Related to: Public School

CDC Relaxes In-School Masking Guidelines For Vaccinated Students And Staff

On Friday July 9, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) relaxed its guidance on mask-wearing within K-12 schools, advising that vaccinated teachers and students no longer need to wear masks inside school buildings. In anticipation of the 2021-2022 school year, the CDC published new guidelines, highlighting the need for flexible, context-specific decision-making…

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Dept. of Education’s Proposed Rule Prompts Debate about Critical Race Theory in Schools

As the 2020-21 school year drew to a close, public and private schools across the state began receiving an influx of inquiries from parents, community members, and the media regarding the issue of “critical race theory” and curriculum.  Public school districts have received various public records requests from citizens and organizations regarding any such curriculum…

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Supreme Court Rules in Student Free Speech Case

On June 23, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L., finding in favor of the student plaintiff (B.L.) in a highly anticipated school speech case. The Supreme Court held that, though public schools may have a special interest in regulating certain off-campus student speech, the interests offered…

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Wisconsin Supreme Court Strikes Down Dane County Order Closing Schools

Today, on June 11, 2021, in the matter of James v. Heinrich, 2021 WI 58, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that that local health officers do not have the statutory power to close schools under Wisconsin Statute § 252.03. Additionally, because the schools involved in the case were private religious institutions, the Court held that…

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COVID-19 Legislation: Key Provisions for Public Schools

On April 15, 2020, Governor Evers signed 2019 Wisconsin Act 185 into law.  This Legal Update focuses on the key provisions related to public school districts.      1. Accountability Reports The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) is prohibited from publishing school and school district accountability reports in the 2020-21 school year. 2. Student Assessments a. Administration of Assessments.  State…

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student study group

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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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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