Lozano Smith's Student Practice Group is recognized statewide for its steadfast, proactive and creative assistance to school districts and expertise on a broad range of student issues, due to the large number of school districts that we represent and the fact that we have represented schools for more than 30 years.

Areas of Practice

To best serve the needs and promote the success of its clients, the firm's Student Practice Group has broad expertise in:

• Student Free Speech Rights
• Student Publications
• Dress Codes
• Religion in Schools
• Search & Seizure
• Constitutional Due Process
• The Equal Access Act
• Jurisdiction for Discipline
• Suspension & Expulsion
• Expulsion Hearings
• Rehabilitation Plans
• Alternative Discipline
• Expulsion Appeals
• Involuntary Transfers
• Continuation Schools
• Student Fees & Charges
• Student Records
• Directory Information
• Access to Records
• Grade Changes
• Custody & Education Rights
• Caregiver Affidavits
• Retention of Records
• Public Records Act
• Law Enforcement at School
• Gang-Related Activity
• Child Abuse Reporting
• Megan's Law
• Media Access to Campus
• Community Day Schools
• Compulsory Education
• Student Residency
• Residency Verification
• Student Truancy & SARB
• All Student Transfers
• Open Enrollment
• Extracurricular Activities
• Student Athletics
• Athletic Eligibility
• Student Drug Testing
• Title IX, Title XI, Section 504
• Harassment & Discrimination
• Cyberbullying
• Graduation Requirements
• Promotion & Retention

Title IX

Lozano Smith’s Title IX Practice Area is comprised of specialists dedicated to the pressing issues faced clients. From athletics to sexual violence, this team advises, trains, and educates clients on the various components of Title IX – from prevention and mitigation to investigations resulting in disciplinary action. Areas in which the group provides advice and training include:

  • Athletics, including audits of athletic programs
  • Sex-based discrimination
  • Pregnant and parenting students
  • Single-sex education
  • Issues relating to transgender and students
  • Developing and auditing complaint grievance procedures and policies
  • Responding to reports of sexual misconduct and harassment
  • Investigating complaints of sexual misconduct and harassment
  • Title IX Coordinator roles and responsibilities
  • District and employee liability
  • Reporting obligations
  • Interaction with law enforcement agencies
  • Discipline of students
  • Litigation
  • VAWA/Clery Act
  • Trainings
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Real World Applications

The Student Practice Group at Lozano Smith understands the hurdles and opportunities facing its clients, and has an unsurpassed level of experience and expertise to protect the interests and promote the success of school districts, their staff and students. Of particular significance is the firm's leadership in student discipline matters. Lozano Smith regularly helps districts to develop comprehensive policies and regulations aimed at preventing student discipline problems, as well as all other policy issues impacting student rights, including student speech, student clubs, student transfers, and student fees, to name only a few. When discipline problems do surface, the firm provides practical advice and assistance as to all aspects of suspensions, expulsions, involuntary transfers and alternative forms of discipline.

Alyssa R. Bivins Senior Counsel
Sacramento, Fresno abivins@lozanosmith.com
Carolyn L. Gemma Senior Counsel
Sacramento, San Luis Obispo colsonmurphy@lozanosmith.com
Sacramento, San Diego dmaruccia@lozanosmith.com
Emma J. Sol Associate
Walnut Creek esol@lozanosmith.com
Joshua  Whiteside Senior Counsel
San Luis Obispo jwhiteside@lozanosmith.com
Walnut Creek, Sacramento, San Diego krezendes@lozanosmith.com
Kyle A. Raney Senior Counsel
Sacramento, Fresno, San Luis Obispo msmith@lozanosmith.com
Ryan P. Tung Partner
Los Angeles, Walnut Creek rtung@lozanosmith.com

Ninth Circuit Refuses to Enforce OCR's "Dear Colleague Letters" as Binding Law in Disability Discrimination Suits for Money Damages

By:Sloan Simmons -

November 2021Number 38Since their initial release in 1994, school officials have looked to “Dear Colleague Letters” (DCLs) issued by the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) as guidance on the implementation of federal special education and disability laws. Further, such DCLs have been relied upon by parents and their advocates and attorneys to support claims of wrongdoing by school officials. In September 2021, in Csutoras v. Paradise High S...

New Laws Affect County Offices of Education: County Superintendent Oversight Duties and Student Board Members

By:Ryan Tung -

November 2021Number 39On October 8, 2021, the Governor signed Assembly Bills (AB) 559 and 824 into law. AB 559 provides a new process for identifying schools that county superintendents are required to inspect each year. AB 824 authorizes county boards of education and charter schools to appoint high school pupils as members of their governing boards in response to a student petition.AB 559Previously, Education Code section 1240 required a county superintendent of schools to annually inspect ...

Seek and Serve: California Expands Outreach for Homeless Youth

By:Jennifer Baldassari -

November 2021Number 36The California Legislature, believing many school districts were inaccurately reporting the numbers of homeless youth residing within their boundaries across the state, enacted Assembly Bill (AB) 27 and Senate Bill (SB) 400 to improve the identification and enrollment for homeless youth residing within a local educational agency’s (LEA) boundaries. With AB 27 taking immediate effect and SB 400 becoming operative on January 1, 2022, school districts and their respec...

New Legislation Will Impact Student Health

By:Desiree Serrano -

November 2021Number 37Three new bills signed by Governor Newsom impact student health including requiring the development of type 1 diabetes information to be made available to parents or guardians, making menstrual products more accessible in public school restrooms, and informing students on the best practices for returning to exercise and physical activity after displaying symptoms of or testing positive for COVID-19.Senate Bill 97 – Pupil Health: Type 1 Diabetes Information: Parent ...

New Excused Absences Added to the Education Code; and Designation of September 11th as 'Remembrance Day'

By:Thomas Manniello, Claire Chang -

October 2021Number 34Governor Newsom has signed two bills—Assembly Bill (AB) 516 and Senate Bill (SB) 14—that will modify the Education Code to extend its existing list of excused school absences by adding cultural ceremonies or events and expanding illnesses to include mental or behavioral health. The Governor also signed SB 254, designating September 11 as “September 11th Remembrance Day.”Assembly Bill 516AB 516 adds participation in a cultural ceremony or event as a...

AB 309 & SB 224: Addressing Student Mental Health in The Wake of COVID-19

By:Sarah Garcia, Kaitlyn Tucker -

October 2021Number 35Amid growing concern regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students’ mental health, legislation was introduced in both the California State Senate and Assembly to provide for increased school-based mental health services. Assembly Bill (AB) 309 and Senate Bill (SB) 224 were signed by the Governor on October 8, 2021, requiring the creation of model referral protocols and the addition of mental health instruction in California schools.BackgroundSchools ofte...

Assembly Bill 167 Further Details Independent Study and Attendance Accounting Requirements

By:Ruth Mendyk, Carrie Rasmussen, Allison Hernandez -

October 2021Number 31Governor Newsom signed another education omnibus budget trailer bill on September 23, 2021, Assembly Bill (AB) 167. This legislation further modifies independent study and ADA apportionment requirements for the 2021-2022 school year. AB 167 follows the Education Omnibus Budget Trailer Bill (AB 130) approved in July 2021 that made significant changes to independent study. (See Client News Brief Number 14.) A brief summary of AB 167’s provisions that impact instructio...