Author: Michael P. McKeon

Not NORML: Blunt Speech in Gerlich v. Leath

A recent decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit serves as a cautionary reminder that once an educational institution creates a limited public forum for speech, it cannot then pick and choose which speech it will permit. The Eighth Circuit’s decision in Gerlich v Leath arose from Iowa State University’s attempt…

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Rebel Without A Stall: Title IX, Transgender Student Rights and Whitaker v. Kenosha

When the Trump Administration short-circuited the United States Supreme Court’s review of Gloucester v. G.G., in which the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit had held that Title IX’s protections extend to transgender students, it seemed that transgender students’ rights were on life support.  Like Jarvis Lorry in Charles Dickens’ Tale of…

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Check Please: OCR’s Future in the Wake of Proposed Budget Cuts

Published reports indicate that President Trump’s proposed budget includes what is approximately a fifty percent reduction in the prior fiscal year’s funding for the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights [“OCR”]. OCR is charged with responsibility for investigating student discrimination claims in public school districts as well as in private schools, colleges,…

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Flushed: Supreme Court Vacates Fourth Circuit’s Title IX Transgender Bathroom Decision in Gloucester County v. G.G.

In a not particularly surprising development, on March 6, 2017, the United States Supreme Court vacated the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit’s judgment in the controversial case of Gloucester County School Board v. G.G. and remanded it to the Fourth Circuit for further consideration. Click here to read the order.  The…

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Title IX and Due Process: University Enrollment as Property Interest in DOE v. ALGER

Tuition-wise, public universities have long been considered a better option than private schools, and in Doe v. Alger, a federal court in Virginia held that public university tuition may bring an additional bonus, that being a constitutionally protected property interest in continued enrollment.  In Doe, the court held that the plaintiff student’s payment of tuition…

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Making Different Choices: Navigating University Grievance Procedures Under Title IX in MOORE v. TEMPLE UNIVERSITY

A recent decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Moore v. Temple University serves as a cautionary lesson for those seeking to pursue an action under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.  More specifically, the Third Circuit affirmed the trial court’s entry of summary judgment in favor…

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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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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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Pinning It Down: Section 504 and Reasonable Accommodations in Kempf V. The Michigan High School Athletic Association

Less than two weeks after a deaf high school wrestler filed suit against Michigan’s governing body for interscholastic athletics, the parties voluntarily entered into a December 11, 2015 Consent Decree, thereby resolving Ellis Kempf v The Michigan High School Athletic Association. In his lawsuit, the wrestler, Ellis Kempf, alleged that the Association had, in part,…

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Testing, One, Two…. The United States Department of Education’s New Plan For Standardized Testing

This article was originally published in the December 2015 issue of the CABE Journal. Dramatically reversing its prior position on standardized testing, the federal government has concluded that perhaps it has been subjecting public school students to too much of it. On October 24, 2015, the United States Department of Education, or “DOE,” issued a…

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