Education Civil Rights

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Trump Administration Withdraws Prior Department of Education Interpretations Regarding Title IX Protections Afforded to...

Seyfarth Synopsis: The U.S. Departments of Justice and Education jointly issued a “Dear Colleague” letter yesterday withdrawing and rescinding the Obama Administration’s prior guidance letters which instructed schools that...more

Trump Administration Sending Mixed Signals about Support of LGBT of Rights

In addition to issues involving the environment, immigration, and national security, the Trump Administration has been in the headlines recently for its stance on matters impacting the LGBT community....more

Trump Administration Rescinds Guidance on Title IX and Transgender Students

On February 22, 2017, the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice published a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) rescinding previous guidance that had sought to protect transgender students' rights. This rolling back of guidance...more

Trump Administration Withdraws Transgender Guidance

On February 22, 2017, one day before briefs were submitted to the Supreme Court in a case involving a transgender student in Pennsylvania, the Trump Administration, through the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department...more

Trump Administration Rescinds Guidance on Transgender Rights under Title IX

The Trump Administration has announced that the Department of Education (DOE) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) rescinded the Obama Administration’s May 2016 Dear Colleague Letter directing that schools “treat a student’s...more

With Supreme Court Review Looming, Feds Issue Immediate Withdrawal of Previous Title IX Guidance

Following the recent confirmations of Secretary of Education Elizabeth Devos and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the new Trump administration has moved quickly to withdraw prior guidance concerning discrimination of...more

Wonder the Goldendoodle Service Dog Isn’t the Question, Exhaustion Is

A U.S. Supreme Court decision handed down Wednesday goes much further than whether a Michigan kindergartener can bring Wonder, her goldendoodle service dog, to school or not. The Court determined the family of the...more

U.S. Departments of Justice and Education Withdraw Federal Transgender Student Guidance

On February 22, 2017, the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education withdrew guidance for educational institutions, issued in 2015 and 2016, that took the position that the prohibitions in Title IX of the Education Amendments...more

Of Public Schools and Private Employers: Trump Reverses Direction on Male, Female and Gender Neutral Restrooms

Employers are caught, once again, between agency pronouncements and White House actions. While President Trump commented on the campaign trail that transgender people should “use the bathroom they feel is appropriate,” he...more

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy Instructs Connecticut Public Schools to Follow Withdrawn Federal Guidance regarding Transgender...

Yesterday, in response to the withdrawal of federal guidance relating to the rights of transgender students, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy instructed Connecticut public schools to continue to follow the withdrawn...more

Trump Administration Rescinds Federal Guidance on Transgender Bathroom Use

On February 22, the Trump administration issued a two-page letter to schools withdrawing guidance that had previously been issued by the Obama administration regarding transgender students’ use of rest rooms and locker...more

Title IX and Due Process: University Enrollment as Property Interest in DOE v. ALGER

Tuition-wise, public universities have long been considered a better option than private schools, and in Doe v. Alger, a federal court in Virginia held that public university tuition may bring an additional bonus, that being...more

Supreme Court Rules That Parents Need Not Exhaust IDEA Due Process Procedures for Non-FAPE Disability Discrimination Claims

On February 22, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its opinion in Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools, No. 15-487 (2017), which addressed the issue of when a parent who brings a claim against a school district...more

Supreme Court Holds IDEA Exhaustion Required When Crux of Complaint Is a Denial of FAPE

The Supreme Court issued its opinion in Fry v. Napoleon yesterday. The case asked the court to interpret the IDEA provision stating that the Act does not limit the rights or remedies available under the Americans with...more

Administration Withdraws Transgender Guidance While Considering Legal Issues

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Education (DOE) jointly issued a statement rescinding the guidance on transgender students’ rights under Title IX issued to school districts nationwide in May. The prior...more

Trump Administration Withdraws Motion Seeking to Limit Court's Stay of Obama's Transgender Bathroom Guidance in Public Schools

There has been much speculation about the Trump administration’s position with respect to LGBTQ rights. We may now have our first glimpse. Just days after Jeff Sessions was confirmed as Attorney General, the government has...more

Trump DOJ Drops Obama Administration’s Transgender Bathroom Fight

Last week, the Justice Department withdrew the pending legal challenge that had sought to reverse the federal court decision blocking the implementation of the Obama administration’s transgender bathroom policy for public...more

DeVos Confirmed, Oral Arguments Set in Gloucester County, and Congress Introduces Education Legislation

Last week, the United States Senate voted to confirm Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. DeVos’ confirmation hearings were contentious, as telephone switchboards in Congress were flooded with constituent calls opposing her...more

Title IX Implications for Higher Education Institutions Over Peer Gender-Based Harassment

Many higher education institutions are well-versed in Title IX compliance and litigation issues as they relate to gender discrimination claims on account of university conduct, or claims arising out of sexual assaults on...more

How Are You Handling Parents Who Might Not Speak English?

A recent Philadelphia court decision is a welcome reminder for Barley Snyder client school districts to know what is required of them when it comes to dealing with families where the parents or guardians of a student do not...more

New Administration Signals Change on Support of Transgender Guidance

On Friday, the Trump administration signaled that it will not defend the guidance given by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Education (DOE) last May on transgender students’ rights under Title IX of the...more

Title IX Update: February 2017 - Recent Title IX Developments

Elmira College – December 2016 OCR recently released a Resolution Letter and Resolution Agreement in relation to a complaint filed with OCR against Elmira College. While noting in its Press Release that “Elmira College...more

Making Different Choices: Navigating University Grievance Procedures Under Title IX in MOORE v. TEMPLE UNIVERSITY

A recent decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Moore v. Temple University serves as a cautionary lesson for those seeking to pursue an action under Title IX of the Education Amendments of...more

U.S. Supreme Court to consider transgender restroom lawsuit

Society’s view of gender has evolved significantly since then. The rigid dichotomy of a two-gender world view is frequently challenged and, in some cases, rejected outright. As society’s views on gender morph, the law is...more

Retired Teacher Awarded Post-Retirement Benefits For Same-Sex Spouse

In Re: Souderton Area Education Association and Souderton Area School District, Arbitration Award of August 7, 2016 (Arbitrator Joan Parker). Under Pennsylvania law a teacher was not able to legally marry her same-sex spouse...more

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