ACLU sues 7 New Jersey districts alleging student enrollment ID requirements discriminate against immigrants
Jun 5th, 2014 by

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey has filed lawsuits against seven New Jersey school districts, alleging that the districts are discriminating against families on the basis of their immigration status. Continue reading…

New York district settles Title IX suit, agrees to build softball facility
Jun 5th, 2014 by

The Batavia City School District has settled a Title IX suit brought on behalf of softball players alleging that the district provided girls with substandard playing fields. Continue reading…

Cyberbullying Law Challenged in Court
Jun 5th, 2014 by

New York’s high court on Thursday will consider one of the first legal challenges to state and local laws that make it a crime for people to bully others online, especially children.

The 2010 Albany County law, one of more than a dozen around the country that criminalize cyberbullying, pits free-speech advocates against a community that has given prosecutors a larger role in affairs that typically had been handled by schools.

The court’s ruling could set the tone for other state high courts hearing challenges to such laws, as well as for states and localities considering criminal penalties for cyberbullying, legal experts said. Besides Albany, four other New York counties and more than a dozen states, including Louisiana and North Carolina, have similar laws.

A wave of states passed cyberbullying laws after the 2006 death of 13-year-old Megan Meier in Dardenne Prairie, Mo. She committed suicide after a neighbor pretending to be a teenage boy on Myspace sent her cruel messages.


read more ……………….

Supreme Court declines to review I ♥ boobies bracelet decision
Mar 20th, 2014 by


Supreme Court declines to review I ♥ boobies bracelet decision

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected Easton Area School District’s (EASD) petition asking the Court to review the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit’s en banc decision in B.H. v. EASD, according to an Express-Times report in the Pocono Record. The Court’s rejection leaves in place the Third Circuit’s 2013 decision striking down a ban on students wearing I ♥ boobies bracelets. The precedent set by the Third Circuit that the bracelets represent a form of protected free speech applies to Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. The American Civil Liberties Union brought the suit against EASD on behalf of Easton Area Middle School students, who wore the bracelets in October 2010 despite a school-wide ban and were suspended from school.

Noting that very few cases reach the Supreme Court level, John Freund, the attorney representing EASD, said he was disappointed nonetheless. ”Local school authorities need the ability to enforce dress codes and maintain reasonable decorum of the manner of expression in an educational environment, while respecting the legitimate rights of students to express themselves,” Freund said.

In Freund’s opinion, the Third Circuit Court’s decision departed from previous Supreme Court precedent on the subject, which likely means a similar case will be heard sometime in the future. ”Indications are that the Supreme Court will one day revisit that question,” Freund wrote. “Unfortunately, it will take more lawsuits, more attorneys’ fees and more chaos in the classroom before we get the answer.”

Mary Catherine Roper, an ACLU attorney who represented the students, applauded the Supreme Court’s decision. She said the Third Circuit Court’s decision opened the door to protecting student speech on political and social issues, even if the language used is sometimes considered lewd.

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Maine Supreme Court just handed down a ruling in the case of the trans-girl that was denied the use of the girl’s bathroom.
Jan 30th, 2014 by

NOTE – transgender students in CT have the same rights under PA 11-55 –

See also –


Maine Supreme Court just handed down a ruling in the case of the trans-girl that was denied the use of the girl’s bathroom.

Breakthrough Ruling in Favor of Transgender Student

Transgender Students Must Have Full Access to School Facilities, Says Maine High Court

Today, Maine’s highest court ruled that denying a transgender girl the use of the girls’ restroom at her school violated her rights under Maine’s Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination against transgender people. The decision in GLAD’s lawsuit Doe v. Clenchy marks the first time a state court has ruled that transgender students must be allowed to use the bathrooms that match who they are.

The ruling stated in part, “[The school] agreed with Susan’s family and counselors that, for this purpose (as for virtually all others), Susan is a girl.  Based upon its determination that Susan is a girl, and in keeping with the information provided to the school by Susan’s family, her therapists, and experts in the field of transgender children, the school determined that Susan should use the girls’ bathroom.”

“This is a momentous decision that marks a huge breakthrough for transgender young people,” said Jennifer Levi, director of GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project, who argued the case before the Maine Law Court on June 12. “Schools have a responsibility to create a learning environment that meets and balances the needs of all kids and allows every student to succeed. For transgender students this includes access to all school facilities, programs, and extracurricular activities in a way that is consistent with their gender identity.”

“A transgender girl is a girl and must be treated as such in all respects, including using the girls’ restroom. This ruling is consistent with what educators and human rights commissions – including the Maine Human Rights Commission — around the country have concluded,” said GLAD Senior Attorney Bennett Klein, who was co-counsel with Levi in the case.

The litigation arose after officials at an Orono elementary school denied Nicole Maines, a transgender girl who was then in fifth grade, use of the girls’ restroom. The school had previously allowed Nicole to use the girls’ room but reversed course after the misconduct of one male student who followed Nicole into that facility.

“We are very grateful and relieved that the Court said our daughter should not be singled out for different treatment at school simply because she is transgender,” said Wayne Maines, Nicole’s father. “As parents all we’ve ever wanted is for Nicole and her brother Jonas to get a good education and to be treated just like their classmates, and that didn’t happen for Nicole. What happened to my daughter was extremely painful for her and our whole family, but we can now close this very difficult chapter in our lives. We are very happy knowing that because of this ruling, no other transgender child in Maine will have to endure what Nicole experienced.”

GLAD and Jodi L. Nofsinger of Berman & Simmons, P.A. represented Susan in the lawsuit.

Learn more about the case and read previous case documents here.

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