Education Communications & Media

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Education issues written by leading professionals.
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Is Your School District’s Lack of Social Media Guidelines Putting the District at Risk?

School districts are under growing scrutiny and criticism for the lack of clear social media guidelines and policies. For instance, after a Michigan teacher reportedly was sentenced to 6 to 15 years for an inappropriate...more

Electronic Devices At School: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

The reality of life for most employees is that most of them cannot make it through an hour, much less a full school or business day, without checking their smartphones, tablet computers, laptops, and other electronic devices....more

DOJ Shifts Position on Web Access: Stating In Court Filings That Public Accommodations Have a “Pre-Existing” Obligation to Make...

What a difference five years makes. In September 2010, the Justice Department (DOJ) announced in an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) that it would issue new regulations under Title III of the ADA to address the...more

CFPB alerts Google to student debt relief scammers

Rohit Chopra, the CFPB’s outgoing Student Loan Ombudsman, has sent a letter to Google to alert the company that “student loan debt relief scammers may be targeting student loan borrowers through the company’s search...more

Wage claims by unpaid interns heat up

School is out and temperatures are rising. For many employers, summertime means a new crop of student workers. Summer internship programs are a time-honored tradition at many companies, providing educational benefits to the...more

Must Schools Protect Teachers from Bullying by Students Online?

A lawsuit filed by a California teacher against the school district where she works puts a new spin on an old problem. As the National School Boards Association reported, the suit, filed last week by Amy Sulkis in the Los...more

SEE YOU IN COURT – June 2015

Last year, Mal Content ran for the Nutmeg Board of Education on a platform of constituent service, with advertisements promising, “Tell me your problems, and I will find you solutions.” Despite Mal’s grand promises, he was...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

ESPN v. University of Notre Dame Security Police Department

Earlier this year, ESPN sued the University of Notre Dame Security Police Department, alleging that Notre Dame was withholding police documents involving campus crimes allegedly committed by a number of student-athletes. ...more

Categories 1 and 2 to be Fully Funded for 2015-2016 Funding Year

For the first time in many years, the FCC has announced that it anticipates being able to fund all E-rate funding requests. Last Friday, the FCC issued a Public Notice that states that the estimated demand for Category 1...more

Illinois Crackdown on Companies Targeting People Struggling to Repay Student Loans Continues

On May 4, Illinois AG Lisa Madigan’s office announced that it filed five lawsuits against companies that allegedly scammed borrowers into paying hundreds to thousands of dollars in upfront fees with the false hope that they...more

Parties Weigh in on Cox Petition to Restrict Support for School-owned Broadband Networks

On April 29, several entities filed comments on Cox’s Petition for Reconsideration of the FCC’s December E-rate Order. That Order provided new support for schools and libraries to “self-provision,” or build their own...more

Student Privacy In Online Educational Services

The commercial use of data mined by providers of online educational services, such as Internet homework portals, digital grade books for teachers, and student e-mail programs, continues to be a hot topic on numerous fronts. ...more

FCC Denies E-Rate Appeal in Scorching Order

On April 15, after a multi-year investigation arising from events in 2004-2008, the Chief of the Telecommunications Access Policy Division (TAPD) of the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau issued an Order denying appeals by an...more

PAC Upholds School District’s Decision to Deny FOIA Request for Text Messages

Last month, the Public Access Counselor released a decision on the subject of when text messages can be obtained from a public body through a FOIA request. The decision was non-binding, but nonetheless illustrates that absent...more

What’s the Purpose of the Emergency Purpose Statutory Exemption?

As we’ve noted in the past, there are a number of TPCA petitions for declaratory ruling or requests for interpretation of the TCPA statute or FCC rules on a range of issues relating to the definition of an autodialer, seeking...more

NSBA to OCR: Standard for Addressing Requests for Technology by Students With a Communication Impairment is Off Key

Readers of our FR Alerts may remember my colleague Kendra B. Yoch authored an Alert in 2013 about a set of outlier cases in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, K.M. v. Tustin Unified School District and D.H. v. Poway Unified...more

Department of Education Issues New Guidance Documents Relating to Student Privacy

The past few years have seen exponential growth in the use of technology in the classroom, with applications ranging from the increased availability and use of e-books to the displacement of physical classrooms through...more

FTC updates COPPA FAQs related to educational context

On March 24, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) updated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to better address the intersection of COPPA regulations and schools....more

“.school” Domains Now Available

The “.school” top-level Internet domain is currently available. Educational institutions with federally registered trademarks can take advantage of the upcoming “Sunrise Period” and secure their “.school” domain as soon as...more

FCC Seeks Comments on Easing TCPA Requirements for Educational Organizations

In a recent announcement, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) asked for public comments on a petition to relax some of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act's (TCPA’s) requirements for educational organizations. If...more

FTC Reminds Schools When They Can Consent to Certain Online Activities By Students Under COPPA

Last week the Federal Trade Commission announced on its blog that it has updated its frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the interplay between schools and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Although...more

Federal student privacy law in flux

In recent months, the White House and members of Congress have called for an overhaul of the forty-year old Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) ((20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99), which safeguards the...more

Virginia Serious Game Institute Calls for Applications for Entrepreneurs in Simulation, Modeling and Serious Game Design

Each year, the Virginia Serious Game Institute invites applicants to reside in the business incubator located on the George Mason University - Prince William Campus in Prince William County, Virginia. Each application...more

April 1 Deadline for Posting School Board Member E-Mail Addresses Online Approaches

As we reported in our 2014 Legislative Update, a recent law requires every school district that maintains a traditional website to post on that website a mechanism for members of the public to electronically communicate with...more

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