Christopher Thomas

Chris Thomas 

Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy

Christopher Thomas





PO Box 117049, Gainesville, FL 32611



Dr. Christopher Thomas is an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Florida's College of Education. He received his Ph.D. in Educational Studies, Specializing in Educational Policy, and his J.D. from the Ohio State University. Before joining UF, Dr. Thomas was a practicing attorney with Frost Brown Todd LLC in Columbus, Ohio where he primarily practiced school law, representing the legal interests of public school districts. In addition to his legal practice, Dr. Thomas has a breadth of experience in education and the law including teaching high school English, interning with the U.S. Department of Education's Office of the General Counsel, and serving as a judicial extern for Judge R. Guy Cole of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Dr. Thomas's research focuses on the intersection of education law, policy, and practice, with special attention to issues of democratic governance and participation. He is the author of Reclaiming Democratic Education: Student and Teacher Activism and the Future of Education Policy available from Teachers College Press.


  • School of Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education

Research Interests

Democratic Citizenship Education, Economics of Education, Educational Studies, Law, Ethics, and Values, Leadership Development, Policy Development, Special Education


  • Ph.D. in Educational Studies, Specializing in Educational Policy, 2020 The Ohio State University; J.D., 2016
  • The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law; M.Ed. in Secondary English Education, 2012
  • The Ohio State University; B.A. in English, 2011 The Ohio State University

Activities and Honors

  • Order of the Coif; Marian Wright Edelman Award for Civic Engagement in Education, The Ohio State University

Selected Publications

Books / Book Chapters
  • Thomas, C. (2022). Reclaiming democratic education: Student and teacher activism and the future of education policy. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.; Daniel, P. T. K., & Thomas, C. (2019). Equal protection clause. In S.C. Bon, D. H. K. Nguyen, J.A. Rippner (Eds.), Contemporary issues in higher education law (4th Ed.) (pp. 395-419). Cleveland, OH: Education Law Association.
  • Thomas, C. (2022). School law: The value of legal compliance. American School Board Journal, 209(5).
  • Thomas, C. (2022, May). “Free speech as an educational value: Understanding recent developments in the law of students’ free speech rights.” Invited presenter at the Martha McCarthy Education Law & Policy Institute at Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.
  • Thomas, C. (2021, October). “Making a hard case harder: Mahanoy v. B.L. and the lack of a cohesive judicial understanding of school authority.” Presented at the 2021 Education Law Association Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX.
  • Thomas, C. (2018, March). “These boots were made for walking: Legal and ethical aspects of student protests at school and in the classroom.” Presented at the Ohio State Buckeye Teaching Showcase, Columbus, OH.