Stirring the culture wars a bit just as Republicans are arriving in St. Paul, Minn., for their convention, a federal appeals court has upheld the right of a gay student group to have the same access at a Minnesota public high school for meetings and communications as other student groups. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, in St. Louis, ruled unanimously that the group Straights and Gays for Equality had the same right under the federal Equal Access Act to facilities as other student groups at Maple Grove High School in the ...


Pennsylvania's record-keeping requirements for home-schoolers do not violate families' free-exercise-of-religion rights under the U.S. Constitution, a federal appeals court ruled today. A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, in Philadelphia, unanimously rejected a First Amendment challenge by six home-schooling families who argued that the requirements infringe on their sincerely held Christian religious beliefs. Under state law, parents who home school their children must provide instruction for a minimum number of days and hours in certain subjects and must submit a portfolio of teaching logs and the children’s work product for review by ...


A federal appeals court today upheld a prohibition on displaying the Confederate flag in a Tennessee high school that had experienced racial tensions. "The facts in this case ... indicate that school officials could reasonably forecast that permitting students to wear clothing depicting the Confederate flag would cause disruptions to the school environment,'' said the unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, in Cincinnati. The decision in Barr v. LaFon upholds summary judgment in favor of the Blount County, Tenn., school district and administrators in a challenge to the prohibition ...


I took a vacation day on Friday, thinking that the school law beat would be relatively quiet in the middle of August. But all kinds of stories were breaking ... Violent Essay: A Minnesota high school student's creative-writing class story about a student who murders his teacher and commits suicide was not speech protected by the First Amendment, a federal appeals court has ruled. The court upheld seizure of the 17-year-old student by county authorities for a psychiatric evaluation. "This lengthy essay describing an obsession with weapons and gore, a hatred for his English teacher with a similar name who had ...


During a quiet week in mid-August, it's time to catch up with these school law developments of the past few days: Confederate Symbols in School: A Tennessee student's lawsuit challenging school restrictions on displays of the Confederate flag has gone to trial, as the Associated Press reports here. California Curriculum: A federal district judge has ruled that the University of California system may deny admissions recognition for courses at Christian high schools that used textbooks that did not meet college-preparatory standards. The schools used books that treated the Bible as an irrefutable source on historic events and taught students to ...


An Illinois high school student expelled over a gang-related confrontation in the cafeteria received sufficient due process because he was given notice and a meaningful opportunity to be heard, a federal appeals court ruled today. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, in Chicago, unanimously held that the student and his parents were not entitled to greater due process, such as the opportunity to cross-examine school security guards or to have the services of a Spanish-language interpreter at the hearing. According to court documents, Roger Coronado Jr. was a 15-year-old student at Bolingbrook ...


A federal judge has issued an injunction barring a Virginia school district from imposing rental fees on an afterschool religious club when it waives the fees for the Boy Scouts and most school-related groups and charitable events. U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson of Newport News, Va., said in his Aug. 8 opinion that the rental policy of the Williamsburg-James City County school district likely violates the First Amendment rights of Child Evangelism Fellowship of Virginia, which sponsors the afterschool Good News Clubs promoting Christianity among voluntary attendees. The district's "policy empowers its superintendent to decide which organizations are ...


A state appellate court in California has reversed its own controversial ruling and held that parents without teaching credentials may home school their children. The 2nd District Court of Appeal said in its Aug. 8 ruling in Jonathan L. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County that state statutes and case law at one time required homeschooled children to be taught by a credentialed teacher, but "subsequent developments in the law call this conclusion into question." "Although the Legislature did not amend the statutory scheme so as to expressly permit home schooling, more recent enactments demonstrate an apparent acceptance by ...


A school's frequent placement of a disruptive special education student in a small room for "timeout" did not violate his constitutional rights, a federal appeals court has ruled. The mother of a 1st grader in the Albuquerque, N.M., school district claimed in a lawsuit that placing her son in a small, dimly lighted room for five minutes or more at a time violated his Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable seizure and his 14th Amendment right of due process of law. A federal district judge agreed, ruling that a teacher violated the boy's clearly established rights by placing him in ...


A federal appeals court is expected to hear arguments this fall in a challenge to a Texas law mandating a "moment of silence" to "reflect, pray, [or] meditate," the Houston Chroncle reports here. (Thanks to How Appealing for the tip.) Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed a brief on Monday urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, in New Orleans, to uphold the 2003 statute, which he says promotes patriotism and thoughtful contemplation, not religion. The brief is here, and a news release is here. A federal district judge upheld the law against a facial challenge ...


Follow This Blog

Advertisement

Most Viewed on Education Week

Categories

Archives

Recent Comments

  • shutters: Its difficult once your kids get older to keep them read more
  • Joel Reidenberg: The study does not challenge the value to local schools read more
  • Joe: So, public schools are collecting their students' data in ways read more
  • JT: I still find it unbelievable that people can work in read more
  • Sandra Surace: What can a person do who suffered retaliation by school read more