News & Analysis as of

Transgender Issues Highlight Tensions Between Students' Rights To Liberty And Privacy

In the wake of controversy over school vouchers, fights over appropriate curriculum, and the endless battles to decide whether school funding is adequate, the nation’s public and private schools certainly have their share of...more

Dear Colleague Letter Urges Districts to Abandon “Zero Tolerance” in Student Discipline Policies

The Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education (OCR) and the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice recently released a joint “Dear Colleague Letter” (DCL) providing guidance on administering...more

Dear Colleague Letter Firmly Urges Districts to Abandon “Zero Tolerance” in Student Discipline Policies

The Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education (OCR) and the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice recently released a joint “Dear Colleague Letter” (DCL) providing guidance on administering...more

Is the Joint DOJ and OCR Guidance on Discrimination in K-12 Student Discipline a Warning Shot for Colleges and Universities?

We’ve known it was coming for at least a year, and on January 8, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), in conjunction with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ),...more

What School Leaders Really Should Know About The Department Of Education’s Guidance On Discriminatory Discipline

Last week, the Department of Education issued a guidance package to help schools administer student discipline without discriminating against students on the basis of race, color, or national origin. The issue of...more

Federal Authorities Crack Down on Student Discipline Practices

U.S. Departments of Education and Justice Issue Guidance Warning Against Unlawful Discrimination in Student Discipline - U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder this week issued a...more

College Settles Pregnancy Discrimination Complaint

The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) announced earlier this week that Logan University in Missouri settled a pregnancy discrimination complaint that the NWLC filed with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil...more

California Assembly Bill 1266

Since the Governor signed AB 1266, school districts and other education agencies have been inundated with questions from the media, parents, and students about what the new law means to the schools. This Legal Alert is...more

AB 1266 Expands Rights of Transgender Students - New Law Creates Challenges for California School Districts

This week, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 1266, which adds a single sentence to California Education Code section 221.5 – a section that has long prohibited public schools from limiting participation in...more

The Basics Of Complying With The “Dear Colleague” Letter Issued By The U.S. Department Of Education On April 4, 2011

This is part one of a four-part series discussing compliance with the “Dear Colleague" Letter on Sexual Violence issued by U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) on April 4, 2011, as well as subsequently...more

Feds Warn Medical, Dental, and Nursing Schools about Unlawful Discrimination against Students and Applicants with Hepatitis B

Three federal agencies recently publicized a joint agency letter that was sent to schools of medicine, dentistry, and nursing and other health-related schools about what the agencies perceive as potential discrimination...more

Fields of Dreams: Small Agricultural Employers Seem to Think the Law Doesn’t Apply

When I’m not lawyering, I like to spend time around horses. That sometimes means spending time observing the habits of horse barn owners and other operators of small agricultural facilities. ...more

Tips And Tricks: Avoiding Discriminatory Discipline Of Groups Of Students

Discriminatory discipline has been a hot topic this year in public schools, and the focus on this topic makes it one that school leaders should not ignore....more

Colorado School Denies Six-Year-Old Transgender Student’s Request To Use Girls’ Bathroom

As The New York Times recently reported, a Colorado school district is facing a lawsuit after refusing to allow a six-year-old transgender student to use the girls’ bathroom in a local elementary school. The case highlights...more

Texas Court Refuses To Prohibit RFID Tags In School

On January 8, 2012, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas issued a ruling denying a preliminary injunction in a case involving the use radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags embedded in name badges to...more

Anti-Semitic Bullying Claim Survives Motion To Dismiss

Eastern District Judge Arthur Spatt recently denied Northport-East Northport Union Free School Districts’ motion to dismiss in a case brought by a Northport High School student who had been subject to anti-Semitic taunts and...more

School District’s Actions To Stop Bullying Not Enough To Avoid $1 Million Damages In Student-On-Student Harassment Case

In Zeno v. Pine Plains Central School District, the school district lost its challenge to a $1 million damage award for student-on-student harassment. Former student Anthony Zeno prevailed at trial against his school district...more

Student Awarded $1 Million In Student Harassment Case Against School District

On December 3, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the District Court’s decision that the Pine Plains Central School District violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964....more

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