Civil Rights Education

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Athletics For Disabled Students

In what seems a surprising move to many, particularly for the Obama Administration, the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) has backed away from last year’s strong policy statement on access to...more

Transgender Issues Highlight Tensions Between Students' Rights To Liberty And Privacy

In the wake of controversy over school vouchers, fights over appropriate curriculum, and the endless battles to decide whether school funding is adequate, the nation’s public and private schools certainly have their share of...more

ADA Applies to Students with Food Allergies on University Campuses

In 2013, the Department of Justice announced a landmark settlement with Lesley University (“Lesley” or the “University”) in Cambridge, MA. Stemming from complaints about the University’s treatment of students with food...more

Transgender Students and Communal School Bathrooms: Doe V. Regional School Unit 26

How can Connecticut schools best accommodate transgender students? - While it is fair to say that this is not the sort of question that most superintendents, college administrators and board of education members would...more

Separate and Unequal

Unlike people, not all schools are created equal. Anyone who doubts that need only review the results of the Civil Rights Data Collection [“CRDC”] for the 2011-2012 school year, which were released on March 21, 2014 by...more

Attorneys’ Fees Awarded To Charter School In IDEA Action

The District Court for the District of Columbia recently issued a decision awarding attorneys’ fees to a charter school (that operates as its own local education agency), finding that the parent’s attorney filed and continued...more

Small Business Procurement and Contract Act For Postsecondary Institutions, Employment Contracts for Local Agency Executives, Sex...

KMTG will be issuing a series of updates on new legislation signed by Governor Brown. All laws became effective January 1, 2014, unless otherwise stated. Small Business Procurement and Contract Act For Postsecondary...more

Feds Revive Efforts to Regulate Seclusion and Restraint

On February 12, 2014 the United States Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions [“HELP”] Committee released the results of its investigation into the use of restraint and seclusion in schools. Entitled Dangerous Use of...more

The Road Not Taken

What is not alleged in a lawsuit can, paradoxically, sometimes serve as more of a cautionary note than what is, for its very absence brings it prominence. Such is the case with Saliba v. Five Towns College, 2014 WL 92690...more

Is An Employee Who Is Six Days out of Rehab “Disabled” Under the TCHRA?

The Texas Commission on Human Rights Act (TCHRA) provides that a “current condition of addiction” to alcohol, drugs, or controlled substances is not a covered “disability.” In Melendez v. Houston Independent School District...more

New Campus Security Laws Take Effect This Month

A key section of the comprehensive federal legislation passed last year to prevent and address violence against women on campuses nationally takes effect this month. It is critical for educational institutions to understand...more

Second Circuit Affirms Rulings In Long-Standing Suit Involving Title VII Class Claims Brought By New York City Teachers

Gulino v. The Board of Education of the New York City School District of the City of New York, No. 13-cv-1001 (2d Cir. Feb. 4, 2014): A recent decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a ruling by the lower...more

Critical Limitations Soften Blow Of Seventh Circuit Decision Voiding Indiana School’s Boys Basketball Hair Length Rule

The Seventh Circuit’s decision, which is one of the first of its kind and one of the first decisions addressing hair lengths in schools in decades, has garnered media attention and warrants a close look at hair length...more

Dear Colleague Letter Urges Districts to Abandon “Zero Tolerance” in Student Discipline Policies

The Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education (OCR) and the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice recently released a joint “Dear Colleague Letter” (DCL) providing guidance on administering...more

Dear Colleague Letter Firmly Urges Districts to Abandon “Zero Tolerance” in Student Discipline Policies

The Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education (OCR) and the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice recently released a joint “Dear Colleague Letter” (DCL) providing guidance on administering...more

OCR Clarifies Dear Colleague Letter On Students With Disabilities In Extracurricular Athletics

The U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR) recently replied to a letter from the National School Boards Association (NSBA) seeking clarification on OCR’s January 25, 2013 Dear Colleague Letter on students...more

Classified Management Employee’s Misconduct Justified School District’s Termination of Employment, Despite Protected Speech

A school district classified management employee sought to overturn his dismissal from employment, which he alleged was in retaliation for engaging in protected speech. A California court of appeal held that, given the...more

Higher Education Highlights - Winter 2014

In This Issue: - Guidance from the U.S. Department of Education on the Implications of Windsor for Title IV Programs - New law lets students “lawyer up” in student conduct hearings - Service Employee...more

Employee Theft of Employer Documents—Protected Conduct in Opposition to Discrimination or Criminal Activity?

From time to time, there is media coverage about a teacher or other public school employee who has been charged with a serious crime that occurred outside the school environment. If this employee had previous convictions or...more

OCR’s Latest Interpretation On Participation Of Disabled Students In Extracurricular Athletic Activities

On January 25, 2013, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued an important “Dear Colleague” letter. The letter was intended to clarify school districts’ legal obligations to provide students...more

OCR Issues Dear Colleague Letter To Ensure Schools’ Compliance With Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws

On January 8, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice issued a Dear Colleague Letter to assist schools in administering discipline without discrimination on the basis of race, color, or...more

Is the Joint DOJ and OCR Guidance on Discrimination in K-12 Student Discipline a Warning Shot for Colleges and Universities?

We’ve known it was coming for at least a year, and on January 8, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), in conjunction with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ),...more

7 Tips For Responding to Title IX Complaints

In 2014, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will continue to ramp up its Title IX enforcement efforts. Accordingly, universities should carefully review their anti-discrimination and anti-harassment...more

York University, Religious Accommodation, and the Absence of Bright Lines

York University caused much controversy earlier this month by agreeing that a male student was not required to meet with female class members in connection with a group project. While the male student’s reason for the request...more

What School Leaders Really Should Know About The Department Of Education’s Guidance On Discriminatory Discipline

Last week, the Department of Education issued a guidance package to help schools administer student discipline without discriminating against students on the basis of race, color, or national origin. The issue of...more

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