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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

English Teacher’s Blog Post Ruled As Unprotected Speech

A Pennsylvania District Court dismissed teacher Natalie Munroe’s violation of free speech claim against the Central Bucks School District. Ms. Munroe accused the School District and some administrators for violating her free...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

Religious Institutions Update

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. that an existing contraceptive coverage mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act statute that applies to for-profit closely held corporations...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

10 Tips for Creating an Effective Social Media Policy

A controversial tweet posted by a Kansas University professor last fall in response to the shootings at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. resulted in the Kansas Board of Regents’ adoption of a revised social media policy. The...more

Vergara v. California: Part Two: Is Tenure in Connecticut At Risk?

As discussed in a prior post, the recent decision in the case of Vergara v. State of California, et al., will, if upheld on appeal, eviscerate California’s public school teacher tenure law. Given that 46 states have some...more

Judge Strikes Down California Teacher Tenure Laws as Unconstitutional - Business-as-usual for school districts while ruling is...

California teacher tenure, firing and layoff laws violate the state constitution, a judge has ruled in a closely watched case that may have significant ramifications for school districts, education departments and lawmakers....more

Vergara v. California: Its Real Meaning

The media has missed the fact that Vergara is not primarily a case about tenure....more

Impact of the 'Students First' Decision on Non-Teacher Employees of School Districts

Judge Rolf Treu’s decision in the Students First case is effectively an indictment of the termination process of all California public school employees, not just teachers....more

Vergara v. State of California Exposes Constitutional Flaws In Public Teacher Tenure Laws

A Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge ruled Tuesday in Vergara v. State of California that teacher tenure laws in California are unconstitutional because they deprive students of their right to an education under the...more

Are Teacher Tenure and Seniority Really Unconstitutional?

If upheld on appeal, the trial court decision in Vergara v. State of California will make it easier for California school districts to keep new teachers in "at will" probationary status longer, to fire tenured teachers, and...more

L.A. Superior Court Rules Key Teacher Tenure, Dismissal, and Layoff Statutes Unconstitutional

In a much anticipated and well-publicized tentative ruling, the Los Angeles Superior Court (“trial court”) issued a tentative ruling on June 6, 2014 in Vergara v. State of California, Case. No. BC484642. Plaintiffs in the...more

Vergara v. California, and the Attenuation of Tenure, Part One: The Decision

In a landmark, June 10, 2014 decision that could set off a wave of similar litigation across the country, a California Superior Court judge ruled in the case of Vergara v. State of California, et al. that a number of...more

California Court Finds Teacher Tenure, Layoff, and Dismissal Laws Unconstitutional

School leaders across the country are buzzing about a California Superior Court’s recent tentative ruling that the state’s teacher tenure, dismissal, and layoff laws violate the equal protection clause of the California...more

Religious Institutions Update - Lex Est Sanctio Sancta

"Church plans" are pension plans (including defined benefit or defined contribution plans) exempt (without an irrevocable election) from many of the legal requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)...more

Recent Federal Guidance On Title IX And Sexual Violence

Over the last several weeks, colleges and universities have been inundated with new Title IX and sexual violence guidance and enforcement decisions to digest. First, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights...more

Court of Appeals Holds That Student Safety Concerns Outweighed Teachers’ Picketing Rights

On May 6, 2014, in Santer v. Board of Education of East Meadow Union Free School District, the New York Court of Appeals held that a school district did not violate the First Amendment by disciplining teachers who...more

(Academic) Freedom Is Free(r)

Samuel Johnson, the 18th-century English writer and lexicographer, observed that “words are but the signs of ideas.” While not intended as such, Dr. Johnson’s insight neatly summarizes one of the catalyzing principles for the...more

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Michigan Constitutional Amendment Prohibiting Use Of Race-Based Preferences In State University...

Executive Summary: The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld an amendment to the Michigan constitution that prohibits the use of race-based preferences as part of the admissions process for all state universities. See Schuette v....more

Supreme Court Rules On Affirmative Action

Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action is attracting a fair amount of attention in the news media. From an employment law perspective, the case likely will have little impact....more

Oklahoma Government Bodies May Not Consider Race, Sex, Ethnicity Or National Origin In Employment, Contracting, Or School...

In 2003, despite the Constitutional prohibition on racial discrimination, the U.S. Supreme Court in Grutter v. Bollinger permitted the University of Michigan to consider applicants’ race to ensure a diverse student body. In...more

Supreme Court Holds Voters Have a Right to Reject Government-Funded Racial Preferences in Public Higher Education

On April 22, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States held that although consideration of race in admissions is constitutionally permissible, voters have every right to reject it. The case, Schuette v. Coalition to Defend...more

Michigan Affirmative Action Ban Upheld By U.S. Supreme Court

Michigan’s affirmative action ban, a Constitutional amendment enacted through referendum during the 2006 election cycle, was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. The decision means that public entities, including...more

Supreme Court: Voters' Initiative To End Affirmative Action Is Constitutional

In a highly anticipated decision, the Supreme Court upheld Michigan’s Proposal 2, which amended the Michigan Constitution to prohibit racial preferences in admissions to public schools and government programs....more

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