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This chapter provides a concise and up-to-date synthesis of the published case law where a student teacher was the plaintiff, the defendant was an institution of higher education or cooperating local school district, and the issues in dispute were related to diversity. The number of such court decisions was surprisingly small, and the outcomes generally favored the defendant institutions. The court cases fall under three categories: 1) student teachers’ diverse views on religion, 2) student teachers’ diverse forms of free speech, and 3) student teachers with special needs. Constitutional claims were the predominant avenue of litigation against school districts and those institutions of higher education that were public, whereas breach of contract was the primary claim against private higher education institutions. Helping to fill a gap in the professional literature for both students and educational institutions, this chapter serves as a step forward for institutional policies and practices of preventive law and provides case study material based on published precedents for teacher preparation programs. Additionally, it provides an opportunity for renaissance in the field of education.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Student Teachers’ Diversity Rights: The Case Law, in C> J. Craig & L. F. Deretchin (Eds.), Imagining a Renaissance in Teacher Education: Teacher Education Yearbook XVI, R&L Education / Association of Teacher Educators (ATE), p. 201-212