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Legal Digest Newsletter Archives


INTRODUCTION With the swift evolution of technology and children’s interest in keeping up with every new gadget, app, and website, the issue of cyberbullying is no doubt on the rise.  Many popular apps and websites offer young people ways to communicate through pictures, video, and even anonymous online posts.  For students with a vendetta, these [...]


DEAR DAWG: A parent has complained about a technique used by one of our coaches. According to the parent, the coach has a habit of blowing his whistle as loud as he can right close to the ear of a student.  The coach seems to think this is funny and a good way to get [...]


Competitive Bidding DID THE SCHOOL DISTRICT DISCRIMINATE AGAINST THE BANKRUPT COMPANY? Case citation:  Devon Enterprises, LLC v. Arlington ISD, __ Fed. Appx. __, 2013 WL 5526699 (5th Cir. 2013). Summary:  Devon Enterprises, LLC, doing business as Alliance Bus Charters, was a charter bus company providing bus services to Arlington Independent School District, and others.  In October of 2010, [...]


Open Meetings Act DID THE NOTICE OF THE BOARD MEETING COMPLY WITH THE OPEN MEETINGS ACT? Case citation:  Concerned Parents v. Katy ISD, Dkt. No. 060-R10-0312 (Comm’r Educ.  August 30, 2013). Summary:   The Katy Independent School District initiated a process to consider proposed school boundary changes.  Prior to the final board action, three public workshops were held, [...]


Whistleblower DID THE UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR ESTABLISH CLAIMS UNDER THE WHISTLEBLOWER ACT? Case citation:  University of Houston v. Barth, 403 S.W.2d 851 (Tex. 2013). Summary:   University of Houston professor, Stephen Barth, sued the university under the Texas Whistleblower Act.  He claimed that the university retaliated against him for reporting that his supervisor violated internal administrative policies located in [...]


Qualified Immunity DID THE TEACHER SUFFER RETALIATION FOR SPEAKING OUT AGAINST THE PRINCIPAL’S GRADING POLICIES? Case citation:  Goudeau v. East Baton Rouge Parish School Board, __ Fed. Appx. __, 2013 WL 5514548 (5th Cir. 2013). Summary:   Sheila Goudeau worked as an elementary teacher for Louisiana’s East Baton Rouge Parish School Board, when her principal, Shilonda Shamlin, instructed teachers, [...]


Retaliation DID THE SCHOOL DISTRICT RETALIATE AGAINST THE PARENT FOR FILING A GRIEVANCE? Case citation:  Parent v. Katy ISD, Dkt. No. 061-R10-0510 (Comm’r Educ.  August 7, 2013). Summary:   The parent’s child attended school in the Katy Independent School District.  The parent had a contentious relationship with the school principal at the child’s first school.  That led to [...]


Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies WHEN CAN A NONRENEWED EMPLOYEE FILE SUIT WITHOUT FIRST APPEALING THE NONRENEWAL TO T.E.A.? Citation:  Sharyland ISD v. Molina, 2013 WL 5305711 (Tex. App. – Corpus Christi 2013). Summary:  Romelia Farias Molina was employed as an assistant principal in the Sharyland Independent School District.  In the spring of 2011, she was notified that [...]


Accommodations WAS THE STUDENT PROVIDED APPROPRIATE ACCOMMODATIONS? Case citation:  Student v. Santa Fe ISD, Dkt. No. 129-SE-0213 (Hearing Officer Sharon M. Ramage, April 26, 2013) and Dkt. No. 172-SE-0313 (Hearing Officer Sharon M. Ramage, May 23, 2013). Summary:  The student qualified for special education services as a student with an Other Health Impairment related to Attention Deficit [...]


Transfers DID THE SCHOOL DISTRICT IMPROPERLY TERMINATE THE STUDENT’S TRANSFER AGREEMENT? Case citation:  Child v. Skidmore-Tynan ISD, Dkt. No. 026-R5-1110 (Comm’r Educ.  August 7, 2013). Summary:   The child attended school in the Skidmore-Tynan Independent School District under a transfer agreement for the 2010-11 school year.  On September 14, 2010, the school district revoked the transfer agreement.  The [...]


Hearing Examiners WHAT IS THE STANDARD FOR REMOVAL OF A HEARING EXAMINER? Case citation:  In re Paula Robnett-Theodorio, Dkt. No. 087-R8-0711 (Comm’r Educ.  August 30, 2013). Summary:   Rogers, Morris, and Grover, L.L.P., a law firm that represents school districts, requested that the Commissioner of Education take action concerning hearing examiner Paula Robnett-Theodorio.  The petition alleged that in [...]