Connecticut recently joined other states with its passage of “ban the box” legislation which expressly limits the types of questions that can be asked of applicants on initial employment applications. Many states and municipalities across the country have adopted similar laws and policies in an effort to assist otherwise qualified prospective employees in their pursuit of productive careers. This recent legislation concerning an employer’s ability to inquire about an applicant’s criminal record history is applicable to independent schools and comes at a time when independent schools are increasingly pressured to ensure student safety by properly vetting employment applicants. Continue Reading
Dear Legal Mailbag:
Ever since the election, everyone seems out of sorts. Case in point, one of our teachers put up a sign in her classroom, and now a student and his father are demanding that we take it down or put theirs up! The sign is innocuous enough. It is about two feet wide and a foot tall, and it simply says “No one is an ‘Illegal’ here!” What’s not to love about that enlightened and caring sentiment?
When I got the complaint, I met with the father and son. The father accused the teacher and by extension the school district of brainwashing his son with a “leftist view that the laws don’t matter.” The son is a real chip off the old block, and he kept complaining disingenuously about how “confused” the sign has made him on the issue of illegal immigration and compliance with the law and school rules more generally.
I explained that it is a free country and teachers should be able to post a little sign every so often, but the father was all over me, complaining that he pays taxes and should have some say over the messages that our public schools send. In fact, he was so agitated that I was a bit concerned when he reached into a bag he had with him to pull something out. But it turned out to be just another sign about the same size as the teacher’s, stating “Be NICE to ICE! Obey the Immigration Laws or Else!”
Now I was really confused, and I asked him what I was supposed to do with that. With a tight grin, the father told me that fair is fair and that he would be suing the school district if we do not post his sign next to the teacher’s sign. I told him that I would think it over, and he finally left my office. I don’t have to post his nasty sign, do I?
Enlightened Administrator Continue Reading