The Schoolhouse Gate: Public Education, the Supreme Court, and the Battle for the American Mind

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Should jurisdiction over education and children’s rights be under the aegis of the US Supreme Court? The question argued for so long and by so many, is the focus of Justin Driver’s book, The Schoolhouse Gate. The answer is unresolved. In part, the decision is debated because opinion continues to be divided on the Court’s overall place in the country’s judicial section. In the past, the judiciary was viewed as omnipotent, more recently revisionists claim the absolute reverse, that it is impotent.

While the answer is in limbo, there has been a shift in the topics that reach the Court, the shift advancing from one decade to the next, often withdrawn from the front page though not leaving the stage entirely, for example still reaching back to the milestone Brown v Board of Education. Racism was a vital preoccupation half a century ago but the position has been to some extent preempted by a more recent focus on individual student rights. Is intimate searching, or investigating the contents of school backpacks justified without substantial suspicion of drugs and weapons being present? And still, more recently, educators are caught up with the issue of sexuality resulting in rampant arguments over which bathrooms should be available to transgender students.

Justin Driver investigates these and additional vital concerns thematically and in some measure chronologically, exploring their impact through legal procedures and public response. His detailed research is tempered by the clarity with which he writes. One cannot fail to be both fascinated and provoked.

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Author Justin Driver
Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 576 pages
Publisher Vintage
Publish Date 2019-08-06
ISBN 9780525566960
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue December 2019
Category Current Events & Politics


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