The Curious Life of in Loco Parentis at American Universities
Higher Education in Review, Vol. 8, pp. 65-90, 2011
29 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2011
Date Written: Spring 2011
In this article I trace the legal history, through court opinions, of in loco parentis (Latin for “in the place of the parent”) as applied to the relationship between American universities and their students. I demonstrate that until the 1960s, the in loco parentis doctrine allowed universities to exercise great discretion in developing the “character” of their students without respect to their students’ constitutional rights. The demise of this doctrine forced courts, and universities themselves, to redefine the relationship of universities with their students in important ways.
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