Texas Supreme Court Case Study

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Spring Branch I.S.D. v. Stamos Supreme Court of Texas, 1985 695.S.W.2d 556 [27 Educ. L. Rep. 640] This case examined the constitutionality of the Texas Education Code 21.920 (b) “No Pass, No Play” rule: A student, other than a mentally retarded student, enrolled in a school district in this state shall be suspended from participation in any extracurricular activity sponsored or sanctioned by the school district during the grade reporting period after a grade reporting period in which the student received a grade lower than the equivalent of 70 on a scale of 100 in any academic class. The campus principal may remove this suspension if the class is an identified honors or advanced class. A student may not be suspended under this subsection…show more content…
A temporary injunction was issued, barring school districts from applying the “rule”. The state Attorney General appealed the decision to the state Supreme Court. Chris Stamos, father of a student who was not allowed to participate in extracurricular sports activities due to not meeting minimum levels of performance in academic classes, cited several cases to support his claim that the rule was unconstitutional: 1. The rule violates the equal protection clause of the Texas Constitution. [Sullivan v. University Interscholastic League, 616 S.W.2d 170, 172 (Tex.1981)] 2. The rule discriminates against students with learning disabilities. 3. The rule violates the proposition that students have a fundamental right to participate in extracurricular activities. (Bell v. Lone Oak Independent School District, 507 S.W.2d 636) 4. The rule violates the principles of fundamental fairness and substantive due process by giving principals the ability to determine whether students who fail honors or advanced classes are allowed to participate in extracurricular activities. [Spann v. City of Dallas, 111 Tex. 350, 235 S.W. 513…show more content…
Therefore, the issue pertaining to students with learning disabilities was thrown out in relation to this particular case. • The state Supreme Court, in addressing the ill fitting correlation drawn in Stamos’ citation of Bell v. Lone Oak Independent School District as an explanation of how students have a fundamental right to participate in extracurricular activities, stated that correlations between the fundamental right of marriage and this case could not be aligned. • The state Supreme Court also stated that due to the facts the rule did not infringe upon any fundamental rights nor did it create/burden a suspect class, that it did not violate the equal protection guarantees of the Texas Constitution. • Citing Board of Regents v. Roth, 408 U.S. at 577-78, 92 S. Ct. 2709, the state Supreme Court noted that nothing in either the state constitution or statutes guarantees students an absolute right to participate in extracurricular activities, therefore there are no limitations of procedural or substantive due process as it pertained to a principal’s ability to determine a student’s ability to play if they have failed an advanced or honor’s
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