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Legal Digest Newsletter Archives


The Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued a “Dear Colleague” letter along with an extensive Q and A document concerning sexual assaults and other acts of what OCR terms “sexual violence” that affects students.  While much of the letter seems to be aimed at colleges and universities, the legal standards apply [...]


DEAR DAWG: Have you heard of The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster? Sounds weird to me, but maybe I have fallen behind the times.  We have a student who claims to be an adherent of this “religion.”  He says that every Friday is a holy day, so he should not have to come to [...]


Handgun Policy CAN SCHOOL BOARDS AUTHORIZE THE CARRYING OF CONCEALED HANDGUNS? Case citation:  Tex. Att’y Gen. Op. GA-1051 (2014). Summary:  The Chair of the Texas House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety recently asked the Attorney General whether a school district may authorize an employee or trustee to carry a concealed handgun at any [...]


Retaliation THE COUNSELOR PRODUCED NO EVIDENCE TO SUBSTANTIATE RETALIATION CLAIMS Case citation:  Lee-Khanv. Austin ISD,      Fed. Appx.    , 2014 WL 1797833 (5th Cir. 2014) (unpublished). Summary:  Helen Lee-Khan was a middle school counselor for the Austin Independent School District from 2007 until she was laid off in a district-wide reduction-in-force (RIF) in 2011. After being laid off, Lee-Khan [...]


Governmental Immunity DID THE ALLEGED FAILURE TO MAINTAIN BRAKES ON THE BUS WAIVE THE DISTRICT’S GOVERNMENTAL IMMUNITY? Case citation:  Mt.Pleasant ISD v. Elliott, 2014 WL 1513291 (Tex. App. – Texarkana 2014) (unpublished). Summary: Dona K. Elliott was a bus driver for the Mount Pleasant Independent School District when the brakes failed on the bus she was driving. [...]


Jurisdiction DID THE LAWSUIT BELONG IN STATE OR FEDERAL COURT? Case citation:  Hicksv. Austin ISD,      Fed. Appx.    , 2014 WL 1591024 (5th Cir. 2014) (unpublished). Summary:  Katrina Hicks filed suit in Texas state court against Austin Independent School District alleging discrimination and retaliation in violation of the Texas Labor Code and the First Amendment. On November [...]


U.S. Supreme Court Case Prayer At Board Meetings DID OPENING PRAYERS AT A CITY’S BOARD MEETINGS VIOLATE THE FIRST AMENDMENT? Case citation:  TownofGreece,N.Y. v. Galloway,      S.Ct.      , 2014 WL 1757828 (2014). Summary:  The town of Greece, New York began its monthly town meetings with a roll call and the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.  Following [...]


Attorneys’ Fees WAS THE SCHOOL DISTRICT ENTITLED TO ATTORNEYS’ FEES? Case citation:  M.M. v. Plano ISD, 2014 WL 1118146 (E.D. Tex. 2014) (unpublished). Summary:  B.M., a minor, was enrolled in the Plano Independent School District for the 2010-11 school year. The parents filed a request for a Special Education Due Process Hearing with the Texas Education Agency [...]


Religion KOUNTZE ISD CHEERLEADER FOOTBALL BANNER CASE HELD MOOT Case citation:  KountzeISDv. Matthews, 2014 WL 1857797 (Tex. App. – Beaumont 2014) (unpublished). Summary:  Parents of a group of cheerleaders in the Kountze Independent School District sued the district and its former superintendent, Kevin Weldon, after Weldon issued a decree that prohibited the cheerleaders from including [...]