Impact of judicial intervention on public education in the United States Virgin Islands, 1970--1992

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Leadership

First Committee Member

Harry C. Mallios, Committee Chair


The purpose of this study was to determine the extent and impact of judicial intervention on public education in the U.S. Virgin Islands from 1970 to 1992. The following questions guided the study: (1) What court cases on education have been recorded in the U.S. Virgin Islands? (2) What types of cases were heard against the Department of Education (DOE)? (3) Which court decisions made an impact on the operation of the Virgin Islands educational system? (4) How did these court decisions impact public education in the territory? (5) What measures were taken by the DOE or the Government of the Virgin Islands to carry out judicial mandates? (6) What problems were encountered by the department/government in carrying out the court decisions? (7) What court cases were won/lost by the department/government? What reasons contributed to the negative decisions? Were the decisions appealed? Why/why not? (8) What recommendations can be made to prevent or minimize the occurrence of suits against the U.S. Virgin Islands educational system in general and educators in particular? (9) What might be the trend of judicial intervention in education in the coming years in the Virgin Islands?Data were gathered from the local court files, newspapers, and the Planning, Research, and Evaluation (PRE) office of the Virgin Islands DOE. Twenty-six (26) local court cases were identified. All cases were presented in the following manner: name of court case, background, charges and arguments, and decision.Analyses were done on the court cases and their impact on public education. Analysis showed that many of the cases were initiated by students and public school employees. Many cases were tried by the Territorial Courts and the U.S. District Courts with few cases appealed to the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals.Analysis of the impact revealed that 12 court cases affected the operation of the government and the DOE in the following areas: budget, personnel, policy, delivery of services, and governance.


Law; Education, Administration

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