Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Blokhuis to Lecture on Students Rights at the Kluge Center

On Thursday, June 27, at 12 p.m., Kluge Fellow J.C. Blokhuis discusses “Student Rights and the ‘Special Characteristic of the School Environment’ from a Jurisprudential Perspective” in the Woodrow Wilson Room (LJ-113), Thomas Jefferson Building, Library of Congress. 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.
Until 1966, constitutional rights were not for children. Minors and other legally incompetent persons had custodial interests, not liberty interests. Public educational authority in general and compulsory schooling laws in particular had been predicated on an expansive conception of the duty of the State as parens patriae to safeguard and promote the custodial interests of children.

The Supreme Court wrestled with the custodial implications until 1995, when the ‘special characteristics of the school environment’ were defined in a manner that explained why the constitutional rights of pupils could not be coextensive with those of adults. Professor Blokhuis addresses the difficulties associated with unqualified ascriptions of constitutional rights to minors, particularly in contexts designed to be custodial in the present and liberating in the future.
Webcasts of Kluge lectures go up approximately two months after the date of the program, here.