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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Adds Yet Another Caution to Disciplining Student Speech

November 19th, 2021

In J.S. v. Manheim Township School District, the Court developed this new true threat standard by reasoning that in order for schools to censor a student’s First Amendment right, it shall determine whether the student intended the communication to be a serious expression of an intent to inflict harm.

Beginning December 4, Court Says Schools Must Decide On Their Own Whether to Enforce Masks

November 17th, 2021

As of December 4, 2021, schools must decide on their own whether to enforce mask wearing moving forward.  

Court Speaks on Requirement for Medical Documentation for Medical Mask Exemptions

November 15th, 2021

On November 11, 2021, Judge Mariani, U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of Pennsylvania denied a request for a preliminary injunction to block the implementation of a policy adopted by the Delaware Valley School Board that allowed for medical exemption from the Department of Health’s mandatory masking Order of September 7th without medical documentation.

Commonwealth Court Rules Against Schools Masks, Governor Wolf Plans To File Immediate Appeal

November 10th, 2021

Earlier today, Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court ruled in favor of petitioners seeking an injunction to prevent Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam from enforcing a Masking Order for anyone in the public school environment. The Governor has vowed an immediate appeal of the court ruling.

OSHA Issues Emergency Temporary Standards for Mandatory Employee COVID Vaccinations

November 4th, 2021

A federal judge in the Southern District of Texas recently upheld an employer’s requirement that its employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be terminated from employment.

Pennsylvania Court Cases Reinforce Legal Obligation To Follow and Enforce School Masking Order

October 11th, 2021

These cases, and undoubtedly others to come, only reinforce what has been the responsible legal advice – that the Department of Health order is lawful and enforceable and that school districts are obligated to make good faith efforts to implement the order.

PDE and DHS Defend Medical Reasoning: School Mask Requirements Do Not Constitute Child Abuse

October 5th, 2021

Whether it be with school closures, virtual learning, or mask mandates, few districts have experienced the level of daily public outcry as has accompanied this pandemic.

Trying to Keep Things Moving: Bus Driver Shortages Affect School Transportation, Could Be Year-Long

September 28th, 2021

According to a national survey, more than half of the country’s school districts are reporting either a “severe” or “desperate” driver shortage.

For School Boards Caught In the Middle of the Mask Debate

September 7th, 2021

In the public controversy over the wearing of masks in schools, many legal theories have been advanced by non-lawyers and some lawyers as well questioning the legality of government-imposed mandatory masking requirements in light of the COVID pandemic. Some of the proponents of these theories advocate non-compliance as a remedy and some more cautiously suggest legislative fixes or legal challenges.  

The Mask Mandate: The Rest of the Story

September 2nd, 2021

Schools should establish a process for parents to request an exemption from the mask mandate. Upon receipt of such a request, a school team must convene.