Archives: Rights of Students

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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

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

Federal Court of Appeals Defers to OCR and Concludes Title IX Permits Transgender Students to Use Restrooms Based on Gender Identity

In a closely watched case, the federal Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed a lower court decision and, in a 2-1 split opinion, held that, based on guidance from the federal Office for Civil Rights (OCR) within the … Read more

OCR Finds Title IX Violation for School District’s Prohibition of Transgender Student’s Use of Locker Room

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) recently concluded that a public school district in Illinois violated Title IX both by prohibiting a transgender high school student from using the locker room consistent with her gender identity … Read more

US Supreme Court Holds that Student’s Statement to Teacher can be Admitted at Trial

The U.S. Supreme Court (the “Court”) recently issued a unanimous decision as to whether or not prosecutors could introduce statements at trial when a child is not available for cross examination. The Court’s decision has implications for school districts when … Read more

U.S. Department of Education Weighs in Against an Oregon Bill which would Make it Easier for Students to Opt Out of Testing

The question of the ability of students to “opt out” of mandated standardized testing is one that occupied many school districts during Connecticut’s most recent round of statewide testing. The U.S. Department of Education has now weighed in on this … Read more

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

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

Cyberbullying Increases as Students Age According to New Study

As students age the amount of verbal and physical bullying that they receive declines, but their exposure to cyberbullying increases. This finding is contained in a recent paper, “Examination of the Change in Latent Statuses in Bullying Behaviors Across Time,” … Read more

School’s Restriction on Students Wearing American Flag Shirts Upheld by Federal Court

A federal appeals court has upheld a California school’s decision to bar white students from wearing shirts depicting the U.S. flag during the school’s Cinco De Mayo celebration. In 2009, Live Oak High School had a Cinco De Mayo celebration … Read more

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