School of Education: Legal Seminar Videos

Illegal Discrimination: The Law


The Law

Dr. Erma Jean Sims,
Sonoma State University

We're going to start with illegal discrimination and so let's just start right out with the law. The California Code of Regulations prohibits discrimination. A certified person, that's you, a teacher, shall not without good cause in the course and scope of their employment, while you're working in the schools fail to perform your certificated responsibilities to any person based on their race, their color, their creed, their gender, and national origin, or handicapping condition or sexual orientation. So we know we cannot discriminate against the students based on these categorizes: race, color, creed, gender, national origin, and handicapping condition, or sexual orientation in the performance of our duties. California Education Code section 200, which you have in your packet, is the policy of the State of California and it just reinforces the California regulations and it says its the policy of the State of California to afford all persons in public schools regardless of their sex, ethnic group identification, their race, their national origin, or their religion, or their mental or physical disability, or if there is a perceived or actual characteristic. If you think the person is of a particular race or you think that they have a handicapping condition or it's not so obvious to you; you still may not discriminate against that person. This section also goes so far as to talk about hate crimes; and so they refer to the California penal code making it a crime to discriminate against people who meet these characteristics by performing a criminal act. The California Penal Code section 422.55 says that it is the purpose of this title and the purpose of all other state laws unless some explicit provision says otherwise, that a hate crime means in a criminal act committed in whole or in part because one of the following actual or perceived characteristics of the victim. So, we can't perform any criminal acts against a person based on having these legal characteristics of being disabled, their gender, their nationality, race or ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. We also cannot discriminate against or perform a hate crime on someone who is associated with someone who meets these characteristics.

CREDITS: Instruction and Content by Dr. Erma Jean Sims, Sonoma State University. Videography and Technical support by Mark Niemann, Sonoma State University