Justia Education Law Opinion Summaries

by
Petitioner Board of Education of Gallup-McKinley County Schools (Gallup) successfully obtained summary judgment on certain Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) claims made by Mavis Yazzie in the administrative action below. Subsequently, Gallup sought attorneys’ fees from Yazzie and her counsel, the Native American Disability Law Center (NADLC). The question presented for the Tenth Circuit's review was whether the controlling provision of the New Mexico Administrative Code (NMAC) permitted Gallup to pursue attorneys’ fees within 30 days of the final decision relating to any party in the administrative action, or did the NMAC limit Gallup to seeking fees within 30 days of obtaining summary judgment, which Gallup failed to do. The Tenth Circuit concluded the plain meaning of the regulatory language permitted petitions for attorneys’ fees made within 30 days of the final decision in the administrative action regardless of whether that decision related to the party seeking fees. Accordingly, Gallup’s petition was timely. The Court therefore reversed the district court and remanded for further proceedings. View "Board of Education of Gallup v. Native American Disability Law" on Justia Law

by
UK freshman Doe reported two rapes. After the first report, UK’s Title IX Office issued a no-contact order to the male student (John) and investigated. Doe reported subsequent encounters with John. The Office investigated and determined that the no-contact order had not been violated. UK denied Doe's request to ban John from a certain library area. Before the Sexual Misconduct Hearing Panel, Kehrwald, UK’s Dean of Students presented evidence on Doe’s behalf. Doe alleges that Kerhwald failed to adequately represent her interests, failed to object when John’s attorneys actively participated by examining and cross-examining witnesses, and did not introduce evidence of a voicemail that she left on the night of the alleged rape. John’s attorneys successfully argued against its admission. The Sexual Misconduct Appeals Board upheld a finding in John's favor. In the investigation of Doe’s allegations against “James,” the Office also issued a no-contact order but James refused to comply with a request to change his class sections and failed to appear at a hearing. James was dismissed from UK. Doe brought Title IX claims, 20 U.S.C. 1681, arguing that UK’s response caused a hostile educational environment and vulnerability to further harassment and that UK demonstrated deliberate indifference by failing to follow UK’s policies throughout the investigation and hearing. The Sixth Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of the defendants. Doe failed to show that UK’s response subjected her to further actionable harassment that caused Title IX injuries. View "Doe v. University of Kentucky" on Justia Law

by
In this antitrust action, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's order enjoining the NCAA from enforcing rules that restrict the education-related benefits that its member institutions may offer students who play Football Bowl Subdivision football and Division I basketball. The panel held that the district court properly applied the Rule of Reason in determining that the enjoined rules are unlawful restraints of trade under section 1 of the Sherman Act. In this case, the district court found that the NCAA's rules have significant anticompetitive effects in the relevant market for student-athletes' labor on the gridiron and the court; the district court fairly found that NCAA compensation limits preserve demand to the extent they prevent unlimited cash payments akin to professional salaries, but not insofar as they restrict certain education-related benefits; and the district court did not clearly err in determining that the less restrictive alternative would be virtually as effective in serving the procompetitive purposes of the NCAA's current rules, and may be implemented without significantly increased cost. The panel also held that the record supported the factual findings underlying the injunction and that the district court's antitrust analysis is faithful to the panel's decision in O'Bannon v. NCAA (O’Bannon II), 802 F.3d 1049 (9th Cir. 2015). View "Alston v. National Collegiate Athletic Association" on Justia Law

by
After plaintiffs, the parents of students with disabilities, chose to withdraw their children from one private school and to enroll them in a new private school, they challenged the adequacy of the students' individualized education programs (IEPs). Plaintiffs also filed suit against the city under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to obtain public funding for the new school's tuition and services during the pendency of the students' IEP disputes. The Second Circuit held, on de novo review, that parents who unilaterally enroll their child in a new private school and challenge the child's IEP are not entitled to public funding for the new school during the pendency of the IEP dispute, on the basis that the educational program being offered at the new school is substantially similar to the program that was last agreed upon by the parents and the school district and was offered at the previous school. The court held that it is generally up to the school district to determine how an agreed-upon program is to be provided during the pendency of the IEP dispute. In this case, regardless of whether iBRAIN's educational program is substantially similar to that offered previously at iHOPE, the court held that the IDEA does not require the city to fund the students' program at iBRAIN during the pendency of their IEP dispute. Accordingly, the court affirmed in No. 19-1662-cv and vacated in No. 19-1813-cv, remanding with instructions. View "Ventura de Paulino v. New York City Department of Education" on Justia Law

by
T.R., in the seventh grade, met with the school principal, Gill-Williams. T.R. told Gill-Williams that she had been thinking about suicide for a month, stating. that “things at home like guns and knives" made her "want to hurt herself.” Gill-Williams called a police officer assigned to the school, Olney, who called T.R.’s father, Machan. Machan, at work about 90 minutes away, objected to Olney taking T.R. to the hospital, telling Olney to keep T.R. at the school until he got there. Olney took T.R. to the hospital. An emergency-room nurse conducted a mental-health assessment and concluded that T.R. needed treatment. Although T.R. did not appear intoxicated or disoriented, the physician, Dr. Friedman, ordered a blood draw as part of the standard procedure for a mental evaluation. T.R. resisted the blood draw, which tested negative for drugs. Friedman and other medical staff talked to T.R. about her suicidal thoughts. Machan arrived. After considerable discussion, the hospital released T.R. on a condition that she go to a mental health center. Machan took T.R. there, where they stayed for about 45 minutes. Machan filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983. The district court denied Olney qualified immunity. The Sixth Circuit held that Olney was entitled to summary judgment. The existence of probable cause to fear that T.R. might hurt herself meant that Olney did not need Machan’s consent to take T.R. to the hospital. Olney did not violate the Fourth Amendment by taking T.R. to the hospital and authorizing the blood draw. View "Machan v. Olney" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court held that 2015 Am.Sub.H.B. No. 70 (H.B. 70) does not usurp the power of city school boards in violation of Ohio Const. art. VI, 3, and the bill received sufficient consideration for purposes of Ohio Const. art. II, 15(C). The purpose of H.B. 70 was to enact new sections within Ohio Rev. Code Chapter 3302 to authorize community schools and school districts to create community learning centers at schools where academic performance was low. After the bill was signed into law, Appellants moved for a declaratory judgment and permanent injunction, arguing that H.B. 70 was unconstitutional, as was the General Assembly's legislative process in enacting it. The trial court denied the motion for preliminary injunction and declaratory judgment, and the court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the enactment of H.B. 70 violated neither the three-consideration rule articulated in Article II, Section 15(C) nor the right of voters to decide the number of members and the organization of the district board of education, as guaranteed by Article VI, Section 3. View "Youngstown City School District Board of Education v. State" on Justia Law

by
This case arose from the tragic death of Maxwell Gruver after a fraternity hazing event at Louisiana State University (LSU). Maxwell's parents filed suit against LSU for violations of Title IX and state law, alleging that the university discriminated against male students by policing hazing in fraternities more leniently than hazing in sororities. In Pederson v. La. State Univ., 213 F.3d 858, 876 (5th Cir. 2000), the Fifth Circuit held that state recipients of Title IX funding waive their Eleventh Amendment immunity against suits alleging sex discrimination. The court held that the Supreme Court's opinion in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, 567 U.S. 519 (2012), does not constitute a change in law when it comes to the analysis that Pederson and other cases used in finding waivers of sovereign immunity from states' acceptance of federal funds. Therefore, the court held that LSU has waived Eleventh Amendment immunity by accepting federal funds and affirmed the district court's denial of the university's motion to dismiss. View "Gruver v. Louisiana Board of Supervisors" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court held that Sussex County, Kent County, and New Castle County use assessment methodologies when preparing their assessment rolls used by school districts in levying local taxes that fail to comply with three legal requirements. Plaintiffs were the NAACP Delaware State Conference of Branches (the NAACP-DE), the Delawareans for Educational Opportunity (the DEO) and the City of Wilmington. The NAACP-DE and the DEO argued that Delaware's public schools failed to provide an adequate education for students from low-income households, students whose first language is not English, and students with disabilities. When school districts levy local taxes, they are required to use the assessment rolls prepared by Delaware's three counties. The NAACP-DE and the DEO argued that when preparing their assessment rolls, the counties failed to comply with 9 Del. C. 8306(a) (the True Value Statute) and Del. Const. art. VIII, 1 (the Uniformity Clause). The City of Wilmington argued that New Castle County also violated its obligations under 22 Del. C. 1101-1104 (the Assessment Roll Statutes). The Supreme Court held (1) Plaintiffs had standing to assert their claims; and (2) all three counties used assessment methodologies that violate the True Value Statute and the Uniformity Clause and that New Castle County violated its obligations under the Assessment Roll Statutes. View "In re Delaware Public Schools Litigation" on Justia Law

by
MHS, a private, non-denominational school, hired the Darringtons as full-time houseparents for student housing. The Union represents full-time MHS houseparents. The collective bargaining agreement arbitration provision covers “any dispute arising out of [its] terms and conditions,” including the “discipline or discharge” of Union members. A grievance includes “any dispute alleging discrimination against any [Union members].” The Union, on behalf of itself and any allegedly aggrieved Union members, waived any right to a private lawsuit alleging employment discrimination regarding matters encompassed within the grievance procedure. If aggrieved Union members are unsatisfied with the resolution of their disputes after discussions with MHS officials, “the Union [may seek] further consideration” by submitting the grievance to arbitration on their behalf. The Darringtons filed unsuccessful reports with the local state agency for children and youth services, concerning MHS's mandatory religious programming. They then filed charges of discrimination with the EEOC and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission alleging discrimination based on religion. Two months later, MHS fired the Darringtons, who filed additional charges. After receiving right-to-sue letters, the Darringtons filed a complaint, alleging discrimination and retaliation, Title VII, 42 U.S.C. 2000e. The district court denied MHS’s motion to compel arbitration. The Third Circuit reversed. The CBA clearly and unmistakably waives a judicial forum for the statutory discrimination claims. View "Darrington v. Milton Hershey School" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court held that the juvenile court may exercise jurisdiction in a formal wardship proceeding on the basis of the minor having four or more truancies within one school year under Cal. Welf & Inst. Code 601(b) if a fourth truancy report has been issued to the appropriate school official, even if the minor has not been previously referred to a school attendance review board (SARB) or a similar truancy mediation program. The district court filed a wardship petition against A.N., a high school student, in the juvenile court, alleging that A.N. was a habitual truant and that she was within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. After a hearing, the juvenile court sustained the wardship petition. A.N. appealed, arguing that the juvenile court lacked jurisdiction because, at the time the petition was filed, she had not yet appeared before a SARB and because she and her parents had not received a fourth truancy report. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that because A.N.’s school had sent at least four truancy reports to the superintendent of the school district before the wardship petition was filed, the juvenile court possessed jurisdiction over A.N. View "In re A.N." on Justia Law