Archives: Rights of Students

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In Aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Connecticut School Districts Reminded of Obligations to Displaced Puerto Rican Students

On September 28, 2017, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Commissioner of Education Dr. Dianna R. Wentzell issued a joint memorandum  to Connecticut superintendents of public schools outlining local educational agency (“LEA”) obligations to homeless youth displaced by natural disasters. … Read more

Equal Access in the Digital Age: OCR Ramps Up Investigations into Website Accessibility

Consider the fact that we now live in a digital age, with limitless information at our fingertips, accessible (to many of us) with a few keystrokes or a simple voice command into our now ubiquitous cell phones. Now consider that, … Read more

U.S. Department of Education Announces Intention to Review and Replace Title IX Regulations Concerning Sexual Harassment and Violence

On Thursday, in a speech by U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy Devos, the Department announced that it would undertake a review of its current Title IX enforcement guidance concerning campus-based sexual harassment and violence. Particularly, Ms. DeVos notified stakeholders … Read more

CSDE Provides Guidance, FAQs on Civil Rights Protections and Supports for Transgender Students

In light of the Trump administration’s rescission of 2016 federal guidance from the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education concerning school district obligations to transgender and gender nonconforming students, on February 23, 2017, Governor Dannel P. Malloy, together with Commissioner … Read more

Connecticut Supreme Court Issues Decision in Munn v. Hotchkiss

On Friday, the Connecticut Supreme Court issued its long-awaited ruling in Munn v. Hotchkiss School, the case involving a private school student who contracted tick-borne encephalitis on a school-sponsored trip to China.  In its ruling, the Supreme Court found unanimously … Read more

Connecticut State Department of Education Releases Lists of Due Process Hearing Officers and Mediators and New Process for Mediations

After an extensive interview and hiring process, the Connecticut State Department of Education (“CSDE”), Bureau of Special Education, released last week the list of new mediators and current due process hearing officers.  The hiring of new mediators was prompted … Read more

New Rules: OCR Issues Internal Memorandum Impacting Enforcement Practices for Pending and Future Investigations

Earlier this month, the U. S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights’ Acting Assistant Secretary issued an internal memorandum to Regional Directors eliminating certain existing internal procedures and detailing new practices regarding the investigation of OCR complaints.  With the … Read more

Fourth Circuit Reverses Preliminary Injunction in Transgender Student Rights Case; Adds its Two Cents

In March of 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States remanded the high profile transgender student rights case, Gloucester County School Board v. G.G. ex rel. Grimm, no 16-273, to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals for further … Read more

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy Instructs Connecticut Public Schools to Follow Withdrawn Federal Guidance regarding Transgender Students

Yesterday, in response to the withdrawal of federal guidance relating to the rights of transgender students, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy instructed Connecticut public schools to continue to follow the withdrawn guidance, pending the release of state guidance from the Connecticut … Read more

Supreme Court Rules That Parents Need Not Exhaust IDEA Due Process Procedures for Non-FAPE Disability Discrimination Claims

On February 22, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its opinion in Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools, No. 15-487 (2017), which addressed the issue of when a parent who brings a claim against a school district … Read more

State Department of Education Addresses Immigration Executive Order

On January 30, 2017, the Connecticut State Department of Education (“CSDE”) released a memorandum titled, “Guidance for Districts Regarding Refugee Students,” in response to an Executive Order signed on January 27, 2017, restricting immigration into the United States.  … Read more

U.S. Department of Education Changes Name of Office Responsible for FERPA

On January 19, 2017, the U.S. Department of Education issued new Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) regulations that change the name of office that administers and enforces FERPA from the Family Policy Compliance Office (“FPCO”) to the Office … Read more

OCR Releases New Section 504 Resource Guide

On December 28, 2016, the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) within the U.S. Department of Education released several guidance documents, including a Parent and Educator Resource Guide to Section 504 in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools (“Resource Guide to Read more

Oral Argument Presented in Supreme Court Case Addressing the Level of Educational Benefit that must be Provided under IDEA

On January 11, 2017, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in the case of Endrew F. ex rel. Joseph F. v. Douglas County School District RE 1, Docket No. 15-187, to address the level of benefit a school … Read more

United States Supreme Court to Hear Case Concerning Transgender Student Rights under Title IX

Amid a national background of litigation concerning the U.S. Department of Education’s directives involving the rights of transgender students, on October 28, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States granted certiorari to review the prominent 4th Circuit Court of … Read more

Supreme Court to Revisit Rowley IDEA FAPE Standard for First Time in Nearly 35 Years

On September 29, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States agreed to hear the case of Endrew F. ex rel. Joseph F. v. Douglas County School District RE 1, Docket No. 15-187  to decide the question “What is … Read more

Texas Judge Clarifies Scope of Transgender Guidance Injunction; Feds Appeal to 5th Circuit

We have been tracking the development of litigation concerning rights, obligations, and duties with regard to transgender students as cases unfold across the country.

Earlier this summer, Texas and twelve other states challenged the propriety and legality of a joint … Read more

PTAC Releases Guidance Video Concerning Use of Email and Student Privacy

The Privacy Technical Assistance Center (“PTAC”), a resource established by the U.S. Department of Education, recently released a guidance video concerning the use of email in schools and student data privacy.  In this short video, the Department briefly explains the … Read more

U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice Release Dear Colleague Letters Jointly Announcing New SECURe Rubrics for School Resource Officer Programs

On September 8, 2016, the United States Department of Education and the United States Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (“COPS”) jointly released new guidance regarding school resource officer programs.  The new Safe School-based Enforcement through Collaboration, … Read more

New Complaint Challenges Constitutionality of Connecticut Educational System

On August 23, 2016, four Connecticut parents, on behalf of themselves and their seven children, filed a 71-page complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut against Governor Dannel Malloy and Commissioner of Education Dianna Wentzell, … Read more

Department of Education Issues New Dear Colleague Letter Regarding the Enrollment of Homeless Students

On July 27, 2016, the United States Department of Education (“Department of Education”) released a dear colleague letter (DCL) and a non-regulatory guidance document (“Guidance Document”) discussing school districts’ obligations under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (“McKinney-Vento Act”) as amended … Read more

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