Topic: Board of Education

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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And who is going to pay for it? The State’s new draft guidelines for educating expelled students

In 2016, Connecticut’s General Assembly passed Public Act 16-147: AN ACT CONCERNING THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE JUVENILE JUSTICE POLICY AND OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE.  This Act made several changes to school discipline laws which were to take effect on August 15, 2017.  Most dramatically, the Act significantly increased the amount of instruction to be delivered to expelled…

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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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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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Pullman & Comley’s Inaugural Statewide Education Law Conference (February 27, 2015)

Pullman & Comley’s School Law Practice is pleased to invite you to our first annual statewide seminar, “Key Trends in Education Law for 2015: What You Need to Know.” This half-day program will feature developments in the Freedom of Information Act, trends in collective bargaining, legal Issues involving student “sexting” and related misconduct, bullying and…

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Is the CHRO Expanding its Reach into Schools and Police Actions?

I recently attended a meeting where Charles Krich, the Principal Attorney for the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (“CHRO”), spoke about the future of the agency.  Attorney Krich stated that the agency is seeking to become a more active “civil rights agency” and is expanding its reach beyond the landlord-tenant and employer-employee relationships…

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When a Meeting is Not a Meeting, at Least According to the FOIC

Most public entities are now intimately familiar with the long reach of the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) into the conduct of agency meetings.  A recent case from the Freedom of Information Commission (“FOIC”) reminds us that whether a “meeting” that has occurred must comply with the FOIA, is more than just an existential question,…

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Student Injury Case: Did the Governmental Immunity Defense Just Get Weaker?

Predictable horseplay and a metal locker with an exposed, jagged and rusty edge may be enough evidence for a jury to conclude that school officials had a “clear and unequivocal duty to act immediately to prevent harm” to students. This is what the Connecticut Supreme Court has decided in the recent, precedent-setting decision of Haynes…

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Warning-Your E-mail Just Became a Meeting: Mauer v. Member, Board of Education, Regional School District No. 1 and The Dangers of Using The “Send”, “Reply“ and (Especially) “Reply All” Buttons

Often times, I will warn school board members against the use of e-mail to conduct board business.  My primary concern is that such e-mails could be deemed to constitute an illegal un-noticed/non-public meeting, in violation of the Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”].  A recent decision of the Freedom of Information Commission [“FOIC”] further highlights this…

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Bridgeport Board of Education v. NAEG, Local RI-200: What is the Appropriate Punishment for Actual and Perceived Threats in the Workplace?

We have all been emotionally touched by the tragedies in Columbine and Sandy Hook, not to mention workplace shootings such as those at Hartford Distributors and the Connecticut Lottery.  In that context, employers (and especially school administrators) have been ever mindful of warning signs of potential violence.  However, these same actors must counterbalance the need…

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