Related to: Public School

5 Tips for Responding to Reports of Bullying

As National Bullying Prevention Month draws to a close, it is important to reflect on the legal requirements and best practices for addressing reports of bullying and harassment. Effectively responding to reports of bullying and harassment is critical, not only for protecting the safety and wellbeing of the students, but also for protecting the school…

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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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transgender Title IX

Texas Judge Temporarily Blocks OCR’s Enforcement of its Position on Transgender Students

Earlier today, Federal District Court Judge Reed O’Connor of the Northern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction in  State of Texas et al. v. United States of America et al. This case began when thirteen states and agencies, including the State of Wisconsin, filed a lawsuit alleging that the interpretation of “sex” in the joint…

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Departments Issue Joint Guidance on Transgender Students

On May 13, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division issued a joint guidance document regarding transgender students. The guidance, which is not in the form of a regulation but rather a Dear Colleague Letter, states, “The Departments interpret Title IX to require…

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Checklist for Students Admitted to Mental Health Treatment Facility

As we celebrate National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day today, it is important to reflect upon the legal requirements and best practices relating to the education of children with mental health disorders. This is a complex matter, as it involves the intersection of legal issues, educational issues, and medical issues. A child’s mental health disorder…

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Federal Court of Appeals Allows Transgender Student’s Title IX Claim to Move Forward, Defers to DOE’s Interpretation of Title IX Regulations

Last week, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court’s decision dismissing a transgender student’s Title IX discrimination claim against his school district. Notably, the Fourth Circuit deferred to the Department of Education’s interpretation of the Title IX regulations in making its decision. Because the Fourth Circuit is the highest court to have…

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Dane County Judge Issues an Outlier Decision to Strike Down Wisconsin’s Right to Work Law

On Friday, April 8, 2016, a Dane County Circuit Court judge struck down Wisconsin’s Right to Work law, thirteen months after the law first took effect in the state. In his opinion, Judge William Foust held that Wisconsin’s Right to Work law is an unlawful taking that violates the Wisconsin Constitution because the law obligates…

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EEOC Loses Challenge to Workplace Wellness Program

A federal district court in Wisconsin recently dismissed one of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (“EEOC”) well-publicized attacks on employer wellness programs. Our earlier legal updates regarding this case and some other EEOC challenges can be found here: August 2014 Legal Update and October 2014 Legal Update. In EEOC v. Flambeau, Inc., No. 14-cv-638…

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Open Enrollment Policies Should be Reviewed Before January Board Meeting

As the February-April 2016 regular open enrollment application period approaches, school districts should review their open enrollment policies to confirm that they are in compliance with the open enrollment statute (Wis. Stat. § 118.51) and DPI regulations (Wis. Admin. Code Chapter PI 36), both of which have undergone recent changes. Any policy revisions should be…

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Implementing RDA for School Districts

Q: What is a current school law issue that every school district should have on its radar? A: Results Driven Accountability (RDA). On June 24, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education announced a major shift in the way it will evaluate the effectiveness of state special education programs. Until then, the focus had been primarily on procedural…

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