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Although this podcast episode was recorded pre-pandemic, it is more relevant than ever in these challenging times. We all make mistakes and school district employees are no exception. How should administrators and decision-makers handle human error affecting children and families? What if the mistake turns out to be willful neglect or even insubord…
 
Recorded before the pandemic, this episode explores manifestation determination reviews for special education students whose misbehavior violated their school's code of conduct. Join Christina and Miriam for a look at how these MDR decisions are made, why these meetings are important, and what common challenges special education teams encounter in …
 
In this episode, recorded before the pandemic, Christina and Miriam discuss a complicated and sensitive topic: parents who are registered as sex offenders, but still have various rights when it comes to participating in their own children's education. How should a district respond if a registered offender wants to attend his or her child's classroo…
 
Recorded before the COVID-19 pandemic, this episode highlights some of the more interesting education law cases decided by appellate courts in 2019. Christina and Miriam summarize judicial rulings and discuss child abuse reporting, retaliation claims, MDR mistakes, and a restraint-and-seclusion case out of the 5th Circuit. Join us for a leisurely a…
 
Team decisions about Extended School Year services can be complicated in a regular school year, all the more so during this Coronavirus pandemic. Many school districts are still closed but parents may be expecting in-person ESY services. Join Christina Peer, Miriam Pearlmutter, and Lisa Woloszynek as we discuss ESY decisions, recovery services, and…
 
Well, this last quarter of the 2019-2020 school year has certainly been unusual! Students are adjusting to distance learning while districts are troubleshooting and problem-solving in innovative, creative ways. Christina Peer joins Lisa and Miriam to talk about how special education has - and has not - changed in the era of coronavirus distance lea…
 
In this second episode of our two-part series on school districts' obligations in light of the emerging COVID-19 pandemic, we take a look at your top legal questions relating to school staff. Lisa and Miriam are joined by Susan Keating Anderson, a partner at Walter Haverfield who advises school districts as to labor and employment issues. We talk a…
 
As the COVID-19 pandemic shuts schools across the country, many districts are looking for guidance in uncertain times. What obligations do schools have to students and families when buildings are closed? How can special education needs be addressed when children are logging on from home? Does the FERPA health emergency exception apply to disclosing…
 
Happy Thanksgiving! In today's episode, Lisa and Miriam are joined by John Moenk, our law clerk, to discuss common difficulties in preparing Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for students with special education needs. The IEP document reflects a school district's legal obligation to provide qualifying students with a free appropriate public …
 
As we all know, special education students often have disability-related needs outside of the traditional classroom setting. In the transportation context, however, some circumstances can challenge even the most experienced special education administrator or transportation supervisor. For example, does a district need to provide door-to-door transp…
 
To finish up our Title IX series, Ben Chojnacki joins Lisa and Miriam to discuss school districts' obligations towards transgender students. Over the last several years, some school districts across the country have found themselves embroiled in local and even national controversies over locker room facilities, preferred names, and overnight field …
 
The term "sex-based discrimination" may bring to mind harassment, exclusion, or various unwarranted assumptions about boys and girls. But did you know that Title IX applies also to equity in school sports, including non-discriminatory participation opportunities for male and female students? And what does equity in school sports mean, anyway? If yo…
 
Both universities and K-12 school districts are obligated to respond to complaints of sexual harassment or sexual violence promptly and thoroughly. But beyond that, additional administrative requirements can sometimes be controversial. What standard of proof should apply to a proceeding that could result in an expulsion for the accused student? Sho…
 
Simply put, Title IX prohibits sex-based discrimination in public schools and universities. But this fascinating and broad law affects many diverse aspects of a school district's daily operations - from handling bullying and harassment allegations, to ensuring equity in athletic programming, addressing employment discrimination claims, as well as t…
 
Booster groups are parent and community-led organizations that support and fundraise for various programs offered by public school districts, such as sports, drama, etc. Some booster groups are official and others are not, but any group's activities can raise challenging legal questions for school boards. Who is liable if a child is injured at a bo…
 
In the wake of school shootings and similar tragedies, many school districts across the country now offer hotline services where students can submit anonymous tips through an app, and a crisis center evaluates these concerns for bullying, suicidal ideations, or other potential violence. These technological advances come with many benefits for child…
 
Student privacy can certainly be tricky in this era of rapidly-developing technology. It seems like everyone has privacy rights under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) these days, but sometimes these rights and obligations collide. For example, what if parents request a video recording of their child, but the clip includes footage…
 
It seems like almost every week we hear yet another news story about a school in hot water because of a secret tape recorder or phone that a parent sent in a student's back pack. Is this even legal? And what if a parent requests to send a recording device with her child in advance? Do school districts have to agree? What if the parent wants to reco…
 
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