The Connecticut Supreme Court has upheld the expulsion of a college student for making statements and gestures that it concluded could reasonably be interpreted as
Continue Reading Connecticut Supreme Court Upholds Expulsion of University Student over True Threat of Gun Violence

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, Understanding, and Respect (“SECURe”) rubrics are the result of the collaboration and partnership between these two federal agencies in an attempt to ensure that local and state educational agencies are implementing effective and positive school resource officer programs in the nation’s schools.  The SECURe rubric for local educational agencies aims to provide guidance to school districts on how to build trust between students and law enforcement officials through the school resource officer programs, while ensuring that school resource officer programs are administered responsibly in a non-discriminatory manner that takes a proactive approach to keeping students out of the school-to-prison pipeline.Continue Reading 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

In a ruling sure to reverberate on college campuses across the nation, a California appeals court unanimously reversed the trial court’s ruling in Doe v. Univ. of Southern California.  In Doe, a student (“Doe”) sued the University of Southern California (USC), claiming that its hearing procedures were inadequate and the record was insufficient to support the imposed disciplinary action.  The trial court found that USC’s procedure for investigation and discipline of Doe was fair.  The appeals court disagreed.

In brief, the court held that USC failed to provide the accused sufficient notice of the charges; did not afford the accused a fair hearing; and relied on insufficient evidence to support its findings of code violations.   The original incident at USC involved a female student who alleged that she was sexually assaulted by a group of men at a fraternity party.  USC’s office of Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards (SJACS) investigated the complaint, and found that Doe violated nine sections of the student conduct code, including the section prohibiting sexual assault.  Doe appealed the findings to USC’s appeals panel, which found insufficient evidence of sexual assault, but that Doe had violated two sections of the student conduct code.  Doe received a suspension and other discipline as a result of the violations.  Thereafter, Doe challenged the appeals panel’s decision in court.Continue Reading California Appellate Court Finds College Student Accused of Sexual Assault Was Denied Due Process