School Law Bulletin Spring 2014

Online student records raise concerns over privacy protections

As schools and school districts increasingly turn to third-party vendors to assist with their growing data processing needs, controversies are surfacing on how personally identifiable student information is shared and protected.

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Schools have wide latitude in barring students from high school graduation ceremonies

When enforcing student discipline policies school officials will sometimes suspend high school seniors and bar them from participating in graduation ceremonies. Generally, a suspension will be upheld as long as it is not arbitrary, unreasonable, or disproportionate to the offense. 

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Terminating teachers for violations of social media policies

The termination of a New Hampshire teacher for refusing to “un-friend” students on Facebook highlights the boundary line between teachers and students, and reminds us that schools need to address 21st century forms of communication in their policies regulating the conduct of all members of the school community.

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Court rejects challenge to RI school funding formula

The Rhode Island Supreme Court recently rejected a constitutional challenge to the state’s education funding formula established in 2010, ruling that the General Assembly’s authority in promoting education as it sees fit cannot be disturbed by the judiciary except in rare circumstances.

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