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Is It Constitutional for a School to Discipline Student Athletes Who Take a Knee in Protest?

October 16th, 2020

The First Amendment right to free speech is rooted in our constitution, providing an individual with the freedom to express their opinions and ideas without censorship or legal repercussions. Schools are now looking for guidance on how to respond and handle a situation where a student is kneeling before the national anthem without violating any constitutional rights.

New Case Brings Into Question Whether “State Created Danger” Liability Affects Districts

October 9th, 2020

While it is unknown if this language will be enough for the Third Circuit to consider limiting or reshaping the state-created doctrine, it is a step, and is not calling into question the scope and reach of the doctrine. Plaintiff’s attorneys may still very well transform an ordinary tort claim into a constitutional violation in order to attach liability onto school districts, in situations like school-related injuries or COVID-19 policies and protocols.

OSEP and OCR Release Guidance for Special Education During COVID

October 8th, 2020

Both federal agencies acknowledged the challenges faced by students, families, teachers and schools during this time.  Community and student needs are continually changing.  Nonetheless, schools must provide supports and services to students so that they receive a free appropriate public education as required under IDEA as well as Section 504. 

Third Circuit Temporarily Reinstates Crowd Limits for School Gatherings

October 2nd, 2020

Third Circuit has temporarily reinstated Governor Wolf’s gathering size limits while the Commonwealth appeals the Pittsburgh district court’s ruling in the County of Butler case. 

Weighing Risk at the Line of Scrimmage: Who Has the Authority to Limit School Events?

September 30th, 2020

This vote provided school districts with the discretion to proceed with their own restrictions and policies as to what sports may participate and in what capacity. But who has the authority to allow fans and family members into a stadium or gymnasium during a sporting event?

Recent Federal Court Decision Holding Wolf’s Limit on Crowd Size Unconstitutional Has No Impact on Public Schools

September 18th, 2020

On its face, the Governor’s limitations on crowd size also applied to public gatherings including school functions and sporting events. Public confusion over what this ruling might mean for schools is inevitable.

PDE Issues Updated FAQs Regarding Provision of Special Education Services

September 8th, 2020

Whether the plan is a full in-person model, blended learning model, or full remote model, there will inevitably be unforeseen circumstances as school entities implement their 2020-2021 reopening plans.

Judiciary Halts DeVos Rule of CARES Act Funds to Private Schools

September 2nd, 2020

The Federal judge noted DeVos’ Final Rule is not in accordance with Congress’ mandate to allocate CARES funds to non-public schools “in the same manner” as the ESEA.

Face Mask Faceoff: PDE Requires Face Coverings at School At All Times

September 1st, 2020

As of August 17th, 2020, Pennsylvania’s Department of Education (“PDE”) is requiring everyone within the school community to wear face coverings at all times while in school, even when six feet of social distancing is being maintained.

Play Ball? Schools Stuck in the Middle of Fall Athletics Debate

August 27th, 2020

Whether the schools ultimately decide to play or not play, the best preparation for any legal challenge is to listen to and consider all the risks and make a reasonable decision on the record.