School Law News - Law and Daily Life
Law & Daily Life - The FindLaw Life, Family and Workplace Law Blog

Recently in School Law Category

One North Carolina school district is going to great lengths to monitor its students' social media habits, paying thousands to a third party to scan students' posts.

Jackson County Schools are contracting with Social Sentinel Inc. in a pilot project that will use computer algorithms to scan student social media posts for safety or security threats, reports The Sylva Herald. The program will be launched at Smoky Mountain High School in Sylva this fall, and will cost $9,500 for the first year.

But will students be paying the price in privacy?

A Los Angeles County judge ruled Tuesday that California's teacher tenure laws are unconstitutional. The decision could spark similar lawsuits nationwide.

As reported by Reuters, the ruling in Vergara v. California strikes down five laws that education reformers claim make it difficult to fire teachers who do a poor job. Teachers unions and state educational officials opposed the suit, calling it an attack on teachers.

Here are five things you need to know about the suit, the ruling, and what's next in this ongoing legal battle:

President Barack Obama has signed an executive order to lessen student loan obligations for as many as 5 million federal borrowers, calling on Congress to take similar steps.

The order directs the Secretary of Education to propose changes in student loan regulations that would potentially cap payments at 10 percent of each borrower's monthly income.

But how will this new student loan order affect actual borrowers?

Legal How-To: Fighting a School Suspension

A high school student who was suspended after he asked Miss America to the prom has raised issues about fighting school suspensions.

Patrick Farves' Pennsylvania high school knew he was going to ask Miss America to prom during an assembly, but warned the 18-year-old not to do it. However, Farves went ahead and asked her during a school sponsored Q&A and was given a three-day in-school suspension, according to New York's WNYW-TV.

So if you're a parent, here are some legal tips on how to fight a school suspension:

Teacher Fired for 'Friending' Students Online

A 79-year-old substitute teacher from New Hampshire was fired after she refused to "unfriend" her students on Facebook.

Carol Thebarge had been teaching in the Claremont, New Hampshire school district for more than 30 years when she was apparently given an ultimatum from school officials to delete her students as Facebook friends or face termination, according to New Hampshire's WMUR9-TV.

School administrators don't argue that Thebarge was a good teacher, but written school policies forced them to let her go.

NYC Can Bar Churches From Public Schools: 2nd Cir.

The fight over a New York City policy that bars church services in public schools took another legal twist this week. A federal appeals court held the ban did not violate the right to free exercise of religion, reversing a lower court's ruling.

A three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held that the ban did not compel NYC officials to make decisions that "constitute excessive entanglement with religion," as a lower court had found.

What does this ruling mean for religious groups and for NYC's public schools?

5 Legal Tips for Parents of Autistic Children

As many as one in 68 children in the United States may have autism, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

From your child's right to educational accommodations to different types of alternative dispute resolution, parents of autistic children are often unfamiliar with the legal protections in place to protect their children's access to education.

In honor of National Autism Awareness Month and World Autism Awareness Day, here are five introductory and education-focused legal tips for parents of autistic children:

A Minnesota school has agreed to fork over $70,000 for demanding a sixth-grader reveal her Facebook password.

Riley Stratton, now 15, painfully remembers when Minnewaska school officials cornered her over a Facebook post and threatened her with suspension, reports the Star Tribune. The confrontation ended with Stratton relinquishing her password, but thanks to the ACLU's intervention, its ultimate end was the school cutting a check.

What were the legal reasons behind the school's Facebook password settlement?

Supreme Ct. Lets 'I Heart Boobies' Ruling Stand

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear the student free-speech case about a school's ban on "I Heart Boobies" cancer awareness bracelets, Reuters reports.

That means the August 2013 decision by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which sided with the students who wanted to don the bracelets, remains intact.

It's a major victory for the students in the Easton Area School District in Pennsylvania.

Legal How-To: Getting Student Loans Forgiven

As you try to manage your student loans, it's important to remember that there are a number of loan forgiveness programs out there that you may qualify for.

Forgiveness programs aren't a quick fix, as they take several years to complete. Still, they're a great way to see the light at the end of the tunnel, to avoid defaulting on your loans, and eventually, to help you move on with your life.

Here are a few potential ways to get your student loans forgiven: