Connecticut Federal District Court Holds There Is No Fundamental Constitutional Right To A Minimally Adequate Education

In a long-standing effort to desegregate Connecticut’s schools, the State has created a myriad of educational options for families including inter-district magnet schools, charter schools and the open choice program that allow students in one district to attend open seats in schools in other districts. There are often long waiting lists for these schools and…

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United States Department Of Education Issues Letter Guidance Regarding Private Evaluator’s Access To Classrooms For Student Observation

Once again, the Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (“OSERS”) has weighed in on the rights of school districts to limit outside evaluators from accessing school classrooms. The most recent guidance addresses the issue of whether a public agency may limit the length of time an independent evaluator hired by 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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TITLE IX STUDENT DISCIPLINARY CODES DEEMED CONTRACTS IN JOHN DOE V. THE GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

Words are not written in a vacuum, and they can bind the party that wrote them, regardless of whether that was the author’s intent. That was the lesson The George Washington University [“GW” or “University”] recently learned in John Doe v. The George Washington University, in which the United States District Court for the District…

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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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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 U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME on “agency” or “service” fees for non-union members: What public sector employers must (immediately) know

As was discussed in our prior blog post and alert, the U.S. Supreme Court in Janus v. AFSCME,  585 U.S. ____ (June 27, 2018) just issued a ground breaking decision with respect to the collection of agency fees from non-union members, holding that the involuntary withholding of such monies violates the First Amendment “free speech”…

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BREAKING….SUPREME COURT ISSUES DECISION IN JANUS V. AFSCME CO. 31 – AGENCY SHOP DEEMED UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND AGENCY FEES MAY NOT BE CONTINUALLY DEDUCTED WITHOUT AFFIRMATIVE EMPLOYEE CONSENT

The wait is over. For better or worse, this morning the United States Supreme Court issued what may well prove to be the most important public-sector labor law decision of the last 50 years.  By a 5-4 majority the Supreme Court’s conservatives in an opinion authored by Justice Alito have held in Janus v. AFSCME…

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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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