Archives: Responsibilities

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Federal Government Files ‘Statement of Interest’ In Gender-Identity Case

In recent years, there have been increasing concerns involving discrimination faced by the transgender community.  Not surprisingly, these concerns have centered on the challenges faced by gender non-conforming students and whether the needs of such students are being met by … Read more

Register Now for Avoiding the Board Member Blues: How To Become a More Informed Board Member – March 24th and April 8th

Join attorneys Thomas B. Mooney, Gary R. Brochu, Jessica L. Ritter and Jessica Richman Smith for a timely presentation for board of education members.  Workshop sessions will be held on March 24th in our Stamford office and April … Read more

New School Security and Safety Standards Encourage, but no Longer Mandate, ICS Courses for All Employees

The Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) within the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) recently released revised school security and safety plan standards that no longer require that all school employees complete certain Incident … Read more

State Department of Education Issues Guidance On School Climate Assessments

The Connecticut State Department of Education (“CSDE”) has issued guidance on school climate assessment instruments. All public school districts, including magnet and charter schools, and RESCs, are required to implement Safe School Climate assessments biennially. This requirement went into effect … Read more

U.S. Department of Education Issues Guidance on Ebola for K-12 Schools

In response to the Ebola epidemic, the U.S. Department of Education (“USDOE”) has issued a letter to schools and districts providing updated guidance and resources to assist schools and communities in establishing practices and protocols related to Ebola, as well … Read more

FAPE-Based Approach to Bullying Complaints

On October 21, 2014, United States Assistant Secretary Catherine Lhamon issued another Dear Colleague Letter on the topic of bullying of students with disabilities.  This is the fourth letter from the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) or … Read more

School Districts Seek to Have Parents of Student “Bullies” Contribute to any Judgment Against Districts

Two New Jersey school districts, who are being sued for their failure to halt bullying against the plaintiff student, were successful in their efforts to have the parents of the student bullies contribute to any award that may be issued … Read more

U.S. Department of Education Releases Best Practices for Protecting Student Data

The U.S. Department of Education’s Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) has recently released requirements and best practices for protecting student privacy while utilizing only educational services. The PTAC is intended to be a resource for school districts regarding data privacy, … Read more

Custodian’s Remark About “Bringing the School Down With Me” Sufficient Cause for Termination

The Connecticut State Board of Mediation and Arbitration recently held that a board of education possessed just cause to discharge an employee who expressed suicidal feelings to co-workers and joked to a hospital worker that if he were going to … Read more

Ten Essential Elements for a Successful Board-Superintendent Relationship

Perhaps the most important characteristic of a professional governance board is a close and effective working relationship between the Superintendent of Schools and the Board.  Yet this type of relationship is not inevitable, but is the result of hard, focused … Read more

New Department of Education Website Helps Local and Regional Boards of Education Comply with Law Requiring In-Service Training on Teen Dating Violence

The Connecticut General Assembly has added provisions to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-220a requiring that each local or regional board of education provide in-service training programs to its teachers, administrators and pupil personnel on teen dating violence and domestic violence. … Read more

The Second Circuit Upholds a $1 Million Jury Award to a Student Who Was Repeatedly Harassed by Fellow Students

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits public school systems that receive federal funding from intentionally discriminating on the basis of race, color, or national origin. A school district can be liable for intentional discrimination when it … Read more

CORI Reform in Massachusetts and Its Impact on Massachusetts Public Schools

On August 6, 2010, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law a bill which significantly revamped Massachusetts’ criminal record system.  The new law, Chapter 256 of the Acts of 2010, entitled “An Act Reforming the Administrative Procedures Relative to Criminal Read more

State Department of Education Releases Comprehensive Guidance Concerning School Nurses

In order to assist local school districts in promoting high quality school health services, the Connecticut State Department of Education has released comprehensive guidance for school nursing practice. The guidance, entitled “Competency in School Nurse Practice,” addresses school nurse competencies, … Read more