2022 Annual School Law Seminar


2022 Annual School Law Seminar

Heritage Center of Brooklyn Center
6155 Earle Brown Drive, Brooklyn Center, Minnesota
Friday, December 2, 2022

We’d love to have you join us!  Our annual school law seminar is free to attend, either virtually or in-person. If you wish to register for the seminar, please call (612) 339-0060.




8:00 a.m.

Registration & Coffee

8:30 a.m.

8:35 – 9:05 a.m.

New Year, New Legal Frontier: A Recap of Court Cases from 2022.

This presentation will provide school officials with timely, valuable information on the new cases impacting the operations of schools including liability waivers, defamation of staff by parents and more…

9:05 – 9:40 a.m.

Praying at School and Swearing Off Campus: The Supreme Court Weighs Constitutional Rights of Staff and Students

What is “private” prayer on campus vs. coercive prayer when a teacher or coach is involved? When can a school discipline a student for off-campus speech? Can a district still take action when a student engages in off-campus threats? This presentation will discuss two recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions regarding these issues and how districts can manage student and staff conduct while upholding their constitutional rights.

9:40 – 10:15 a.m.

A Practical Guide to Addressing Difficult Employee Performance Issues.

Responding to employee misconduct or poor performance is never easy but some situations are more difficult than others. There are laws that protect the rights of staff who are not meeting job expectations, perhaps due to chemical dependency or a medical condition, and require a careful approach by the employer. This presentation will walk the audience through these legal landmines and provide practical guidance as to how to approach these tricky scenarios

10:15 – 10:30 a.m.


10:30 – 11:05 a.m.

Reading is Fundamental. Supporting Struggling Readers in General Education & Beyond

Minnesota law requires identification of struggling readers or those not reading at grade level. It identifies dyslexia as one specific learning disability. In this session, we will discuss the general education requirements for students who are struggling readers, those suspected of having dyslexia, the diagnosis of reading disorders and the recent 8th Circuit Court of Appeals decision on what a school district’s responsibility is to struggling readers.

11:05 – 11:35 a.m.

All in the Family: Familial Disputes, Residency Issues, and Data Privacy Concerns

From custodial disputes to students living with relatives, schools are constantly confronted with difficult family dynamics.  These situations present unique, and often challenging, practical and legal questions that impact the day-to-day operations of a school.  This presentation will focus on practical steps that administrators can take to help ensure that the response to these situations complies with relevant laws, including laws related to data privacy, does not unduly embroil staff in parental disputes, and otherwise complies with the school’s legal obligations to students and parents.

11:35 – 12:30 p.m.

Lunch Break

If you have pre-ordered a boxed lunch, it will be available to be picked up outside Carriage Hall A.  A list of local restaurants is available at the registration table.




12:30 p.m.

Difficult Labor Relations: Understanding Union Tactics

Nation-wide, labor negotiations have become more difficult leading to strikes and threatened strikes.  This presentation will discuss common union tactics leading to difficult labor relations.  It will also provide practical guidance for school districts experiencing difficult negotiations.

School Board Meetings Post COVID – The Problems Continue

COVID gave rise to, or exacerbated, several issues involving the conduct of School Board meetings, including Open Meeting Law compliance, disruptive conduct and offensive speech.  Unfortunately, some of these problems have become endemic, just like COVID.  This presentation discusses the “new normal” of public meetings and how to address these issues so that the business of a school district can be conducted as efficiently as possible.

1:10 p.m.

First Amendment Gone Wild: Book Challenges, Student Protests, and Other Complex First Amendment Issues in Public Schools.

This presentation addresses recent trends in student and employee speech/expressive conduct, as well as other timely First Amendment-related topics.

Child Find: 10 Things to Keep in Mind.

Public schools have an ongoing obligation to locate, identify, and evaluate students for aids and services under Section 504 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This “child find” obligation can be daunting at times, but is essential to ensuring that your school district is in compliance with the law.  Allegations that a public school failed to comply with its child find obligations are frequently at the center of administrative proceedings and litigation.  This presentation will provide valuable information and practical advice as to when a school’s child find obligation is triggered, common issues that arise, and other insights to help educators ensure that students are appropriately located, identified, and evaluated.

1:50 p.m.

The Ins and Outs of Unemployment Insurance

Who is eligible to receive unemployment insurance? What events disqualify an individual from receiving unemployment insurance? How do I navigate the unemployment appeal process? This presentation will address these important questions and more regarding unemployment insurance law.

No, There Are No Litter Boxes in Our Bathrooms

Social media is brimming today with stories about schools that sound, and in most cases are, too wild to be true.  As sharing information online becomes ever easier, the size of the audience one of these stories can reach grows greater and greater.  But what do you do when the story is about your school or district, and you know that nothing in the story is true?  This presentation will examine the legal ramifications of responding to viral rumors, including potential First Amendment and data privacy implications, as well as practical tips for addressing these matters at board meetings or on social media while still considering applicable laws.

2:30 p.m.



We are pleased to welcome our new associates, Kaylynn Johnson and Mary Haasl.