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Legal Digest Newsletter Archives


INTRODUCTION One does not have to look very far to see the continuing saga of student bullying.  In preparing this article in early April 2014, a Google news search of the term “bullying suicide” revealed yet another student who committed suicide that his parents attributed to bullying. Jeffrey Hulon, Jr., of Pitt County, North Carolina, took [...]


DEAR DAWG: Should I be concerned about the fact that our school attorney now has a “tip jar” on her desk?  Am I now expected to tip? What’s the standard for that?  On top of the personal anxiety this creates, I fear it leaves a bad impression. I’m the superintendent and I met with the [...]


Desegregation   THE APPEALS COURT DID NOT ACCEPT THE “FREEDOM OF CHOICE” PLAN SET BY THE TRIAL COURT Case citation:  Cowan v. Cleveland School Dist.,      F.3d      , 2014 WL 1302620 (5th Cir. 2014). Summary: The Cleveland School District was one of many school districts in Mississippi that previously practiced race-based de jure segregation in education.   Under [...]


Discrimination   THE SPECIAL EDUCATION DIRECTOR COULD NOT DEMONSTRATE DISCRIMINATORY EMPLOYMENT ACTION Case citation:  Morgan v. Braswell, 2014 WL 1280499 (N.D. Tex. 2014) (unpublished). Summary:   Valda Morgan, who is African American, was the special education director of Denton Independent School District when the Texas Education Agency (TEA) conducted an audit of the special education department. [...]


Intervening Parties   WERE THE PARENTS ENTITLED TO INTERVENE IN THE SCHOOL VOUCHER LITIGATION? Case citation:  Brumfield v. Dodd, __ F.3d __, 2014 WL 1395663 (5th Cir. 2014). Summary: On August 22, 2013, the United States filed a motion seeking “permanently [to] enjoin the State of Louisiana ... from awarding any school vouchers ... to students [...]


Distribution of Religious Material   PARENTS Editor’s Note: This is the latest ruling in longstanding litigation in Plano ISD.  The decision summarized below is limited to a discussion of whether the elementary school principal was entitled to qualified immunity from claims that the principal prohibited the student’s father to distribute religious material to other adults [...]


Disability Discrimination   DID THE EMPLOYEE STATE VALID DISABILITY CLAIMS BASED ON HER ASSOCIATION WITH A DISABLED CHILD? Case citation:  Ruiz v. Edcouch-Elsa ISD, 2014 WL 1385877 (S.D. Tex. 2014) (unpublished). Summary:  Sandra Ruiz was an employee of the Edcouch-Elsa Independent School District.   Ruiz sued the school district after her termination, claiming that she was [...]


Excessive Force   DID THE SCHOOL’S “RED RIBBON DAY” VIOLATE THE STUDENT’S CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS? Case citation:  Yara v. Perryton ISD,       Fed. Appx.    , 2014 WL 1273808 (5th Cir. 2014) (unpublished). Summary:  Andrew Yara was a Perryton Independent School District high school student when he participated in the school’s “Red Ribbon Day.”  The program was a two-day [...]


Expunction of Criminal Records   WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE FOR EXPUNGING CRIMINAL RECORDS? Case citation: Ex parte Harold Cornish, Dkt. No. 05-11-01276- CV (Tex. App. – Dallas, February 14, 2014). Summary: Harold Cornish was arrested for assault in December of 2009.   In April of 2011, Cornish filed a petition to expunge the arrest records, arguing [...]