Assistant Professor publishes two book chapters and gives three presentations in winter 2016-17; additional article set to publish spring 2017

brett geier profile photoDr. Brett Geier, assistant professor of educational leadership in K-12 leadership, published two book chapters and gave three presentations during the winter of 2016-17 and has an additional article set to publish in May 2017.

In November of 2016, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership in K-12 Leadership, Dr. Geier presented his research along with his colleague, Dr. Annie Blankenship (University of Southern Mississippi) entitled Praying for Touchdown: Contemporary Law and Legislation for Prayer in Public Schools at the annual Education Law Association in Orlando, Florida. This research centered around the current trend of coaches drawing attention to themselves by using the athletic field or court as a stage by which he or she prays. This presentation addressed the legal history of prayer in public schools, current cases that are occurring in the United States and legislation that has been or may be introduced to support prayer in public schools. This paper has subsequently been accepted by the First Amendment Law Review (University of North Carolina) for a May publication.

Dr. Geier published two chapters in the book "Religion and Law in Public Schools". This book includes many of the most prominent scholars in the area of educational law. Dr. Geier’s work addresses the challenging task for public school principals to balance the Free Exercise rights of individual students with the proscriptions of the Establishment Clause outlined in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The first chapter is a legal analysis that covers the history of the Religion Clauses, compulsory education, curricular issues, student rights to practice religion in public schools and the use of facilities for religious activities. The second chapter in the book is a personal reflection on what the Trump Administration will mean for religion and its influence in public schools.

In February of 2017, Dr. Geier presented at two sessions of the National Education Finance Academy’s annual conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. One presentation was titled "Michigan’s public educator retirement systems – on the road to bankruptcy: A legal analysis of Michigan": a legal analysis of the recent decision regarding Michigan’s legislative change to public school educators’ retirement health care. He also presented an update on Michigan’s funding structure for K-12 and higher education for the next academic and fiscal year.