Topic: News

As the Post-Janus Dust Settles….Is Direct Reimbursement Coming to Connecticut?

It’s been a little over four months since the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Janus v. AFSCME Co. 31, 585 U.S. ___ (2018).  In Janus, as you’ll recall, the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision held that agency shop provisions – which  mandate that public sector employees pay union dues or a…

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DOES TRANSGENDER BATHROOM USE CREATE A SEXUALLY HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT? OCR AND THE DECATUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS

In a worst-case scenario, the mother of a kindergarten student in the Decatur, Georgia Public Schools has claimed that a “gender fluid” student sexually assaulted her daughter while using the girls bathroom at the students’ elementary school. Decatur had implemented a policy permitting students to use the bathrooms of the gender with which they identify…

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Developments From The 2018 Session of The Connecticut General Assembly: New Laws Affecting The Schools (and Public Employers)

On August 1, 2018, our firm posted on its website a summary of relevant legislation enacted by the Connecticut General Assembly during its 2018 regular session that will impact Connecticut schools.  Among other things, the General Assembly passed bills that: (1) revise the Student Data Privacy Act; (2) address budgetary issues stemming from attempts at…

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The Focus of Pullman & Comley’s Recent Superintendents’ Forum Was School Security and Whether School Districts Should Hire Armed, School Security Personnel

In a recent article, the Washington Post estimated that since the shooting in Columbine, there has been an average of ten shootings a year in American schools.  That brings the total to 190 — and counting.  What are the solutions?  Nationwide, students have embraced gun control activism.  A retired U.S. Supreme Court justice has advocated…

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Pullman & Comley’s “Education Law Notes” Named One of The Top 30 Education Law Blogs

BRIDGEPORT, Conn.,: “Education Law Notes,” the Connecticut School Law blog published by Pullman & Comley, has been named one of the “Top 30 Education Law Blogs” in a comprehensive list published by Feedspot, the law firm announced today. Feedspot, a content reader that allows readers to view all of their favorite blogs and websites in…

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Canary in a Coal Mine: Analyzing Title IX, OCR, and On-Campus Sexual Misconduct Adjudications in Plummer v. University of Houston

It is unusual for a dissenting opinion to be more noteworthy than the majority’s holding, yet that is the case in Plummer v. University of Houston, a decision recently handed down by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.  Except for the unsavory facts upon which the decision is based and Judge…

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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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Social Media and Student Discipline – Where Are We?

The United States Supreme Court stated nearly 50 years ago that public school students do not shed their rights to free speech at the schoolhouse gate. In Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Cmty. Sch. Dist.,[1] the Court struck down suspensions to students for wearing arm bands in protest of the Vietnam war. Today, however, social…

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The Aftermath: Developments From The 2017 Regular Session of The Connecticut General Assembly Affecting Schools

The 2017 Regular Session of the Connecticut General Assembly concluded at midnight, June 7, 2017, without accomplishing its most important task (passing a budget). As such, the General Assembly will eventually have to convene a “special session.”  In the meantime, our legislature did pass several bills that will affect Connecticut schools.  Among other things, the…

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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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