Author: Melinda Kaufmann

CALIFORNIA COURT RULES DISTRICT CANNOT PROHIBIT STUDENTS FROM KNEELING DURING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM AT SCHOOL SPORTING EVENTS

In what appears to be the first decision on this issue in the country, a federal court in California granted a high school athlete’s request for an injunction overturning his high school’s prohibition against athletes kneeling during the national anthem. This issue, originally only appearing in the realm of professional athletics, has now trickled down…

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Does Providing A Parent With The Surveillance Video Of A School Incident And/Or Student Statements About The Incident That Involved Multiple Students Violate FERPA?

The United States Department of Education’s Office of the Chief Privacy Officer recently issued a guidance letter to a school district indicating that while surveillance video of a hazing incident that involved numerous perpetrators, victims and bystanders was considered an educational record of all students on the video, the school district must provide the parents…

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THE LATEST ON ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR EXPELLED STUDENTS: THE GOOD, THE NOT SO GOOD, THE UNKNOWN, AND “FINAL” THOUGHTS.

We have previously written in these pages about the development of “guidelines” or “standards” by the State Board of Education for the provision of educational opportunities for expelled students.  Click here to read Part 1 & Part 2.  Having had just a (teeny) little bit of time to ponder the final version of these guidelines, which were…

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A NEW YEAR AND NEW FINAL STANDARDS FOR EXPULSIONS AND ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION

The Connecticut State Department of Education this morning adopted new standards for expulsions and alternative education. As we discussed back in September (click here to read Part 1 & Part 2), pursuant to Public Act 17-220 the State Department of Education was tasked with developing standards for alternative education opportunities for expelled students that address the kind…

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The United States Department of Education Issues Guidance on the Meaning of FAPE

On December 7, 2017, the United States Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services [“OSERS”] issued guidance for schools on determining whether a special education program is designed to provide a student with a free appropriate public education [“FAPE”] based on the United States Supreme Court decision in Endrew F.  The guidance…

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ENDREW F. IN THE SECOND CIRCUIT – HOW IS THE COURT APPLYING THE NEW STANDARD

Following the United States Supreme Court’s decision of earlier this year in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court, have typically remanded special education cases pertaining to whether a student received a free appropriate education [“FAPE”] back to the lower courts for further review.  In contrast, the…

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STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION PROVIDES PROPOSED FINAL DRAFT OF GUIDELINES FOR EXPULSIONS AND ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION (Part 2)

“And thirdly, the code is more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules …” Captain Barbosa in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl On September 5, 2017, the State Board of Education’s Legislative and Policy Development Committee presented a “final draft” of “Guidelines for Alternative Learning Environments.” The Guidelines, however, as…

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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL COACH DOES NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO PRAY ON THE 50 YARD LINE AFTER THE GAME – LESSONS FROM THE NINTH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS

Does a school district violate the First Amendment when it prohibits a football coach from kneeling on the fifty yard line and praying with students and members of the public at the end of each high school football game? The Ninth Circuit recently answered this question with a resounding “no” in Kennedy v. Bremerton School…

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When Can Schools Ban a Parent or a Third Party from School Property and School Events?

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently addressed the issue of whether a school district can ban a parent from school property during the school day and/or during on-site sporting events based on the parent’s prior conduct.  The Court found that a principal had the right to ban an unruly parent from school property during the…

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Make Sure Your Mandatory Reporting Policies And Trainings Are Up To Date

Now that summer is half-way over, it’s time to make sure that your district is on track to be compliant at the start of the new school year with up-to-date policies on mandated reporting and by ensuring that you have planned for the required training on mandatory reporting and on sexual abuse and assault awareness…

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