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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.

Most students are back to school by now and looking to get their academic year started off on the right foot. But some early stumbles could have students already facing disciplinary decisions and punishment at school. While sitting in a corner, writing repetitive sentences, and detention are still the norm in many schools, some are punishing kids in some pretty shocking ways.

You might be surprised to learn about the huge disparity in punishments depending on a child's race; that, until recently, Florida schoolchildren were fashioning the paddles used to spank them, or that your child might be cuffed and threatened with a taser and jailtime by a fake cop toting a real gun. These are all extreme examples of course, but there may be methods of punishment you disagree with, or feel your child shouldn't have been punished at all. Here's what you can do.

Is It Legal to Let a Kindergartner Walk Home From School?

In a Northern California city last week, five year-old Kirby Jackson walked home from school after he ended his kindergarten day. He walked home, alone, around noontime, through three miles of busy streets. No one noticed. Once home, he called his mom at work to say hi, which almost gave his mother a heart attack. He was supposed to be in after-care at his local public elementary school. When the mother called the school to see what had happened, the school didn't even know Kirby was gone.

5 Common Homeschooling Legal Questions

Approximately 1.7 million children are homeschooled in this country each year, and that number is on the rise. People homeschool for a variety of reasons, most notably providing a better education than local public schools, a better curriculum, or a difference in moral values.

If you are interested in homeschooling your child, before you take the leap, here are five common homeschooling legal questions, and answers, to get you started.

Common Reasons Teachers Get Sued

Teachers Beware! America is known for being a litigious society, and no one is immune from a lawsuit, not even a beloved teacher. Though in many instances, a school or school district is named as a defendant in a lawsuit, there are times when teachers are individually sued and held civilly liable. What can a teacher do? In addition to carrying teacher's insurance to help cover legal costs, teachers may want to steer clear of the following.

It almost that time when your baby goes from high school senior to first year college student. And while you're juggling all the emotions that can arise when a child goes off to college, there are some legal issues you might want to handle before classes start this fall.

If you're worried about your child's health, finances, and grades when they go to college, here are four essential documents to ease your mind:

In the wake of the Parkland, Florida school shooting earlier this year, students nationwide staged walkouts to protest gun violence and support stricter gun control laws. Students at Hononegah Community High School in Rockton, Illinois walked out on March 14, 2018, but not all of those students were on the same side of the gun control debate.

Madison Oster, a junior at Hononegah with "sincerely-held beliefs regarding the individual right of the Second Amendment, firearms policies in general, and about the optimal way to protect schools in the event of a violent attack" marched that day carrying signs that read "Pro Life, Pro God, Pro Gun" and "Protect Us, Police For All Schools." And a lawsuit filed this week claims the school "systematically segregated, suppressed, and ostracized" the viewpoints expressed by Oster a similarly-minded students.