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Legal Memo: Doe v. Albany Unified School District (2010)

Analysis and Implications Regarding Enforcement of Physical Education for Obesity Prevention Advocates

Legal Memo
Child Care & Schools
Food & Beverages

The parent of a student at a California elementary school filed a lawsuit against the school district, board of education, and state department of education, alleging that the school was not providing 200 minutes of physical education every ten school days required by the California Education Code. A trial court dismissed the suit, but an appellate court reversed the dismissal and sent the case back to the trial court.

While the full impact of this case remains to be seen, it has established that: (1) California’s physical education standards are mandatory; (2) schools are on notice that they can be sued for not meeting these mandatory standards; and (3) strategies like litigation and the threat of litigation, along with coalition-building and policy and legal advocacy outside the courts, can be used to hold schools accountable for failing to provide quality physical education.

This memo provides an analysis of the case and its implications, along with additional resources.