The effect of the Civil Rights Law of 1871 on teacher dismissal

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
E. Wayne Trogdon (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Joseph E. Bryson

Abstract: Administrators and school boards are charged with the responsibility of renewing or dismissing teachers. When the school board elects to dismiss a teacher, considerable care must be taken to insure that the constitutional rights of the teacher are not violated in the dismissal process. If an individual's protected rights are violated, school officials can be held liable for their actions under the Civil Rights Law of 1871 (42 U.S.C. Section 1983). Relief under this act may take the form of equity or damages. The Civil Rights Law of 1871 was an obscure, forgotten piece of legislation that was originally passed by the Forty-second Congress in response to the illegal activities of the Ku Klux Klan in Southern states. In 1961 the Supreme Court rediscovered the law and opened the federal judiciary to suits against public officials. Board members, administrators, and the like could be sued under Section 1983. During the late sixties and throughout the seventies teachers have extensively used Section 1983 as a tool for challenging alleged unconstitutional acts in their dismissals. This potential liability has forced school board members and administrators to stay abreast of the constitutional rights of teachers.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1980
Teachers $x Law and legislation
Teachers $x Civil rights
Employees $x Dismissal of

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