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Appellate Court Confirms that Convicted Felon Cannot Run for School Board Seat

On May 13, 2015, the Illinois Appellate Court’s First District held that the former Board President of an Illinois high school district’s Board of Education was ineligible to fill a vacancy on the board following his previous...more

How Does the Supreme Court’s Recent Facebook Decision Impact Schools?

In a recent decision, Elonis v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court held that in order to convict a man for alleged threats made against his wife on Facebook, the prosecutor must show some level of intent. It was not enough...more

OSERS Issues New Guidance Regarding State and Due Process Complaints

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) has issued new guidance in response to concern that some public agencies are filing due process complaints concerning the same...more

Illinois Federal Court Addresses Lawsuit by Christian Leafletter on Public School Property

In a recent decision in the Northern District of Illinois, a trial court granted summary judgment in favor of a school district in a lawsuit stemming from the arrest of a local resident who was leafleting and proselytizing...more

Illinois Court Finds Teaching the “N” Word is Not Protected by the First Amendment

Recently, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois addressed whether a teacher could be disciplined for using the word “n*gger” in a sixth grade classroom. In Brown v. Board of Education of the...more

The UNC Former Student-Athletes’ Litigation: The Defense Enters the Field

We wrote last month about the lawsuit filed against the University of North Carolina and the NCAA by former UNC student-athletes Rashanda McCants and Devon Ramsey....more

Court Finds Muslim Group Lacks Property Interest and Tosses RLUIPA Suit; Pittsfield Charter Township Wins

A federal court in Michigan has ruled against a Muslim group in its RLUIPA suit against Pittsfield Charter Township after finding that the group lacked a legally cognizable property interest to sustain its claims. To...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

Ninth Circuit Hears Oral Argument in O’Bannon v. NCAA

On March 17, 2015, a Ninth Circuit panel consisting of Chief Judge Sidley R. Thomas, Circuit Judge Jay S. Bybee and Senior U.S. District Judge Gordon J. Quist, of the Western District of Michigan heard oral argument in...more

Recent Case Reminds Schools of First Amendment and Title VII Responsibilities in Employment Context

Recently, the Northern District of Illinois issued its opinion in Wong v. Board of Education of Community Consolidated School District 15. Although the court’s decision does not address novel arguments or depart from prior...more

Landmark Tax Credit Scholarship Program Upheld by Alabama Supreme Court

On March 2 in an 8-1 decision, the Alabama Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Alabama Accountability Act of 2013 (the “Act”) in Magee et al. v. Boyd et al. The massive 222-page opinion affirmed in part, but...more

CFPB’s Claims under CFPA Survive Legal Challenges, but TILA Claim Is Time-Barred

In a civil action brought by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau involving student loans, an Indiana federal court recently granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss by ITT Educational Services, Inc. The...more

Can Public Schools Ban “I Can’t Breathe” T-Shirts?

Citing safety concerns, Fort Bragg High School, a public high school located in Mendocino County CA, decided on December 26, 2014 to ban athletes from wearing t-shirts with the slogan “I Can’t Breathe” – the words uttered by...more

The National Labor Relations Board Strikes Again – How Managerial Are Your Faculty and How Religious Is Your Institution?

In the latest example of dramatic changes to well-developed principles of federal labor law and policy, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) issued its long awaited decision in Pacific Lutheran University,...more

Whistleblower Takes Next Step in Lawsuit Against Philadelphia School District

Four years ago, Francis X. Dougherty was fired after revealing the existence of a $7.5 million no-bid security camera contract within the Philadelphia School District. Now, he has won a major victory in his whistleblower...more

Make Sure You Own the Patent You Think You Do.

The biotechnology industry has a long history of successfully licensing and litigating university technology. That trend looks to be continuing, even as other industries have taken aim at limiting patent enforcement. Ten U.S....more

Update: District Court Finds First Amendment Does Not Protect Former Guidance Counselor’s Sexually-Explicit Book

The Northern District Court of Illinois found that Rich Township High School District 227 did not violate the free speech rights of former guidance counselor and girls’ basketball coach Bryan Craig when it dismissed him based...more

Fifth Circuit Upholds the Use of Race in Admissions at the University of Texas

For a second time, the Fifth Circuit dismissed Abigail Fisher’s claim against the University of Texas at Austin (the “University”), holding that the University’s admissions policy, including the use of race as a factor,...more

Not My Brother’s Keeper: Varley v. Regional School District No. 4 and A School District’s Responsibility For “Free Speech” Claims...

When entering into contacts with vendors, school districts hope that 1) the vendor will comply with the law, and 2) in any event, the vendor will be responsible for its own employment-related disputes. In Varley v. Regional...more

Fifth Circuit Issues Important Ruling on Affirmative Action in Higher Education

Earlier this week, in Fisher v. University of Texas, a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld the constitutionality of the undergraduate admissions program at the University of Texas at...more

Second Circuit Rules New York City’s Prohibition of Religious Services in School Facilities Constitutional

Recently, in Bronx Household of Faith v. Board of Education of the City of New York[1], the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (the “Second Circuit”), in a 2-1 decision, reversed the lower court’s decision and ruled that...more

Federal Judge Upholds New York City Policy Barring Unvaccinated Students from Attending School During Periods of Disease Outbreak

On June 04, 2014, Judge William F. Kuntz II of the Eastern District of New York upheld a controversial New York City policy that prohibits unvaccinated children from attending school when a classmate becomes infected with a...more

Supreme Court Asked If State Universities Are Exempt From Claims Under the False Claims Act

A professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to determine the standard for imposing liability on state universities (and their related entities, such as hospitals and...more

Supreme Court Deals Affirmative Action Another Blow, But Impact on Colleges and Universities Likely Limited

The U.S. Supreme Court continued its decade-long interest in the role of affirmative action in the higher education admissions process, and decided to uphold a state law banning the practice. In Schuette v. Coalition to...more

California Court Rules Teacher Tenure Statutes Unconstitutional

On June 10, 2014, the trial court judge in Vergara v. State of California issued a decision striking down as unconstitutional five provisions of the California Education Code regarding public school teacher tenure procedures....more

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