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Nowhere is the heightened concern with security following Sept. 11 and Columbine more apparent than in the board rooms and administrative offices of Long Island’s school districts. Since school officials are charged with providing the children entrusted to them with the care expected of a reasonable parent,[1] this comes as no surprise. However, occupying the status of loco parentis does not endow school personnel with all the prerogatives of parenthood. While responsible for the safety and welfare of their students, they are not surrogate parents. Actually, when it comes to protecting their students’ fundamental rights, public school officials are deemed state actors by the courts. In that capacity, their actions have been held subject to the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, for the purposes of securing their students’ entitlement to the guarantee of due process in the context of the school environment.[2]

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