If you have read my blog for any time at all (thank you!) then you know one my major concerns is how the use of social media effects teachers, public employees, and even employers. While it shouldn’t come as any surprise that an individual’s off-the-clock social media use can effect their employment, a recent appellate decision from Georgia ruled on a novel question: can parents be liable when their child makes a fake Facebook profile of another child and then posts defamatory and libelous comments there. See Boston v. Athearn, A14A0971 (Ga. App. Oct. 10, 2014) (thanks to Legal Clips for pointing out this case). While the ultimate ruling was that the parents could be held liable, the specific facts are important. Hit the jump for more… Continue reading
Tag Archives: School
New (or renewed) guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, combined with a new coalition of civil rights groups filing lawsuits against charters in several states, have placed new scrutiny on the admissions practices of charter schools. As Missouri, and other states, continue to expand their reliance on charter schools for providing public education now is a good time to review some of the legal dangers unique to charter education. Hit the jump for a quick and dirty overview of a few of these developments… Continue reading
In a decision that could have repercussions for districts across Missouri, a Missouri appellate court has upheld a jury decision against the Kansas City School District with damages totaling almost $450,000. See Hurst v. Kansas City Mo. Sch. Dist., No. WD76534 (Mo. App. W.D. April 29, 2014). The decision highlights methods that many districts are using to “creatively” cut workforce and circumstances where such methods break the law. Hit the jump for all the details… Continue reading
One of the issues that teachers ask me about the most is what First Amendment speech rights public employees have. Most of those individuals are then shocked when they realize just how limited the right really is. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals recently delivered just such a shock to a principal who was fired for trying to do the right thing. See McArdle v. Peoria Sch. Dist., No. 11-2437 (7th Cir., Jan. 31, 2013).
Read on for more information but first… From my post last week, you may recall that this week is Missouri NEA’s Legal Week, where we provide free webinars on legal subjects to Missouri NEA members. Conveniently, one of those presentations is a full primer on First Amendment rights of public employees that I put together with my coworker, Susan Wagner. A recording of the presentation is available here and I definitely recommend checking it out to help understand all of the aspects of the case.
Without further ado, on to the case… Continue reading
Slate.com posted an interesting article on Head Start programs and the effect they have on students. For those who don’t know Head Start is a federal program that provides free or reduced cost school to kids from birth to 5 years old. Essentially, the studies have found that children in Head Start programs don’t do any better than children who aren’t enrolled in pre-k education. What is important about this is that kids enrolled in the only other federally subsidized pre-k day care, through the Child Care Development Fund, actually do substantially worse than kids not in the program. Therefore, if you think of Head Start as essentially federally subsidized day care, it is a success. So schools are more than mere schools, they are also day care centers, food bank, clothing bank, and on and on.