Trump and Transgender Student Rights — An Early Decision For The President-Elect In Gloucester County School Board v. G.G.?

Well here we are. We will soon have a new president.  As we move away from the “hows” and “whys” of the election and on to the “whats” of President-Elect Trump’s impending presidency there are a wide-number of education law issues to consider.  For instance, the “School Choice And Education Opportunity Act” – a major…

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Pullman & Comley’s School Law Practice Hosts Fall Special Education Legal Issues Forum

Attorneys Michael P. McKeon, Mark J. Sommaruga and Melinda B. Kaufmann of Pullman & Comley’s School Law Practice hosted the firm’s semi-annual Special Education Legal Issues Forum on October 28, 2016, at The Hartford Club.  This dynamic program is designed specifically for school district special education leaders and professionals and covers current legal developments affecting this…

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I Meant What I Said: Transgender Student Rights In Connecticut In The Face Of The Latest Federal Court Developments

As we have previously written, the United States Departments of Education and Justice issued joint guidance for school districts regarding transgender students via a May 13, 2016 “Dear Colleague Letter.” This guidance was based on their interpretation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which is a federal law prohibiting gender-based discrimination in…

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Pullman & Comley’s 2016-17 Superintendents’ Legal Issues Forum – Session One Recap

Pullman & Comley’s 2016-17 Superintendents’ Legal Issues Forum got off to a great start with a thought provoking presentation by Mark Sommaruga and Zach Schurin regarding a summary of 2016 Connecticut legislative enactments affecting public schools. The three Public Acts that received the most attention were: (1)  Public Act 16-67 regarding employee background checks; (2) …

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The Aftermath Of The CCJEF Ruling: What Is Next For Public Education In Connecticut?

On September 7, 2016, Superior Court Judge Thomas G. Moukawsher issued a lengthy decision in Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding v. Rell.  As its name would suggest, this case involved a challenge to inequities in educational funding in the State of Connecticut. But the court’s ruling has led to far broader consequences (and…

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Get Ready for the Changing Landscape of Expulsions

The legislature, this year, put in place significant changes relative to the expulsion of students which will supposedly go into effect on August 15, 2017. Assuming that the legislature leaves intact these changes during the 2017 legislative session, Districts will need to update their policies and programs in advance of the 2017-2018 school year. Expulsion…

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Half-Baked: Phillips Exeter, Sexual Assault, And A Recipe For Disaster

Considered one of the country’s most elite prep schools, Phillips Exeter Academy has recently joined the queue of prestigious private schools who have been accused of having ignored, suppressed, or minimized claims of sexual assault. A recent investigation by The Boston Globe’s Spotlight Team focused particular attention on a case in which a female student…

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Don’t Picture This: The FOIA And The Use Of Smartphones As A Substitute For Paying For Copies

Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”] generally permits public agencies to charge for copies (usually, $0.50/page) when complying with FOIA requests. One exception to this fee requirement is that an individual may engage in “self-help” and copy a public record through the use of a “hand-held scanner”. Connecticut General Statutes §1-212(g).  A “hand held scanner”…

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Foliage, Frost, Frozen Ponds and The FOIA (Part Three): Trying To Do The Right Thing Is A Good Thing Under The FOIA

In our latest posting on the Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”], we confirm that the Freedom of Information Commission [“FOIC”] has a heart, and may sometimes forgive technical non-compliance by public agencies and their employees. Honesty and good faith = highly moral and good FOIA strategy I often preach that honesty, common sense and an…

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Foliage, Frost, Frozen Ponds And The FOIA (Part Two): Can You See My Notes (And Calendar)?

For those who still cannot get enough after my latest post on the Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”], here are more nuggets from the Freedom of Information Commission [“FOIC”]. Today, we focus on written notes and calendar entries. When are personal notes FOIA-able? Generally, but not always, one’s own personal notes may be exempt from…

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