Joshua  Whiteside

Senior Counsel | San Luis Obispo

Attorney Insights
Tel: 805.471.7080
Fax: 805.930.1031
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Joshua Whiteside is Senior Counsel in Lozano Smith's San Luis Obispo Office and co-chair of the Student Practice Group. Mr. Whiteside provides support for school district and county office clients on Student and Labor and Employment issues, focusing on helping administrators keep schools safe from school violence and bullying, remain neutral with respect to politics and religion, and prioritize inclusivity and equity.


Mr. Whiteside has presented on a variety of topics at the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Personnel Academy, and before the California Association of Supervisors of Child Welfare and Attendance (CASCWA), California Latino School Boards Association (CLSBA) and the Small School Districts' Association (SSDA). Mr. Whiteside is also a frequent presenter on the Lozano Smith podcast.

Mr. Whiteside's article on student social media speech was the cover story for the SSDA Today in Spring/Summer 2018. Mr. Whiteside also wrote a paper on "Religious Speech in Public Schools" for the National School Boards Association Council of School Attorneys, providing guidance nationally on the intersection of free speech, religion, and LGBTQ+ student rights.

Prior to joining Lozano Smith, Mr. Whiteside was a legal aid attorney, where he counseled and represented low-income and homeless clients in civil disputes involving landlord-tenant, consumer debt, domestic violence, immigration, public benefits, special education, and workplace discrimination matters. During law school, he interned for a prominent immigration firm in Orange County, assisting with family and employment-based immigration applications and visas.


Mr. Whiteside earned his J.D. degree from Chapman University School of Law. He received a B.A. in History from the University of California, San Diego.

Ninth Circuit Upholds Student Discipline for Social Media Posts

By: Sloan SimmonsJoshua Whiteside-

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 SerranoJoshua Whiteside-

Updates to Masking Requirements for Students and Employees

By: Sloan SimmonsJoshua Whiteside-

Ethnic Studies to Become a Required High School Course

By: Chelsea Olson MurphyJoshua Whiteside-

New Laws on Student Retention, Grades and Graduation Create More Pandemic-Related Consequences for Schools

By: Ruth MendykJoshua Whiteside-

Face Coverings Still Required in Certain Circumstances under New Rules

By: Karen RezendesJoshua Whiteside-

CDPH Guidance for Schools Creates Challenges and New Reopening Criteria

By: Michelle CannonJoshua Whiteside-

New Law Calls for Greater Collaboration between Court Schools and Counties

By: Michael SmithJoshua Whiteside-

New Law Requiring Later Start Times For Middle Schools And High Schools Creates Uncertainty For Educational Agencies

By: Ruth MendykJoshua Whiteside-

Legislature Addresses Student Use Of Smartphones At School

By: Ruth MendykJoshua Whiteside-

New Law Clarifies Anti-Discrimination Laws Include Hair Discrimination

By: Gabriela FlowersJoshua Whiteside-

The FBI and Secret Service Issue New Guidance on Addressing School Violence and Active Shooters

By: Trevin SimsJoshua Whiteside-

Supreme Court Opinion on Wedding Cake for Same-Sex Couples Provides Cautionary Tale for Public Entities

By: Michael SmithSloan SimmonsJoshua Whiteside-

Ninth Circuit Rules Employee's Prior Salary Cannot be used as Basis for Wages

By: Michael SmithJoshua Whiteside-

Episode 59 Student Legislative Update 2023

By: Ruth MendykJoshua WhitesideNisha Dale-

This episode provides school administrators with the latest legislative changes and developments regarding student matters with Lozano Smith and Student Practice Group leaders Ruth Mendyk and Josh Whiteside along with Fresno attorney Nisha Dale.

Episode 51 (Part 2) Student Vaccines and Student Masks - Late February 2022 Developments

By: Sloan SimmonsJoshua Whiteside-

Hosts Joshua Whiteside and Sloan Simmons are back to discuss the latest litigation development related to a school district's student COVID-19 vaccination mandate and the rapidly changing guidance and directives related to student and staff mask requirements, including CDPH's recent announcement that face masks are no longer legally required indoors at K-12 schools after March 11,2022

Episode 51 (Part 1) Student Vaccines and Student Masks - Latest Developments

By: Sloan SimmonsJoshua Whiteside-

Host Joshua Whiteside joins Lozano Smith partner Sloan Simmons to discuss the present status of student COVID-19 vaccination and student masks requirements, including the status of State directives on point and the results of litigation in these areas.

Editor's Note: After listening to this episode click here for Part 2 of this topic. Part 2 covers related developments occurring in late February following the release of this podcast.

Episode 49 Preparing for the New Year: New Student Laws In Effect Now and in 2022 and Beyond

By: Joshua WhitesideRuth Mendyk-

Host Joshua Whiteside joins Lozano Smith attorney Ruth Mendyk to discuss updates and new obligations facing educational agencies now and during the second half of the 2021-22 school year. This discussion includes a review of important legislation from the Fall 2021 legislative session.

Catching Up, and Looking Forward: Student Issues After a Year of COVID-19 and Heading Back to School in 2021-2022

By: Ruth MendykJoshua Whiteside-

Host Sloan Simmons joins Lozano Smith attorneys Ruth Mendyk and Joshua Whiteside to discuss updates to district policies and practices during the 2020-21 school year, pending legislation on student retention and grading issues for 2021-22 and proposed curriculum and kindergarten / preschool related issues for future years.

Religion in the Schools - A Vehicle for Inclusivity

By: Michael SmithJoshua Whiteside-

In advance of his upcoming free seminar at California State University Fresno, attorney Michael Smith, joined by associate Josh Whiteside, talks with host Devon Lincoln about the role that religion plays in the lives of public school students and their teachers and other staff, and how schools can create a climate of inclusivity and support for students of every background and faith tradition. For more details on the upcoming seminar, see the show notes below.

School Safety and New Guidance on Addressing School Violence

By: Trevin SimsJoshua Whiteside-

Preventing school violence and ensuring school safety have become dominant topics and part of an ongoing national conversation. But what can a school district do, practically, to address these issues? This podcast will examine two recently released resource documents from the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the United States Secret Service which provide guidance on preventing school violence as well as pending California legislation to improve school climate and safety.

Developing Law on Social Media Accounts of Government Officials

By: Joshua Whiteside-

Last year, the United States Supreme Court identified social media as "perhaps the most powerful mechanism available" today to make a person's voice heard. But can a government official block their constituents' voices online? At what point does a personal social media page become open to the public? Join us as we discuss the ramifications of a recent federal district court case out of New York about President Trump's personal Twitter account and the potential legal precedent being shaped now

Inclusivity Matters

By: Joshua Whiteside-

Inclusivity is a mandate for all public entities - to create a positive, welcoming environment for all types of people and treat them fairly and equally. The government must also be neutral with respect to politics and religion. However, the rise of social justice movements in recent years have led public entities to carefully re-consider their policies, practices, and programs. Thus, public entities walk the narrow path of affirming the rights of all without expressing support for a particular political viewpoint or ignoring systemic and procedural biases. This podcast will discuss how local governments and school districts can act to work on providing an inclusive workplace and/or campus without limiting individual opinions and viewpoints.

California Adds "Nonbinary" Gender Option to Identification Documents

By: Joshua Whiteside-

Last year, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill (SB) 179, known as the "Gender Recognition Act," which adds a "nonbinary" gender option to state driver's licenses, identification cards, and birth certificates.