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Office: 306-H MCKB

Selected Publications

The unique skills and traits of one-way and two-way dual immersion principals (2016)

Authors: Rocque, Ryan; Ferrin, Scott; Hite, Julie; Randall, Earl

Publication Type: Journal Article, Academic Journal

Publisher: Wiley Online Library

Volume: 49

Issue: 4

Page Numbers: 801-818

Editors: Dr. Anne Nerenz

2016 Tort Principles in Education (2016)

Authors: Ferrin, Scott

Publication Type: Book, Chapter/ Section in Scholarly Book

Publisher: Law Journal Press

City: New York, New York

Editors: Charles Russo and Ralph Mawdsley

Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation in Educational Settings: Are Anti-Slapp's Provisions Protecting the Right Parties? (2014)

Authors: Ferrin, Scott Ellis; Harrison, Kourtney

Publication Type: Journal Article, Academic Journal

Publisher: West Publishing

Volume: 306 WELR 1

Issue: 306

Abstract: click to view

In Pennsylvania a group of parents became concerned about the bus company transporting their children to and from schools. [FN1] Their children reported that buses were breaking down, brake systems were failing, and wheels were falling off. [FN2] These parents “filed safety complaints with the school board” and “circulated a petition asking that the school board to ‘conduct an immediate investigation’ ” of the bus company. [FN3] As a result, and as a surprise to most of the parents, whose only involvement was signing a petition, the Pennsylvania bus company immediately sued every one of the sixty–eight parents for defamation, which resulted in a $680,000 lawsuit. [FN4] A year later, and after great travail for the parents involved, the court dismissed the case and said the suit violated the “citizen's right to petition the government for redress of grievances.” [FN5] Such a suit appears to be a classic Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP). Such suits are generally employed against public participation in a process involving a public matter. SLAPP suits are employed in an effort to quell public speech and are usually filed without any reference to whether the suit has merit or can be successfully litigated. The purpose of SLAPP suits is merely strategic, intended to intimidate those involved in the public issue in order to limit or stop their participation. Such SLAPP suits are particularly disruptive in educational settings given the American tradition of parental involvement in their children's education through time honored features such as PTA service, service as room parents and volunteers, and attendance and participation at school board meetings. American parents tend to believe it their right, even their duty, to speak out on issues affecting their children's safety and education in *2the public school system. Unfortunately, as noted above, parents are learning that such involvement is not always without dangers and costs. When parents are participating as volunteers or speaking out against their public schools, most lawmakers would agree that such parents and parent Find Result - 306 WELR 1 http://web2.westlaw.com/...te=306+Ed.+Law+Rep.+1&rs=WLW14.07&vr=2.0&rp=%2ffind%2fdefault.wl&sv=Split&fn=_top&mt=Westlaw[10/8/2014 5:53:51 AM] activism deserve some measure of protection from SLAPP or nuisance law suits. Unfortunately, the protection, often provided in the form of statutes labeled Anti–SLAPP provisions in state law, is not available in every state and is not uniform by state. And even if the states have such provisions they do not always protect public speech and activism in ways their authors and supporters envisioned. I. First, this paper will discuss the background of SLAPPs and will highlight relatively recent examples of SLAPP suits arising in educational settings. II. Second, it will consider SLAPP suits involving students, parents, and public participants as defendants. III. Next, this paper will examine SLAPPs involving coaches of sports teams and whether or not coaches should be considered public officials for the sake of SLAPP suits. IV. Finally, this paper will explain the need for legislatures and judges to craft and interpret anti–SLAPP statutes in ways that ensure that they are used for their intended purposes of protecting the speech rights of public petitioners in school settings against expensive and intimidating nuisance suits.

Complexity in parental choice of language of instruction: The case of Russian speakers in Estonia (2013)

Authors: Ferrin, Scott Ellis

Publication Type: Journal Article, Academic Journal

Publisher: Peer reviewed independent online journal

Volume: 2013

Issue: No.1

URL: http://www.journalofacademicperspectives.com/back-issues/vol-2013/no-1/

High school teachers’ perceptions of cyber bullying: Prevention and intervention strategies (2012)

Authors: Stauffer, Sterling; Heath, Melissa Ann; Coyne, Sarah Marie; Ferrin, Scott Ellis

Publication Type: Journal Article, Academic Journal

Volume: 49

Issue: 4

Page Numbers: 353-367

Abstract: click to view

Recent meta-analyses indicate that bully prevention programs produce minimal change in student behavior. This study examined 66 high school teachers’ perceptions regarding cyber bullying’s impact on students; which intervening strategies teachers would use when dealing with cyber bullying; and which prevention strategies would assist in preventing cyber bullying. Almost one fourth of teachers indicated cyber bullying does not have long lasting negative effects, and that cyber bullying “prepares students for life.” Less than half of teachers favored implementing a formal cyber bully prevention program. Teachers perceived the following strategies as most helpful in addressing cyber bullying: increasing parental involvement, warning students about consequences for cyber bullying, and increasing consequences for cyber bullying. School administrators should consider teachers’ perceptions before implementing prevention programs that target cyber bullying. Additionally, strategies should consider fostering greater teacher buy-in, thus improving intervention fidelity and creating a unified effort focused on decreasing student cyber bullying.

Rights, Religion, Regard, Contact: The Common School Ideal, a Nurturing, Safe and Effective Educational Environment for All Students (2011)

Authors: Ferrin, Scott Ellis

Publication Type: Journal Article, Academic Journal

Publisher: BYU Law School

City: Provo, UT

The Use of Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation in Educational Settings: The Surprising Case of Nguyen-Lam v. Cao and Other California Decisions (2011)

Authors: Ferrin, Scott Ellis

Publication Type: Journal Article, Academic Journal

Publisher: West

City: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Country: USA

Abstract: click to view

Two University of Denver Professors, George W. Pring and Penelope Canan, wrote a seminal article in 1989 entitled, Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation, followed by an influential book published in 1996, outlining ten years of research regarding a growing practice among certain types of plaintiffs, such as land developers, to sue citizens involved in participation in public procedures. To the professors, these lawsuits appeared often to be without merit, and their actual purpose appeared not to be to prevail at trial; but rather, to silence public speech and intimidate citizens who write letters to the editor, circulate petitions or speak out in public planning meetings. Pring and Canan define SLAPP suits as lawsuits that are based upon a citizen or citizens group’s communications intended to influence a governmental action or outcome that result in (a) a civil complaint or counterclaim (b) filed against nongovernment individuals or organizations (NGOs) on (c) a substantive issue of some public interest or social significance. The Author discusses the new and apparently growing use of Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation in educational settings, and discusses several recent anti-SLAPP cases in California. Conclusions are drawn regarding the potential dangers to unsophisticated litigants, and the potential for unintended chilling of protected public speech, especially given the American traditions surrounding involvement in school board meetings and other educational contexts, that seem to engender rather open and robust exchange by citizens on issues dearly held. Concern is raised regarding erosion of protection for citizens’ speech and written input during public processes.

2010 Issues in Tort in Educational Settings (2010)

Authors: Ferrin, Scott Ellis

Publication Type: Book, Chapter/ Section in Textbook

Publisher: Lawyers Media Press

City: NYC

Sociocultural Aspects of Russian-Speaking Parents' Choice of Language of Instruction for Their Children in Estonia: Parental Choice and Language of Instruction Policies and Practices in Estonia (2008)

Authors: Kemppainen, Raija; Ferrin, Scott Ellis; Hite, Steven Jeffrey; Hilton, Sterling Clint

Publication Type: Journal Article, Academic Journal

Publisher: University of Chicago Press, for CIES

City: Chicago

Volume: 52

Issue: 1

Page Numbers: 93-119

Abstract: click to view

Was my doctoral student. A portion of dissertation.An investigation of the rationales and characteristics of "Russian" parents in choosing between Estonian, all Russian, or bilingual educational settings for their children. This is an important laboratory of the second language acquisition theories and rationales of parents because there is open choice in Estonia at this point. Findings include that the identification of self as Russian or Estonian "culturally" is very predictive and more complicated and nuanced by earlier "Russification" practices. Parental attitudes about group identification and target culture and parent culture and economic viability interact in novel ways and are synergistically more powerful predictors than socio-linguistic theory might have predicted or accounted for.

'One should not forget One's mother tongue'--A qualitative analysis of parental choice of language-of-instruction among Russian speaking families in Estonia (2004)

Authors: Kemppainen, Raija Marketta; Ferrin, Scott Ellis; Ward, Carol J; Hite, Julie

Publication Type: Journal Article, Academic Journal

Volume: 28

Issue: 2

Page Numbers: 207-228

Abstract: click to view

Estonia provides an excellent laboratory for investigating language-of-instruction because the Russian-speaking language minority has options of education in the first language, bilingual programs, and education in the second language. The research presented here attempts to identify factors affecting parental choice of school language among Russian-speaking families in Estonia. Fifteen families were interviewed in three Estonian towns in the fall of 2001. The interviewed parents differed in their attitudes toward Russian and Estonian culture and language. The results of this study suggest that parents? choice of language-of-instruction is related to culture and language attitudes, among other factors.