Law & Courts

Education news, analysis, and opinion about court cases, lawsuits, and regulations affecting schools.
  • This Oct. 4, 2018, photo shows the U.S. Supreme Court at sunset in Washington. The Supreme Court has declined to take up an appeal from parents in Oregon who want to prevent transgender students from using locker rooms and bathrooms of the gender with which they identify, rather than their sex assigned at birth.
    This Oct. 4, 2018, photo shows the U.S. Supreme Court at sunset in Washington. The court has declined to take up an appeal from parents in Maryland challenging a school district's policy on gender-support plans for students.
    Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP
    Law & Courts Supreme Court Turns Down Case Challenging School District's Transgender Policies
    The case involves a policy allowing information to be withheld from parents considered not supportive of a gender-transitioning child.
    Mark Walsh, May 20, 2024
    3 min read
    A pedestrian passes by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals Courthouse, June 16, 2021, on Main Street in Richmond, Va.
    A person walks near the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit's courthouse in Richmond, Va. A panel of the court denied an injunction seeking to restore religious parents' opportunity to opt their children out of LGBTQ+ "storybooks" in a Maryland district.
    Steve Helber/AP
    Law & Courts District Can Deny Opt-Outs on LGBTQ+ Books, Court Rules
    Religious parents objected to a Maryland district's policy ending opt-outs for elementary school 'storybooks' with LGBTQ+ themes.
    Mark Walsh, May 15, 2024
    5 min read
    People mill around the third floor of the Kansas Statehouse in front of a Brown v. Board of Education mural before hearing from speakers recognizing the 70th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court case on April 29, 2024 in Topeka, Kan.
    People mill around the third floor of the Kansas Statehouse in front of a Brown v. Board of Education mural before hearing from speakers recognizing the 70th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court case on April 29, 2024 in Topeka, Kan.
    Evert Nelson/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP
    Law & Courts Brown v. Board of Education: 70 Years of Progress and Challenges
    The milestone for the historic 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down racial segregation in schools is marked by a range of tributes
    Mark Walsh, May 14, 2024
    12 min read
    Demonstrators advocating for transgender rights and healthcare stand outside of the Ohio Statehouse on Jan. 24, 2024, in Columbus. Four Republican-led states filed a lawsuit Monday challenging the Biden administration's new Title IX regulation, which among other things would codify protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
    Demonstrators advocating for transgender rights and healthcare stand outside of the Ohio Statehouse on Jan. 24, 2024, in Columbus. Four Republican-led states filed a lawsuit Monday challenging the Biden administration's new Title IX regulation, which among other things would codify protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
    Patrick Orsagos/AP
    Law & Courts Republican-Led States Sue to Block New Title IX Rule
    A pair of lawsuits focus on the rule's protections for students' gender identity.
    Mark Walsh, April 29, 2024
    5 min read
    Light illuminates part of the Supreme Court building at dusk on Capitol Hill in Washington, Nov. 16, 2022.
    Light illuminates part of the Supreme Court building at dusk on Capitol Hill in Washington, Nov. 16, 2022. The high court on Wednesday, April 17, 2024, made it easier for workers, including educators, to sue over job transfers.
    Patrick Semansky/AP
    Law & Courts Why It Will Now Be Easier for Educators to Sue Over Job Transfers
    The case asked whether transferred employees had to show a 'significant' change in job conditions to sue under Title VII. The court said no.
    Mark Walsh, April 17, 2024
    8 min read
    Four roses are placed on a fence to honor Hana St. Juliana, 14, Madisyn Baldwin, 17, Tate Myre, 16, and Justin Shilling, 17, the four teens killed in last week's shooting, outside Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich., on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021.
    Four roses are placed on a fence outside Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich., honor Hana St. Juliana, 14, Madisyn Baldwin, 17, Tate Myre, 16, and Justin Shilling, 17, the four teens killed in the Nov. 30, 2021, shooting at the school.
    Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP
    Law & Courts Oxford School Shooter's Parents Were Convicted. Holding District Liable Could Be Tougher
    The conviction of parents in the Oxford, Mich., case expanded the scope of responsibility, but it remains difficult to hold schools liable.
    Mark Walsh, April 10, 2024
    12 min read
    Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond is pictured Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, during an interview in Oklahoma City.
    Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond, pictured in February, argued April 2 before the state supreme court against the nation's first religious charter school.
    Sue Ogrocki/AP
    Law & Courts Oklahoma Supreme Court Weighs 'Test Case' Over the Nation's First Religious Charter School
    The state attorney general says the Catholic-based school is not permitted under state law, while supporters cite U.S. Supreme Court cases.
    Mark Walsh, April 2, 2024
    5 min read
    An American flag waves in front of the Supreme Court building on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Nov. 2, 2020.
    An American flag waves in front of the Supreme Court building on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Nov. 2, 2020.
    Patrick Semansky/AP
    Law & Courts When Blocking Social Media Critics, School Officials Have Protections, Supreme Court Says
    The court said public officials' own pages may be "state action," but only when they are exercising government authority.
    Mark Walsh, March 15, 2024
    6 min read
    A photograph of Nex Benedict, a nonbinary teenager who died a day after a fight in a high school bathroom, is projected during a candlelight service at Point A Gallery, on Feb. 24, 2024, in Oklahoma City. Federal officials will investigate the Oklahoma school district where Benedict died, according to a letter sent by the U.S. Department of Education on March 1, 2024.
    A photograph of Nex Benedict, a nonbinary teenager who died a day after a fight in a high school restroom, is projected during a candlelight service at Point A Gallery, on Feb. 24, 2024, in Oklahoma City. Federal officials will investigate the Oklahoma school district where Benedict died, according to a letter sent by the U.S. Department of Education on March 1, 2024.
    Nate Billings/The Oklahoman via AP
    Law & Courts Oklahoma Nonbinary Student's Death Shines a Light on Families' Legal Recourse for Bullying
    Students facing bullying and harassment from their peers face legal roadblocks in suing districts, but settlements appear to be on the rise
    Mark Walsh, March 6, 2024
    11 min read
    Rising seniors at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology gather on the campus in Alexandria, Va., Aug. 10, 2020. From left in front are, Dinan Elsyad, Sean Nguyen, and Tiffany Ji. From left at rear are Jordan Lee and Shibli Nomani. A federal appeals court’s ruling in May 2023 about the admissions policy at the elite public high school in Virginia may provide a vehicle for the U.S. Supreme Court to flesh out the intended scope of its ruling Thursday, June 29, 2023, banning affirmative action in college admissions.
    A group of rising seniors at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology gather on the campus in Alexandria, Va., in August 2020. From left in front are, Dinan Elsyad, Sean Nguyen, and Tiffany Ji. From left at rear are Jordan Lee and Shibli Nomani. The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 20 declined to hear a challenge to an admissions plan for the selective high school that was facially race neutral but designed to boost the enrollment of Black and Hispanic students.
    J. Scott Applewhite/AP
    Law & Courts Supreme Court Declines Case on Selective High School Aiming to Boost Racial Diversity
    Some advocates saw the K-12 case as the logical next step after last year's decision against affirmative action in college admissions
    Mark Walsh, February 20, 2024
    7 min read
    A close up of a statue of the blindfolded lady justice against a light blue background with a ghosted image of a hands holding a cellphone with Facebook "Like" and "Love" icons hovering above it.
    iStock/Getty
    Law & Courts School District Lawsuits Against Social Media Companies Are Piling Up
    More than 200 school districts are now suing the major social media companies over the youth mental health crisis.
    Arianna Prothero, January 31, 2024
    7 min read
    Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court William O. Douglas is shown in an undated photo.
    U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, shown in an undated photo, wrote the opinion in <i>Lau</i> v. <i>Nichols</i>, the 1974 decision holding that the San Francisco school system had denied Chinese-speaking schoolchildren a meaningful opportunity to participate in their education.
    AP
    Law & Courts In 1974, the Supreme Court Recognized English Learners' Rights. The Story Behind That Case
    The Lau v. Nichols ruling said students have a right to a "meaningful opportunity" to participate in school, but its legacy is complex.
    Mark Walsh, January 19, 2024
    12 min read
    People stand on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 11, 2022, in Washington, D.C.
    People stand on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 11, 2022, in Washington, D.C.
    Mariam Zuhaib/AP
    Law & Courts Supreme Court Declines to Hear School District's Transgender Restroom Case
    The case asked whether federal law protects transgender students on the use of school facilities that correspond to their gender identity.
    Mark Walsh, January 16, 2024
    4 min read
    AI Education concept in blue: A robot hand holding a pencil.
    iStock/Getty
    Law & Courts What a Proposed Ban on AI-Assisted ‘Deep Fakes’ Would Mean for Cyberbullying
    Students who create AI-generated, intimate images of their classmates would be breaking federal law, if a new bill is enacted.
    Alyson Klein, January 12, 2024
    2 min read
    The Supreme Court building is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 10, 2023.
    The Supreme Court building is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 10, 2023.
    Patrick Semansky/AP
    Law & Courts Supreme Court Declines Case on Corporal Punishment for Student With Autism
    The justices refused to hear the appeal of an 11-year-old Louisiana student who alleges that two educators slapped her on her wrists.
    Mark Walsh, January 8, 2024
    3 min read