Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How Teacher Tenure Figures Into the November Election 
[KQED, 10/27/14]
But for those outside education, it may be hard to understand why teacher tenure is such a big deal, especially during an election season in which both Democrats and Republicans are seizing on the issue to win votes. Let’s rewind the clock for a moment.

New Mexico Court Tosses Student Confession on Alcohol at School
[School Law Blog, 10/24/14]
The state high court threw out a high school student's admission about drinking because he received no warning of his right to remain silent. The state's highest court ruled 5-0 that the student identified as Antonio T. did not waive his state statutory right to remain silent about the alcohol use.

Ninth Circuit rules school district’s procedural violation of IDEA resulted in special education student being denied a free appropriate public education      [Legal Clips, 10/22/14]
In a 2-1 split, a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit three-judge panel has ruled that a California school district’s failure to comply with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act’s (IDEA) procedural requirement to provide parents with educational testing data deprived the parents of the opportunity to meaningfully  participate in the creation of their son’s individualized education program (IEP) thereby denying  the student a free appropriate public education (FAPE) under the IDEA.
Read M.M. v. Lafayette School Dist.:

Schools warned on legalities of anti-bullying 
[EdSource, 10/23/14]
Citing an “ever-increasing” number of complaints about the bullying of students with disabilities, the federal government issued a letter this week reminding schools of their legal responsibility to stop such bullying or risk violating federal anti-discrimination laws.
See also Constitutional Implications of Punishing Cyber-Bullying” [Ed Law Prof Blog, 10/28/14]:

Sayreville head football coach and four staff members suspended  
[Legal Clips, 10/22/14]
Sayreville Board of Education (SBOE) has unanimously upheld the decision to suspend head football coach George Najjar and four members of his staff. SBOE President Kevin Ciak stressed that the suspensions of Najjar and the four other tenured district employees, who are also on the football coaching staff, are "consistent with an ongoing and not yet completed investigation.” Najjar and the other tenured members of his staff have also been suspended from their teaching positions. 

Appeals Court Rejects Police Handcuffing of Elementary Student
[School Law Blog, 10/21/14]
A federal appeals court has upheld most of a jury verdict against two police officers and the city of Sonora, Calif., in the handcuffing and transport of an 11-year-old student who was unresponsive to a school official at recess. An en banc panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, in San Francisco, ruled 7-4 that the two officers did not have qualified immunity over handcuffing the student identified as C.B., who had failed to take his medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder on what the student later called a "rough day."

Parents Potentially Liable for Son's Fake Facebook Account, Georgia Court Rules
In a novel decision, a Georgia state appeals court has ruled that parents of a 7th grader who created a fake Facebook account mocking a classmate are potentially liable for negligence for not forcing him to close the account once they learned of it

Lawsuit alleges students’ instruction lacking 
[EdSource, 10/14/14]
Jefferson High School in Los Angeles – where some students waited two months for their class schedules and were assigned to classes with no content, given menial administrative tasks or sent home early – may be an extreme example of lost instructional time but it is not an isolated case, according to a class-action lawsuit. 

[Legal Clips, 10/7/14]
Easton Area School District (EASD) has reached an agreement with the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania (ACLU-PA) settling a suit brought by ACLU-PA on behalf of two former middle school students who were prohibited from wearing breast cancer awareness bracelets which contained the slogan "I ♥ Boobies!" at school. 

Teachers Who Report Abuse: Law Enforcement Agents or Good Samaritans?
]EdLaw Prof Blog, 10/6/14]: Last week, the Supreme Court granted cert in Ohio v. Clark, a case involving whether teachers' obligation to report suspected child abuse makes  them law enforcement for purposes of the Confrontation Clause.
Follow the case on the SCOTUS blog:
The Court Revisits Hearsay and the 6th Amendment [Justia, 10/15/14]: Professor Colb discusses a case (Ohio v. Clark) regarding the meaning of the 6th amendment’s Confrontation Clause.
Ohio v. Clark: Do Children’s Statements Have to Be Live testimony? [Huff Post, 10/28/14]: On October 2 the Supreme Court agreed to review a decision from Ohio which could help make abused children safer, or not. The case raises the question of whether children's statements to adults reporting their own abuse can be heard in court.

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