This presentation will review the most significant school law cases from the past year and address the practical implications that the latest cases have for school officials. In addition, the presentation will cover statutory changes that impact your District.
– Margaret A. Skelton and Christian R. Shafer
Demonstrations, protests, social media posts and other forms of expression on political and social issues have increasingly been brought forward not only on the fields of our professional sports teams, highways and the lawn of our nation’s capital but into the classrooms, extracurricular events and parking lots of our schools. This presentation will review the present state of the law as to the rights of students, staff, parents and the public to protest and exercise their freedom of speech on school grounds while balancing the duties of schools to maintain safety and order.
– Jennifer K. Earley
Nearly every collective bargaining agreement and arbitration decision regarding employee discipline talks about “just cause.” But what is “just cause” anyway? This presentation will go through arbitration decisions to show what has been found to constitute just cause, and where employers have failed to establish sufficient grounds to support the disciplinary action they have taken. This session will also offer tips on how to improve the employer’s chances to prevail in a contested discipline case.
– Ann R. Goering
Endrew F. and the Supreme Court – Laura Tubbs Booth
Grading and Transcripts – Elizabeth M. Meske
Service Animals – Adam J. Frudden
Statute of Limitations – Frank E. Langan
Special Education Student Discipline – Christian R. Shafer
The Open Meeting Law has been in effect for decades, yet mistakes continue to be made. Special meetings are not properly noticed, or items are added to the agenda that should not be. Copies of agenda materials are not available to the public at the meeting. Motions are made to close the meeting for general “executive sessions” without stating the statutory provision or purpose for closing. This session will review the common and not so common pitfalls of the Open Meeting Law.
– Joseph J. Langel
Just a few years ago, many School Districts never imagined they would be faced with issues regarding accommodating transgender students. Today, School Districts across the state routinely deal with requests from transgender students and parents regarding accommodations from preferred name to restroom usage. But what happens when the transgender student and their parent disagree as to what accommodations should be provided? What happens if one parent agrees with an accommodation, but the other parent does not? These timely and complicated questions are explored in this session.
– Timothy A. Sullivan
This presentation will address what to do when employees or students engage in misconduct off campus. Can you discipline them? Are you responsible for implementing restraining orders? What is nexus anyway?
– Erin E. Benson
In this session we will discuss what we thought was true about Section 504 (an urban myth) and what is really true! Some of the top ten will include:
– Laura Tubbs Booth
What should you do when you have to make a choice between what a student wants or needs and the directive of a parent? Hear from experienced school attorneys who will tackle how to handle various sticky situations involving students. For example, what should you do if a student in your school is pregnant, but insists that her parents cannot find out? What are the best practices for dealing with an ugly custody dispute? This presentation will include practical guidance for these scenarios and more.
– Jennifer K. Earley and Elizabeth M. Meske
Protecting students while they are traveling off-campus, especially while also protecting the District from liability, is a challenge. The Supreme Court’s recent suggestion that schools can be liable for off-campus student driving conduct and the legislature’s requirement that the District control extracurriculars, adds even more concerns to this topic. This presentation will get you up to speed on these recent developments, and help you navigate other transportation issues like student conduct and discipline, correctly using liability waivers, and school bus video data practices.
– Nathan B. Shepherd
This presentation addresses a school district’s obligations when it receives allegations that a student or employee has engaged in sexual harassment. Topics include a discussion of applicable state and federal statutes, as well as guidance for effectively addressing and responding to claims of sexual harassment.
How do schools deal with requests for leave under the FMLA? Can an employee take leave only as needed? What about leave for military personnel?
Have you heard the one about the peacock that tried to board a plane to L.A.? When it comes to emotional support animals in the news, it can be hard to distinguish the headlines from punchlines. So how should schools navigate requests to allow animals inside the schoolhouse in this age of emotional support peacocks? Join us for an in-depth look at the myriad of ways animals are appearing in schools. From service animals to emotional support animals to therapy animals to classroom pets, this comprehensive presentation will differentiate what legal obligations schools have when it comes to allowing animals in school.
– Elizabeth M. Meske
Can a father have his new girlfriend pick up his child over the mother’s objection? Can a grandmother sign a field trip permission slip for a student? Who has to, or is even allowed to, come to an IEP meeting or parent conference? How should staff respond if a parent asks them to testify against the other parent in a custody hearing? Separation, divorce, adoption, and remarriage raise these, and numerous other legal and practical concerns that impact schools across the State. This presentation will discuss the legal rights of parents, stepparents, guardians, adoptive parents, and grandparents. The presenter will explore how those rights impact the school setting and provide guidance for responding to common situations created by intra-family disputes.
– Margaret A. Skelton and Emma L. Oakley
A school’s activities and athletic programs can bring communities together and be a source of school spirit. While budgeting for these programs can cause headaches for administrators, accepting help from booster clubs or volunteers and raising revenue through advertising creates its own set of legal hurdles. This presentation will discuss two common ways schools can supplement their activities & athletic funding—advertising and booster clubs—while complying with the law. This presentation also will ensure that administrators are up to speed on all the unique wage and hour rules and other potential areas of liability that apply to coaches and volunteers that help run schools’ programs.
– Jennifer K. Earley and Timothy S. Christensen
Even more so than with other student discipline situations, it is important to do things by the book when imposing discipline against a disabled student. Failing to comply with state and federal law could have serious legal ramifications, including having the discipline voided, time-consuming litigation, and potentially costly liability. From discovery of the misconduct through manifestation determinations and enforcing discipline, the presenter will provide a step-by-step guide for disciplining students with disabilities. Along the way, the presenters will highlight some of the most common pitfalls and offer steps for avoiding them.
– Christian R. Shafer
This presentation will deal with issues of investigation, documentation, and discipline determinations for performance issues and misconduct by school employees who are not teachers under 122A.40 or .41. What happens when custodians and food service personnel aren’t showing up on time? What rules or laws affect dealing with an employee with a bad attitude? How do schools avoid Whistleblower and Discrimination claims by former employees with performance issues or who engage in misconduct?
With the Supreme Court’s issuance of the Janus v. AFSCME decision, schools are faced with agency fee language in their collective bargaining agreements that is no longer enforceable. In addition, this case has far reaching implications as to how schools address related union employment matters. This session will discuss these concerns and how to respond to them in contract negotiations as well as other problematic contract language, such as teacher licensing and unrequested leave of absence provisions.
– Ann R. Goering and Jennifer K. Earley
Schools have a duty to use reasonable care to provide a safe environment for students. With the renewed media attention on violence and guns in schools, districts face enormous pressure to devise safety plans and policies to protect students and staff. While there are many proposals as to how schools could be made safer, there are legal issues that must be considered. Schools must weigh the state and federal requirements, as well as the potential liability associated with implementing various plans.
– Margaret A. Skelton
The law seldom stands still, and the past year has not been an exception. This presentation will highlight recent decisions that affect the daily operations of your schools. Relevant cases will cover employment issues, student rights, discrimination, and other common legal concerns affecting Minnesota schools. Staying abreast of the law is the best way to avoid violating it.