Tag Archives: Teacher

Costco Sex Harassment Lawsuit May Have Lessons for Missouri Teachers

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

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Filed under Discrimination, Uncategorized

Missouri Court Rules Parents May Be Liable for Injury to Teacher Aide

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

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Decision May Broaden Speech Protection for “Teaching and Writing on Academic Matters”

When I talk with educators they are routinely surprised by how limited their free speech rights are (for previous coverage of First Amendment issues, click here).  The courts have repeatedly narrowed the broad protection provided by the First Amendment so that now public employee speech must pass a number of tests before determining whether it is protected.  However, a recent decision out of the federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals may be changing that trend.  See Demers v. Austin, 729 F.3d 1011 (9th Cir. 2013).  Hit the jump for a discussion of the first few glimmers of change, along with a heavy helping of cautions… Continue reading

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Reader: The Public Doesn’t Understand the Flaws of High-Stakes Testing

Another labor lawyer (not me I promise) weighs in on the impact of high-stakes testing.

Diane Ravitch's blog

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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Filed under Education, Uncategorized

Teacher’s Scheduling Summer Babies

Marketplace ran an interesting piece on one of the lesser-known sacrifices that many teachers make: scheduling their pregnancies around the school year – http://www.marketplace.org/topics/life/many-teachers-schedule-summer-babies.  Listen to the full story to hear the passionate teachers willing to rearrange their personal lives to fit their profession.  While this sacrifice is noble, teachers should keep in mind that child birth and newborn-bonding time are covered by the Family Medical Leave Act.  For more information check out my video on FMLA leave or some of my varied posts on FMLA leave.

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Filed under Family Medical Leave Act