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: Student
Almost exclusively, claims of sexual harassment are brought against coworkers or supervisors. So what is an individual to do when the harasser falls outside of one of these two groups? The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently brought suit against Costco in just such a situation and the case may also provide guidance for teachers as well. Hit the jump for all the details… Continue reading
Teachers and teacher aides dealing with violent students may feel there are few resources to correct the students’ behavior and protect themselves. Administrators, tired of dealing with the same students repeatedly, will leave the classroom staff to fend for themselves and police and prosecutors are reluctant to press criminal charges against minors. Additionally, school employees are often reluctant to protect themselves as that, almost unerringly, leads to a hotline report of child abuse or neglect. This leaves many school employees facing a workplace where they can routinely expect to be punched, bit, scratched, and spit on. However, a recent decision from the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, may provide some remedy when the student’s parents have refused to take action to alleviate the situation. See Ridgell v. McDermott, No. ED100402 (Mo. App. E.D. April 15, 2014).
Hit the jump for all the details… Continue reading
When educators are sued for situations or circumstances that occur in the course of their employment, there are a number of potential protections that can shield them from liability. A recent decision by the Missouri Court of Appeals analyzed the interaction of two of these protections when a student is hurt at school. See M.C.-B v. Hazelwood Sch. Dist., No. ED99601 (Mo. App. E.D. Nov. 12, 2013). The case illustrates the different immunities that may apply to educators and how those immunities interact with Missouri law. To find out more, hit the jump… Continue reading
Another labor lawyer (not me I promise) weighs in on the impact of high-stakes testing.
A reader whose nom de plume is “labor lawyer” responds to the AP survey–claiming that parents approve of high-stakes testing–with these observations:
Anecdotal evidence (my own conversations over several years with well-educated middle/upper-middle-class parents), the overwhelming majority of parents approve relying, at least in part, on student test scores to evaluate teachers, including to discharge teachers. In these conversations, I argue that high-stakes testing is 1) too unreliable to use for evaluation purposes due to variables impacting test scores that are beyond the teacher’s control, and 2) counterproductive because it has too many adverse side effects (i.e., encouraging cheating, narrowing the curriculum, discouraging teacher-teacher cooperation, and discouraging teachers from accepting assignments in low-SES schools). Usually, my arguments fall on deaf ears.
These conversations suggest — to me — that most parents do not know enough about what goes on in a classroom today (particularly a classroom in a low-SES-area…
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The Missouri Supreme Court recently ruled on the constitutionality of a state statute that allows students to transfer out of unaccredited districts to bordering districts that are accredited. See Breitenfeld v. Sch. Dist. of Clayton, No. SC92653 (Mo. June 11, 2013). The outcome of this case will have far-reaching impacts for the employees and students of both the unaccredited districts and the bordering accredited districts.
Hit the jump for all the “you don’t have to go home but you can stay here” details… Continue reading