Topic: Teachers

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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Public Act 16-67 – Are Your Background-Check Practices Compliant?

It’s been almost exactly a year since Public Act 16-67 – officially entitled “An Act Concerning the Disclosure of Certain Education Personnel Records, Criminal Penalties for Threatening in Educational Settings and the Exclusion of a Minor’s Name from Summary Process Complaints” was signed into law by Governor Malloy. The Act, more commonly known as the…

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CHRO – A New Horizon For Students With Disabilities?

As my colleague Rachel Ginsburg aptly foretold, Connecticut’s Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities [“CHRO”] has indicated an interest in involving itself with discrimination claims concerning the schools. A recent case shows how CHRO can handle (or mishandle) matters that have previously been deemed to be the exclusive province of special education “due process” hearing…

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Latest Developments from the Connecticut General Assembly: The Education Committee Begins to Speak

The General Assembly’s Education Committee is beginning the process of approving bills.   The following is a listing (with a brief description) of the proposed bills that Education Committee voted favorably on and advanced out of committee at its March 8, 2017 meeting: H.B. No. 7157 AN ACT CONCERNING ONLINE AND BLENDED EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS…

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Governor Malloy Issues Executive Order On Transgender Students’ Use of Bathrooms in Public Schools

On Wednesday, President Trump’s administration decided to rescind, pending further review, the Obama administration’s federal guidance that requires transgender students receive access to the restrooms and locker rooms of their chosen gender identity. In response, Governor Malloy yesterday issued his own Executive Order that essentially renders the President’s action void in Connecticut and requires Connecticut’s…

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A Cadillac, A Serviceable Chevrolet Or Something In Between: The Supreme Court Is Poised To Redefine The Standard Of Education That Must Be Provided To Special Education Students

On January 11, 2017, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, a case likely to change the landscape of special education by redefining the level of education that is owed special education students under the IDEIA. The case involves an autistic child who is referred to…

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Homework for 2017 – Making Sure Your District’s Wellness Policy is Up to Date!

Has your district finished its 2016 homework?  Is the date June 30, 2017, circled on your calendar?  If not, maybe it should be because June 30, 2017, is the deadline by which all local educational agencies that participate in the National School Lunch Program (“NSLP”) and School Breakfast Program (“SBP”) need to comply with expanded…

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OSEP Speaks Again: Ensure Your Evaluations Address All Areas of Potential Concern

On October 22, 2016, the US Department of Education’s  Office of Special Education Programs (“OSEP”), via its latest informal guidance/opinion letter (“Letter to Carroll”), once again addressed whether, once a school district’s evaluation is complete and the parents communicate a desire for a child to be assessed in an area in which they have not previously…

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