Connecticut Education Law Blog

Connecticut Education Law Blog

Category Archives: Regular Education

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Protecting Student Privacy When Cloud Computing and Outsourcing School Student Record Functions to Third Parties

Posted in Regular Education, Student Matters
The way student records are created, accessed and stored is changing drastically increasing concerns about schools’ ability to protect student privacy as required under laws such as the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Schools are shifting from a traditional paper model to the electronic creation, … Continue Reading

OCR Chief and DOJ Section Head Answer Tough Questions From School Attorneys At National Law Seminar

Posted in Regular Education, Student Matters
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights (OCR) Chief Catherine Lhamon along with U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)Education Opportunities Section head Anurima Bhargava attended the April 2014 School Law Seminar held in New Orleans and fielded questions from attending school attorneys who sought clarification of the Departments’ position related to harassment standards for student … Continue Reading

Snow Days and E-Learning

Posted in Regular Education
As this year’s snow-filled winter continues in Connecticut, so too do school cancellations for districts across the state. While students may enjoy the instant gratification that a snow day brings, few are as excited in June when make-up days must be added to the school calendar. Disruptions in the class schedule also impact teachers and … Continue Reading

New Legislation Decriminalizes Theft of School Accommodations for Non-Residency

Posted in Regular Education, Student Matters
Although rarely done, in the past few years, several Connecticut public school districts have been featured in the news for seeking criminal remedies against parents for theft of educational services.  Parents who allegedly enrolled and sent their child to a school located in a town or city other than the one where the child actually … Continue Reading

Gun Bill Includes Many New Requirements For School Boards

Posted in Constitutional Issues, Regular Education, Student Matters
While the other aspects of Connecticut’s new gun control law have received more notoriety, the new law included a number of provisions intended to improve school safety and security including the following:  Requires each school to have a safety committee; Requires each school to conduct a risk vulnerability assessment; Require each school to have a … Continue Reading

The Connecticut State Board of Education Adopts Long Awaited Definitions of Excused and Unexcused Student Absences for Truancy Reporting Purposes

Posted in Regular Education, Student Matters
On Wednesday, June 27, 2012, the Connecticut State Board of Education (CSBOE) adopted long awaited definitions of excused and unexcused student absences as required under Public Act 11-136, An Act Concerning Minor Revisions to the Education Statutes. The new definitions promise to promote consistency and reliability in the state’s data collection and reporting related to … Continue Reading

Who’s watching who? And who can review?

Posted in Constitutional Issues, Regular Education, Student Matters, Uncategorized
  School administrators frequently grapple with the treatment of video recordings. From Constitutional issues to concerns about education records, administrators need to be aware of how to use surveillance cameras appropriately and how to respond to requests for copies of those video recordings. As more and more districts are using video surveillance in schools, this issue promises … Continue Reading

Minnesota School District Enters Into Five Year Consent Degree with Department of Justice and the Office of Civil Rights in Resolution of Peer-on-Peer Harassment and Discrimination Claims Based Upon Sex and Sexual Orientation

Posted in Regular Education, Student Matters
The Anoka-Hennepin school district (District) in Minnesota recently entered into a five year consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Dept. of Education, Office of Civil Rights (OCR) to resolve two separate actions brought by six current or former district students alleging peer-on-peer harassment and discrimination based upon sex and … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Student Off-Campus Online Speech Cases

Posted in Constitutional Issues, Regular Education, Student Matters
As you may recall from our previous posts regarding student’s online speech, the summer of 2011 brought with it a split in the Circuit Courts regarding how to handle discipline of student’s off-campus online  speech.  Specifically, the cases J.S. v. Blue Mountain Sch. Dist. and Layshock v. Hermitage Sch. Dist. out of the Third Circuit and Kowalski v. Berkeley County Schools … Continue Reading

FCC Issues Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) Rule Revisions Adding New Requirements for School Districts’ Internet Safety Policies

Posted in Regular Education, Student Matters
This month, the FCC released long awaited Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) rule revisions. CIPA is a federal law enacted by Congress to address concerns about access to offensive, obscene or harmful content by minors over the Internet on school and library computers. In early 2001, the FCC issued rules implementing CIPA.  FCC recently released … Continue Reading

Judge Blocks Missouri Facebook Law

Posted in Regular Education
On August 2 we posted an article about a new law set to go into effect in Missouri prohibiting on-line communications between teachers and students that seemed to have some potentially problematic language in it. Late last week a Missouri judge issued an injunction preventing the new law from going into effect.  Apparently, the law … Continue Reading

Missouri Says No Teacher Student Facebook Friendships

Posted in Regular Education
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 … Continue Reading

Circuit Courts Continue Battle Over Free Speech Rights for Students

Posted in Constitutional Issues, Regular Education, Student Matters
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, … Continue Reading

Bullying Not Just a Problem Among Students Anymore

Posted in Labor and Employment, Regular Education, Student Matters
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 … Continue Reading

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

Posted in Constitutional Issues, Regular Education
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 … Continue Reading

Bullying Case Permitted to Proceed to Trial

Posted in Regular Education, Student Matters
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 … Continue Reading

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

Posted in Labor and Employment, Regular Education, Special Education
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 … Continue Reading

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

Posted in Regular Education, Student Matters
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 … Continue Reading

Time Has Come to Implement ISS Law

Posted in Regular Education
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 … Continue Reading

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

Posted in Constitutional Issues, Regular Education, Student Matters
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 … Continue Reading
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