Skip to content

Missouri Says No Teacher Student Facebook Friendships

As school districts puzzle over what sort of rules and prohibitions should be included in board policies addressing teachers’ use of social networking sites, one state’s legislature has stepped into the breach. In Senate Bill 54, also known as the Amy Hestir Student Protection Act, Missouri effectively became the first state to ban exclusive communications between teachers and students on […]

Circuit Courts Continue Battle Over Free Speech Rights for Students

School districts in Connecticut looking for guidance on how to handle discipline of students engaging in provocative speech on-line at home have been watching with interest the outcome of two cases in the Third Circuit that seemed to reach conflicting results.  Both cases were re-heard by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting en banc, […]

Connecticut Expenditure Limitation During a Referendum

With budget season in full swing, readers may wish to re-acquaint themselves with Connecticut law limiting the expenditures of public funds when a referendum is pending. These rules apply to Boards of Education. To begin with, until a referendum is actually pending, i.e. all the steps necessary to have it placed on the ballot have […]

Bullying Not Just a Problem Among Students Anymore

In an opinion by the Honorable Superior Court Judge Henry S. Cohn, the Connecticut Superior Court dismissed the appeal of a teacher whose name was placed on the child abuse and neglect registry after a Department of Children and Families (“DCF”) hearing officer determined, pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 17a-101g (b), that the teacher […]

U.S. Federal Court Gives Constitutional Nod to New Hampshire Patriot Act Authorizing Daily Time for Public School Students to Cite the Pledge of Allegiance

In the most recent of legal challenges to the recitation of our country’s Pledge of Allegiance by public school students, the U. S. Federal Court of Appeals for the First Circuit rendered a decision last month in the case of Freedom From Religion Foundation v. Hanover School District, 09-2473. In this case, the Court upheld as constitutional […]

Bullying Case Permitted to Proceed to Trial

In a decision issued in September 2008, a Connecticut Superior Court judge ruled in the case of Dornfried v. Berlin Board of Education, that there is no private right of action under Connecticut’s anti-bullying statute.  In Dornfried, a high school student and his parents sued the principal, athletic director, and head football coach, claiming that the […]

Connecticut Supreme Court Addresses Whether Mid-Year Increase in Teacher Workload Constitutes Unilateral Change of Condition of Employment

In a decision released by the Connecticut Supreme Court on November 16, 2010, Board of Education of Region 16 v. State Board of Labor Relations et al., Region 16 appealed to the Superior Court challenging a decision by the state board of labor relations (“SBLR”) which concluded that the school district had unilaterally changed a condition […]

New Jersey’s Division of Civil Rights Finds Probable Cause For a Student Complaint Alleging Hostile School Environment Based Upon Bias-based Peer Harassment

The New Jersey Division of Civil Rights (NJDCR) recently announced a finding of probable cause in the discrimination complaint filed by the parent of a middle school student claiming that her son was subjected to a hostile school environment based upon harassment by his peers for his perceived sexual orientation and religion. What makes this […]

Time Has Come to Implement ISS Law

Beginning on July 1, 2010, schools will be required by law to implement the school suspension law first passed in 2007 creating a presumption for in-school suspension and whose implementation date was twice extended by the Connecticut legislature as recently as October 2009. With the close of the May 2010 legislative session, the Connecticut legislature […]

School District’s Suspicionless Sweeps of School Parking Lots and Unattended Lockers Using Sniffer Dogs Upheld As Constitutional by Connecticut Superior Court

The Connecticut Superior Court in Burbank v. Canton Bd. Of Education,  2009 WL 3366272 (Conn. Super. 9/14/09)  ruled against parents and students who sought to prohibit the Canton Public School District from continuing its practice of using local police to conduct suspicionless sweeps of parking lots and unattended lockers at its middle and high schools using dogs […]