Education Constitutional Law

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Illinois Supreme Court Agrees To Decide If School Districts are Subject to Local Zoning

In the closing days of its January term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to decide a question involving the potential collision of several different aspects of Illinois constitutional law: are school districts subject to...more

Facebook Post Lands Teacher in Hot Water

On January 18, 2015, two South Hills High School teachers were arrested for allegedly having sexual relations with students at the beach. According to the Orange County Sherriff’s Department, one of the teachers, Melody...more

U.S. Supreme Court Update - January 2015

Briefs Filed in Three State Tax Cases Set for Oral Argument - Merits briefs were filed in each of the three state tax cases on the Court's docket for the October 2014 Term. In Comptroller of the Treasury of Maryland v....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

Higher Education Alert: NLRB Announces Two New Standards Favorable to Faculty Unions

In Pacific Lutheran University, 361 NLRB No. 157, a case that had been watched closely by the higher education community, the National Labor Relations Board issued a 3-2 decision the week before Christmas announcing new...more

Higher Education Alert: NLRB Trend in Easing Unionization Continues with Recent Decision

The National Labor Relations Board issued a 3-2 decision last month in Pacific Lutheran University, 361 NLRB No. 157, in which it significantly modified the standards for determining: (1) whether college or university faculty...more

Religious Institution - January 2015

Experience over the last couple decades teaches that religious institutions face as much or perhaps more liability than secular organizations and, therefore, need to take risk management seriously. From operating their own...more

Faculty Can Unionize Absent Actual Managerial Control, NLRB Decides

Last week, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) revised its standard for determining when faculty members can unionize. Although the decision is expected to be appealed, it undoubtedly will open the door to a...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

‘Tis The Season For Nativity Scenes & Satanic Displays: Happy Holidays from RLUIPA Defense

Ah the holiday season—a time for family, friends and overeating. While most individuals grapple with balancing a love for holiday treats and some modicum of self-control, the Nation is faced with a perennial balancing act:...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

Bribery Is Not a Free Speech Right, Judge Says

In late 2012, a California district attorney’s office obtained an indictment charging 18 defendants, including school board members, administrators and contractors, with conspiracy, bribery, perjury, filing false gift reports...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

Rolling Stone Retracts UVA Article Detailing Alleged Gang Rape

We previously reported that on November 19, 2014, Rolling Stone published an article titled “A Rape on Campus” by Sabrina Rubin Erdely. The article offers a brutal account of an alleged sexual assault of a freshman student,...more

Circuit Court Strikes Down Pension Reform

In a widely publicized decision, Judge Belz of the Circuit Court of Sangamon County ruled on November 21, 2014 that the sweeping pension reform measures enacted in December 2013 violate the Illinois Constitution’s Pension...more

Limits of Supreme Court Ruling on Public Prayer Tested in Lawsuit Against California District

As our firm reported earlier this year, the Supreme Court recently held that sectarian invocations at public meetings do not automatically violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which separates church and...more

Conduct Unbecoming: Disciplining Educators For Non-School-Related Behavior

The involvement of a Connecticut middle school Principal and a middle school Guidance Counselor in the writing and production of films the media has described as being replete with female nudity, violence and sexually...more

Searching Student Smart Phones in The Wake of Riley V. California

In the recent, landmark case of Riley v. California, the United States Supreme Court held that the police may not search digital data on the cell phone of an arrestee without a warrant, reasoning that smart phones not only...more

Use of School Grounds for Campaign and Election Activities

The Education Code and the Courts Have Established Rules and Regulations for Campuses - With the election just days away, school superintendents, board members, administrators and principals are often confronted with...more

Fighting for Education Rights: Equal Justice for Pregnant and Parenting Students [Video]

As an Equal Justice Works Fellow sponsored by Fenwick & West, Angelica Salceda is working at the ACLU of Northern California to ensure that pregnant and parenting students in California’s Central Valley schools are afforded...more

Combining Arms for Justice-Involved Veterans [Video]

Co-sponsored by Fenwick & West and Microsoft, Equal Justice Works Fellow Leo Flor is building enduring capacity in Washington State for complementary civil representation of criminal justice-involved veterans through client...more

Higher Education Compliance and the Scourge of Campus Sexual Assaults

Chief Compliance Officers who lament the challenges of their jobs should be thankful they are not in charge of compliance for higher education institutions. The culture of compliance has extended into many high-risk areas but...more

University of Florida Quarterback Is Reinstated After Accuser Withdraws Sexual Assault Complaint

James Ryan, the Partner-in-Charge of the Education Litigation Department of Cullen and Dykman LLP was recently featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education, regarding the highly publicized University of Florida (the...more

Managing Social Media-Issues Consistent With The Law

In this age of electronic communication, social media has added another dimension to the array of issues schools must address in order to maintain the integrity of the learning environment while also preserving the rights of...more

Illinois Court: Municipal Zoning and Stormwater Laws Apply to School District's Construction Project

Much of land use law involves questions over the breadth of local government powers. Today, we're looking at a spat between two units of local government: a municipality and a school board. The decision in Gurba v....more

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