Thursday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

Judge Backs Student Who Said He Couldn’t ‘Accept Gays’, The School Law Blog – Education Week

A federal district judge has ruled that a high school teacher violated the free speech rights of a Michigan student by removing him from class for expressing views that he didn’t “accept gays” because of his Roman Catholic faith.

U.S. District Judge Patrick J. Duggan of Detroit awarded nominal damages of $1 to Daniel Glowacki, who was a junior at Howell High School in the fall of 2010 when the events at issue occurred.

In a case that, “highlights a tension that exists between public school anti-bullying policies and the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech,” as he put it, the judge further held that the Howell Public School District was not liable in the case because it removed any record of discipline from the student’s file and has speech and anti-bullying policies that respect students’ First Amendment rights.

Children of “Tiger Parents” Develop More Aggression and Depression, Research Shows, CBS News

In 2011, Amy Chua sparked a nationwide debate when she championed her tough-love parenting style in the book, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.” Critics said the iron-fist child-rearing approach of the Chinese-American mom was too intense, stigmatizing or even damaging to the child.

New research and a just-published memoir suggest the critics may be right.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, followed more than 250 Chinese-American immigrant families with first- to second-grade children in the San Francisco Bay Area for over two years.

“We found that children whose parents use more authoritarian-type parenting strategies tend to develop more aggression, depression, anxiety, and social problems and have poorer social skills,” said Qing Zhou, an assistant professor of psychology who led the research.

Braille Instruction Receives Boost From Education Department, On Special Education – Education Week

Addressing concerns that some blind and visually impaired youth aren’t receiving Braille instruction when they need it, the Education Department released a “Dear Colleague” letter today reiterating that Braille should be the default literacy medium unless a school team determines that it is inappropriate for a given student.

Advocates Seek to Keep Youth Out of Adult Courts, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange

NEW YORK–New York is one of two states to prosecute 16-year-olds as adults. Some state politicians want to change the law so that anyone ages 16 or 17 goes to a youth court instead of an adult criminal court. Proponents of raising the age argue a higher age of criminal responsibility allows more teens to outgrow criminal behavior. Advocates say that teenagers outgrow criminal behavior when treated like teens instead of adults, a point supported by science. Bills that would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to be tried in juvenile courts were introduced to the State Legislature, one in the Assembly and one in the Senate, but the Assembly sponsor does not think either bill will pass.

Megan Mikutis

About Megan Mikutis

Megan Mikutis is a second year student at the University of Houston Law Center. She graduated from the University of Houston – Clear Lake in 2012 with a B.A. in Literature. While obtaining her undergraduate degree, Megan tutored undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students in writing while working for the University of Houston – Clear Lake Writing Center. This summer, Megan worked for the Center for Children, Law, and Policy and had the opportunity to compose a policy statement discussing the disproportionate representation of Limited English Proficient students in special education. Currently, Megan serves as the President of the Student Bar Association as well as a member of the Hispanic Law Student Association. Megan is most interested in education and special education issues.

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