Topic: U.S. Department of Education

Are the Records of School Resource Officers or School Security Officers Considered School Records Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”)?

With respect to FERPA and its requirements regarding the disclosure of student records and personally identifiable student information, there are different rules in place for “school security” officials that are based upon their affiliation. Why is it important to determine who a school district’s law enforcement unit is (or if it even has a law…

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HEALTH AND SAFETY EXCEPTION TO FERPA’S CONFIDENTIALITY REQUIREMENTS

In this day and age where, sadly, tragedies have struck numerous schools across the country, the question of when schools are allowed to share personally identifiable student information with law enforcement frequently arises. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) allows schools to share education records when the disclosure is necessary to protect the…

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CROSS-EXAMINATION IN TITLE IX DISCIPLINARY HEARINGS DEEMED CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT IN DOE V. BAUM

In an extremely important decision for students accused of sexual misconduct, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently held in John Doe v. David H. Baum, et al. that when a Title IX student disciplinary proceeding comes down to a credibility determination, the accused student has a constitutional right under the…

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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 will be presenting at the firm’s semi-annual Special Education Legal Issues Forum on October 27, 2017 (registration and breakfast 7:30 AM – 8:00 AM; program 8:00 AM- 12:00 PM) at the offices of the Connecticut Association of Schools…

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CLEAR AND CONVINCING: DOE V. JACKSON, DEVOS, AND THE FUTURE OF CAMPUS SEXUAL MISCONDUCT INVESTIGATIONS

  On September 7, 2017, Betsy DeVos, the Secretary of Education, announced that the United States Department of Education intended to revisit the “Dear Colleague” letter that the Department’s Office for Civil Rights, or “OCR,” issued on April 4, 2011. Although over the years OCR has issued a number of these often draconian Dear Colleague…

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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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Who is Considered A Parent For Purposes of Accessing School Records?

Under state and federal law, a parent generally has the right to access his/her child’s educational records. The question is, who is considered a “parent” in under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”).  As the definition of “family” changes and broadens, it is important for schools to know who has the right to…

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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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A Kindergarten Student and Her Dog Named Wonder: What Rights Do Students Have To Service Animals In The Classroom?

What are the parameters for requiring schools to accommodate students’ service animals in the classroom? The United States Supreme Court recently turned prior thinking on this issue on its head, finding that even though a student does not need the service animal in order to receive a “free appropriate public education” as required by federal…

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