several bills which will have a significant impact on public employers.  Included in the new legislation are bills creating new State holidays; extending the statute of limitations for prosecution of mandated reporters for failure to report child abuse or neglect; and requiring continued health benefits for striking public employees.HolidaysOn September 29, 2022, Governor Newson signed both Assembly...

Ninth Circuit Requires Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies in Sprawling Distance Learning Lawsuit

By:Kyle Raney, Josh Walden -

October 2022Number 49In a highly anticipated decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Martinez v. Newsom (9th Cir. 2022) 46 F.4th 965, recently determined that a class action lawsuit brought by four students and their parents against all school districts in California lacked jurisdiction to be heard in federal district court, was moot in some respects in light of the return to in-person instruction, and that remaining claims against Etiwanda School District and Chaffey Joint Union High...

AB 2508: Reimagining Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services in Schools

By:Sarah Garcia, Kaitlyn Tucker -

October 2022Number 50The COVID-19 pandemic certainly exacerbated, and in some ways highlighted, the challenges posed by student mental health issues.  The problem has received national attention, with many commenters characterizing it as a crisis.  In California specifically, over 284,000 young people cope with major depression, and suicide rates increased significantly between 2019 and 2020.  To combat this crisis, Governor Gavin Newsom announced California’s “Mast...

Ninth Circuit Backs Fellowship of Christian Athletes Over Non-Discrimination Policy

By:Manuel Martinez, Josh Walden -

September 2022Number 42In a recently decided case, Fellowship of Christian Athletes v. San Jose Unified School District Board of Education (9th Cir. Aug. 29, 2022, No. 22-15827), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a federal district court and determined that the San Jose Unified School District’s use of its non-discrimination policy against the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) likely violated the First Amendment.  Consequently, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals orde...

California Supreme Court Affirms Public School Districts Cannot be Sued Under Unruh Civil Rights Act for Disability Discrimination

By:Steve Ngo, Jessica Serrato -

September 2022Number 43The California Supreme Court recently upheld a lower court ruling that a public school district is not a “business establishment” and therefore cannot be liable for disability discrimination under California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act (Unruh Act or Act).  (Brennon B. v. Superior Court of Contra Costa County (Aug. 4, 2022, S266254) __ Cal.App.5th __.)  The Court concluded that the Unruh Act, as currently written, cannot reasonably be interpreted...

New Law Mandates Schools to Annually Inform Parents of Safe Storage of Firearms and Expands Reporting of Middle School and High School Threats to Law Enforcement

By:Desiree Serrano, Joshua Whiteside -

August 2022Number 41On July 21, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB) 906, creating new obligations for local educational agencies (LEAs) designed to prevent firearm-related incidents at schools and addressing threats made by students in middle schools and high schools.  This bill takes effect January 1, 2023.Safe Storage of Firearms Information RequiredBeginning with the 2023-24 school year, SB 906 will require LEAs to include information in their annual notification to pa...