Well, the Preamble to the Final Rule says “no;” the 2020 Title IX Regulations are not retroactive for sexual harassment that occurred before the August 14, 2020 effective date of those Regulations.
Closer to home, a strip search lawsuit in the Middle District of Pennsylvania resulted in vindication of school officials’ decision to strip search a male high school student accused of stealing a classmate’s money.
On February 7, 2022, a federal judge ruled that Perkiomen Valley School District must continue to enforce their mandatory masking policy, holding that to end the mandate would violate the Americans with Disabilities Act by putting immunocompromised students at risk.
The Third Circuit acknowledged that OCR guidance documents are not the applicable standard in 2022. They are superseded by the 2020 Title IX Regulations. However, the 2020 Regulations also require that for Title IX liability to attach to the institution, the institution must have substantial control over the context in which the sexual harassment occurs and substantial control over the alleged harasser, identified in the 2020 Regulations as the “respondent.”
Taken together, the new Regulations direct schools to take sexual harassment complaints seriously, but to withhold judgment of the accused perpetrator until the entire process described in the Regulations is completed. This is not business as usual.
Pennsylvania Supreme Court Declines to Implement Mandatory Deadline for Charter School Renewal ProcessJanuary 11th, 2022
In a recent decision that will most certainly aid the re-convened Charter School Appeal Board (CAB) tackle a review backlog due to its recent hiatus, The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that Section 1729-A(a) of the Charter School law does not impose a mandatory deadline by which a school district must decide to renew or not renew a charter school’s charter.
This new EEOC guidance focuses more broadly on COVID-19, not only Long COVID, and specifically in the context of employment discrimination.
In what will likely be the final chapter of the roller coaster school mask mandate saga in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has affirmed the Commonwealth Court’s November 10, 2021, order voiding Acting Secretary of Health’s masking requirement throughout Pennsylvania’s schools. The decision is effective immediately.
Recently, U.S. District Judge, Gene Pratter, explained free speech safeguards apply to individuals speaking at public board meetings and entered an order against Pennsbury School District stating the school board’s policies concerning public comments were vague and overbroad.
The ever-evolving saga of the school mask mandate in Pennsylvania took another twist as the litigation over the masking requirement continues.