Civil Rights Education Civil Procedure

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Are You Training Your Teachers on Trauma-Informed Practices?

The Compton Unified School District in California is currently defending itself in a unique federal court lawsuit brought by students who allege that by failing to properly address the symptoms of complex, personal trauma...more

Second Circuit Holds District Denied FAPE by Refusing to Discuss Bullying at IEP Meeting

On January 20, 2016, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued its decision in T.K. v. New York City Dep’t of Educ., — F.3d —, 2016 WL 229842 (2d Cir. Jan. 20, 2016), an important decision regarding the role of a...more

Can a Massachusetts Religious School Refuse to Employ a Worker in a Same-Sex Marriage?

In Barrett v. Fontbonne Academy, the Massachusetts Superior Court curtailed various statutory and constitutional defenses available to an employer affiliated with a religious institution that faces discrimination claims under...more

Interest Groups Support NCAA’s Anti-Felon Policy on Appeal

Recently, three interest groups filed an amicus brief to support the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (“NCAA”) policy that bars anyone who has been convicted of a felony from coaching in NCAA-certified high school...more

“Cat’s Paw” Liability in Faculty Decision-Making

Children’s fables are often an overlooked source of wisdom. Take for example Aesop’s 17th century fable “The Monkey and the Cat.” As the story goes, a cat and monkey lived in the same house as pets. The monkey, desiring...more

Six States File Amicus Brief in Transgender Teen’s Appeal to Use Boys’ Bathroom

Recently, the South Carolina State Attorney General filed an amicus brief on behalf of six states in support of a school board’s restroom policy that prohibits a transgender teen from using the boys’ restroom....more

College Basketball Players Can Bring Sexual Orientation Claim Under Federal Law, And Why Employers Should Pay Attention

In the months since the EEOC’s landmark ruling in Baldwin v Foxx, the looming question has been: Would federal courts adopt the Commission’s position that claims of sexual orientation discrimination were cognizable under...more

A New Challenge to Anti-Nepotism Rules Based on Marital Status Discrimination

In a newly filed lawsuit that has garnered some publicity, a Shelton high school teacher is suing the Shelton Public Schools over the imposition of an anti-nepotism rule which she claims constitutes marital status...more

Out of Bounds: Title IX, Off-Campus Conduct, and Yeasin V. University of Kansas

The Kansas Court of Appeals’ decision in Yeasin v. University of Kansas, stands for the proposition that educational institutions must act with both precision and foresight when delineating their disciplinary authority. Of...more

Court Finds School District May Have Violated Disabled Student’s Civil Rights

In T.B., et al. v. San Diego Unified School District (No. 12-56060, Amended 11/19/15), the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that a reasonable jury could find the San Diego Unified School District...more

More Lawsuits This Holiday Season?

Employers are acutely aware of the legal pitfalls that come with the holiday season. Office parties and alcohol are a potent recipe for bad judgment, and that bad judgment leads to harassment charges and lawsuits. Another...more

Making Bad Choices: Title IX, Title VII and Ludlow V. Northwestern University

A prior post considered the case of Ha v. Northwestern University, in which the plaintiff claimed that Northwestern had violated Title IX by insufficiently disciplining one of its professors, Peter Ludlow, despite concluding...more

What Should Employers Expect During The New Supreme Court Term?

The first Monday in October is the traditional first day of a new U.S. Supreme Court term.  As always, the 2015-16 term will have several cases that are of particular interest to the nation’s employers.  Here is a review of...more

Special Education Student Succeeds In Bid For Fees Under Individuals With Disabilities Education Act

In T.B. v. San Diego United School District, 2015 DJDAR 8756, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decided a fee case arising under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA)....more

Alert: DOJ Puts Pressure on Schools and Ed Techs to Provide Accessible Educational Technology

In our last alert on the growing interaction between ed tech and disability law, we noted that the Department of Justice ("DOJ") appears to be moving to extend the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") to...more

Seventh Circuit Again Limits Application Of The Wal-Mart Ruling And Certifies Chicago Teachers’ Discrimination Claims

In Chicago Teachers Union, Local No. 1, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO v. Bd. of Educ. of the City of Chicago, Case No. 14-2843 (7th Cir. Aug. 7, 2015), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed a...more

Taking The “Due” Out of Due Process – OSERS and Compliance Complaints

During a brief altercation in Dashiell Hammett’s classic novel, The Maltese Falcon, the protagonist, Sam Spade, warns one of his antagonists that “when you’re slapped, you’ll take it and like it.” That is much the same...more

Deliberate Indifference to Bullying Can Amount to Massive Liability – Lessons from the Pine Bush Settlement

$4.48 million. That’s how much the Pine Bush School District in central-New York just agreed to pay to settle a lawsuit brought by a group of current and former students who alleged that school administrators were...more

Two Recent Decisions Provide Guidance on How School Districts Should Respond to Allegations of Sexual Assault

Two recent decisions from our neighbors in Indiana and Michigan provide guidance on what courts may expect from school districts responding to allegations of sexual assault. Pursuant to Title IX of the Education Amendments of...more

Laid-Off Chicago Teachers Clear Class Certification Hurdles

In 2011, the Board of Education of the City of Chicago laid off over 1,400 teachers and paraprofessionals, all of whom belonged to the same union. The Board chose which schools would be subject to layoffs and it was then up...more

Alert: Websites as Places of Public Accommodation: DOJ Settlement May Extend Accessibility Requirements to Virtual Space

Recent headlines around a high-profile settlement between the US Department of Justice and edX, Inc., one of the largest and earliest distributors of MOOCs, have once again highlighted the importance of understanding the...more

Federal Government Files ‘Statement of Interest’ In Gender-Identity Case

In recent years, there have been increasing concerns involving discrimination faced by the transgender community. Not surprisingly, these concerns have centered on the challenges faced by gender non-conforming students and...more

Parents Can Litigate IDEA Claims When Adult Students Have Delegated Education Rights

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, recently held that even where a disabled student has reached the age of majority under state law, his parents may litigate...more

Vassar College Prevails in Respondent’s Title IX Lawsuit

A judge in the Southern District of New York recently granted summary judgment to Vassar College in a case brought by a former student accused of sexual assault. The plaintiff alleged that Vassar violated Title IX and various...more

Federal Court Dismisses Accused Student’s Title IX Lawsuit Against Vassar College

Last week, a federal judge in New York (Abrams, J.) dismissed an accused student’s lawsuit against Vassar College alleging that the institution discriminated against him by failing to conduct an equitable investigation into a...more

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