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Can a Student Get Expelled for a Prank?

Pranks can be funny, as long as they're done tastefully. But, there's a thin line between an acceptable prank and an unacceptable one, particularly if a school is involved. It's important to let your kids know that while pranks may be funny to them and their friends, school officials may not appreciate the joke. In fact, pranks that violate student codes of conduct could lead to suspension, or if serious enough, even potentially expulsion.

Under current state laws in Florida, public school districts are given the option of providing classes that include the "objective study" of the Bible. But a new statute would require public high schools to offer an elective course on the Bible and religion, and students would have the option to enroll. "It's the book that prepares us for eternity, and there's no other book that does that," said the bill's co-sponsor Representative Brad Drake. "So why not?"

Considering the U.S. Constitution prohibits the making any law "respecting an establishment of religion," the "why not" part could get a little complicated. Here's a look.

Schools almost always have a list of guidelines and policies. We've all heard that before. But what's the different between a policy and a guideline? And should there be more policies regarding teachers' social media interactions with students?

Los Angeles Teachers Plan Strike After $1.8B Uncovered

Los Angeles Teachers and the Los Angles Unified School District (LAUSD) appear to be at an impasse in contract negotiations, and attempts to compromise, or even coexist, seem to be failing with each turn. Now the teachers have drawn a line in the sand, setting a date of January 10, 2019, for a strike, unless LAUSD can offer up terms it is willing to accept.

Injunction Issued Against West Virginia 'Bible in the School' Program

A three judge panel may have put a dagger through the heart of a West Virginia public school district's eighty year old Bible study program. In reversing the lower court's ruling, the Fourth Circuit panel ruled that a public school district's Bible In The School (BITS) program violated separation of Church and State laws, and issued an injunction, effective immediately.

Judge Issues Restraining Order Against Sixth Grade Bully

In a tragic case of middle school bullying, a seventh grade boy was intimidated and assaulted by a larger sixth grade boy off the grounds of their school, Sleepy Hill Middle School, in Lakeland, Florida. To make matters worse, the sixth grade boy continued to stalk and bully the assault victim after the incident. Fortunately, Judge James Yancey of Polk County thought enough was enough, and issued a restraining order requiring the sixth grader to stay at least 50 feet away from his accuser for one year.

Dept. of Ed. Makes Student Sex Assault Cases Harder

The Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos released her long-awaited proposed regulation regarding Title IX sexual harassment and sexual assault grievances, and how they must be handled in education administrative proceedings.

The proposal narrowed the definition of these words, as well as when and how a school must respond. In both instances, it would become more difficult to hold the accused responsible for his or her actions. Unlike the current guidelines, which only serve to counsel schools on how to deal with sexual harassment, DeVos is planning to make her guidelines regulation, thereby in effect carrying the weight of law. Consequently, before taking effect, this proposal will be subject to public comment.

It's pretty obvious that schools will want to monitor their students' social media activity. From preventing online bullying or harassment to ensuring that students don't tarnish a school's image, administrators have an interest in keeping an eye on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram belonging to students.

But when can that policing of posts go too far? Perhaps when you're asking female volleyball players what male football players will think of their Instagram posts and kicking them off the team because of them.

Department of Education on Last Leg in Student Loan Forgiveness Case

Betsy DeVos's Department of Education was dealt a severe blow for its delay in carrying out the Borrower's Defense to Repayment, which was supposed to go into effect on July 1. Attorneys general from 19 states and the District of Columbia filed suit, claiming the delay violated the Administrative Procedures Act because DeVos did not meet the standard for a delay, give proper notice, or afford adequate time for public comment.

The federal court ruled last week that the delay was "arbitrary and capricious," or in other words, not fair and illegal. The judge has given the Department until October 12th to either offer stronger justification for the delay, or else the Repayment rule will take effect immediately.

Missouri's School Bullying Problem Is Among the Worst in Nation

It's a startling statistic. In America, every seven minutes, a child is bullied. In 4 percent of the cases, parents intervene; children intervene 11 percent. It's a heartbreaking reality that 85 percent of the time, no one is there to help the victims. In a recently published study on school bullying conducted by Wallethub, Missouri ranked third in the nation for states with the most prevalent bullying. Missouri has been working hard to fix this problem, especially since Megan Meier's death in 2006 after being cyberbullied by fellow students and their parents. Though perhaps Missouri has improved, they still have a long way to go.

The study based its rankings on several factors including percentage of students bullied on school property and online, the rate of truancy due to fear of being bullied, and the stance the state has taken on state anti-bullying laws. The data came from several sources, including the Census Bureau, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data was collected from 2015-2017.