Education

Roundup: School Law Conference, Disclosure-Suit Settlement, and Studying Job-Bias Suits

By Mark Walsh — September 25, 2008 1 min read

Education Law Association: The group formerly known as the National Organization on Legal Problems in Education holds its annual conference in San Antonio in November, and the program is jam-packed with interesting sessions.

Topics include drug testing of teachers, racial diversity in schools, cyberbullying, student free speech, religious issues in public schools, Title IX, and legal issues stemming from the No Child Left Behind Act, among many others.

The conference is Nov. 19-22 at the Sheraton Gunter.

Suit on Disclosure of Student Information Settled: A Virginia school district has settled a lawsuit charging that it helped a city government in targeting Hispanics in the enforcement of zoning codes, The Washington Post reports. (Second item.)

The suit alleged that the Manassas city school district disclosed confidential student information to inspectors from the Manassas city government and the city used the information to target overcrowded residences, the Post reported.

The Equal Rights Center, a civil rights group that brought the suit on behalf of 11 Manassas residents, says in a news release that the city and school district will pay $775,000 in damages, attorneys’ fees, and other costs. The Post says the school district’s share of that is $150,000, to be paid by its insurer.

Plaintiffs Face Tough Road in Job-Bias Suits, Analysis Says: A study being published in the Winter 2009 edition of the Harvard Law & Policy Review concludes that employers have a better track record than workers in appeals of employment-discrimination cases. The study suggests fewer plaintiffs are venturing into federal court under such laws as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“The fear of judicial bias at both the lower and the appellate court levels may be discouraging potential employment discrimination plaintiffs from seeking relief in the federal courts,” says the study by Kevin M. Clermont and Stewart J. Schwab, both law professors at Cornell University.

The study may be of interest to school lawyers, since school districts, as large employers in most places, typically face frequent federal employment-discrimination lawsuits.

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A version of this news article first appeared in The School Law Blog.