Related to: School Law

How to Handle Requests for Special Ed Evaluations When Expulsion Proceedings Are Pending

We have noticed a seemingly greater number of due process hearings around the country related to student discipline and manifestation determinations. This Legal Update will address the “11th hour referral,” a common but complex scenario which triggers several intertwined sets of procedural requirements related to student discipline and manifestation determinations under the Individuals with Disabilities Education…

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DPI Upholds Expulsions Based on “Threats” Outside of School

Last week, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI), issued two groundbreaking decisions upholding expulsions based on threats of shootings. The DPI’s decisions find that, under certain circumstances, threats occurring outside of school, including during the summer break or even while a student is enrolled in a private school, may still serve as a basis for…

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Federal Commission on School Safety Issues Final Report

On December 18, 2018, the Federal Commission on School Safety issued its much-anticipated final report. The Commission, led by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, was created by President Trump following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. It was tasked with “producing a report of policy recommendations in an effort to help prevent future tragedies.” The report…

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Is Your School’s Use of Technology in the Classroom Violating FERPA?

With each year, technology plays a more significant role in schools and classrooms.  For example, most school districts use a web-based student information system to manage student data and share that data with parents and school staff.   In addition, if a school district provides a 1:1 device to students, such as an iPad or Chromebook,…

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Can a Student Be Expelled for Threatening School Violence?

School districts are increasingly confronted with threats of school violence made by students, and in light of national events, they are right to take them seriously.  Oftentimes, the question arises of whether such conduct is subject to expulsion. Can a School District Expel a Student for Threatening School Violence? Yes.  Section 120.13(1)(c)1. of the Wisconsin…

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U.S. District Court Upholds Validity of Wisconsin’s Open Enrollment Law Concerning Nonresident Pupils

November 6, 2017 – In a recent decision, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin upheld the validity of Wisconsin’s Open Enrollment Law, Wis. Stat. § 118.51, which permits a school district to consider whether special education or related services are available, or whether there is “space available” for such service, in…

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Wisconsin Supreme Court Addresses Application of Open Meetings Law to School District Committees

July 12, 2017 – On June 29, 2017, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued an important Open Meetings Law decision in State of Wisconsin ex rel. Krueger v. Appleton Area School Dist. Bd. of Ed., 2017 WI 70.  This decision focuses on a significant question that school districts face when bringing together groups of employees and others…

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Department of Education Seeks Input on Regulatory Reform

June 23, 2017 – In our June 16, 2017, Legal Update, we mentioned President Trump’s recent Executive Order on Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda. The Executive Order directs Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to conduct a review of the Department of Education’s regulations and guidance documents and determine whether the Department of Education has overreached its…

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Complaints_File

OCR Issues Internal Guidance Narrowing Scope of Complaints & Investigations (Including Complaints Involving Transgender Students)

June 16, 2017 – As part of its endeavor to shift power from federal government to state and local governments and communities, the Trump Administration has been reviewing the role of the Department of Education and the Office for Civil Rights. On April 26, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order which directs Education Secretary…

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Restroom Sign

7th Circuit Affirms Preliminary Injunction Allowing Transgender Student to Access Restroom Consistent with Gender Identity

June 2, 2017 – On May 30, 2017, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a preliminary injunction which allows a transgender boy to use the boys’ restroom while at school. Although the Seventh Circuit’s decision is significant, it does not necessarily require school districts to generally permit students to access whichever facilities they wish.…

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