Michigan Court of Appeals Building Interior
10 September 2021

Court of Appeals: No Case Against School in Tap...

In a recent unpublished decision, the Michigan Court of Appeals overturned the decision of a trial court judge which would have allowed a student’s parents to pursue intentional and negligent tort claims against a school district, its superintendent, and a building principal.  The allegations animating the case were straightforward.  Abdul‑Sattar Dannaoui was a preschool student […]

27 August 2021

Sixth Circuit Ruling Suggests Mask Mandates Are...

On August 23, 2021, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the attempt of a Lansing nonpublic school, Resurrection School, and related individuals to challenge last school year’s MDHHS mask mandate.  The Plaintiffs attempted to enjoin further mask mandates in schools, citing alleged violations of constitutional entitlements to free exercise of religion, substantive due process, […]

SCOTUS
30 June 2021

Supreme Court Won’t Hear School Transgender Bat...

On Monday, the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari in Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board, a case involving a transgender student – Gavin Grimm – who was banned from using the school restrooms consistent with his gender identity.  Justices Thomas and Alito would have granted certiorari and would have heard the case, but they […]

Michigan Court of Appeals Building Interior
28 June 2021

Tenured Teacher Loses Layoff and Recall Case

The Michigan Court of Appeals recently released its opinion in Sebald v Belding Area Schools, a case involving the layoff and recall of Sebald, a tenured teacher.  Sebald first became hired by the School District in 1999 and taught multiple subjects during his employment.  But, during the 2016‑2017 school year, Sebald received a rating of […]

SCOTUS
23 June 2021

United States Supreme Court Hands First Amendme...

For decades, school administrators have worked under the Tinker standard – i.e., the principle that on‑campus student free speech can only be disciplined where it causes a substantial disruption to the school environment.  Since then, the Supreme Court has weighed in on only a few student speech cases and, until today, those cases did not generally directly […]

28 January 2021

Biden Administration Revisits School Bathroom D...

The Biden administration has hit the ground running.  As has been widely reported, President Biden signed dozens of executive orders in his first week in office.  Amid the flurry, you may have missed one signed on his first day, titled “Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual […]

Michigan Supreme Court
30 December 2020

Michigan Supreme Court Upholds Aid for Nonpubli...

On December 28, 2020, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled 3‑3 in Council of Organizations & Others for Ed. About Parochiaid v State, Docket No. 158751, leaving in place the decision of the Court of Appeals to permit certain funds to be disbursed to Michigan’s nonpublic schools.  Under MCL 388.1752b, funds were reimbursed to nonpublic schools […]

21 December 2020

University of Michigan Wins Title IX Case

The University of Michigan recently prevailed in an 8‑6 Title IX en banc decision that split the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.  The facts of the case, Foster v Bd of Regents of Univ of Mich,       F3d      ; No. 19‑1314 (CA 6, 2020), are relatively straightforward.  Rebecca Foster was enrolled in the University’s Executive MBA […]

American Flag in a breeze
02 November 2020

The Daily Pledge of Allegiance During Virtual L...

Almost a decade ago, the Michigan Legislature required that school districts give students an opportunity to recite the Pledge of Allegiance each school day and display a flag where the pledge is recited. See MCL 380.1347a. This obligation has generally been easy to meet – until the era of COVID-19. With many students learning remotely, […]

09 October 2020

Electronic Board Meetings Gain Senate Approval,...

Yesterday, the Michigan Senate approved Bill No. 1108, addressing electronic meetings under the Open Meetings Act (MCL 15.263). If signed into law, public bodies will be permitted to meet remotely – by telephonic or video conferencing – under specific circumstances, including when a statewide or local state of emergency is declared and there is risk to the personal health […]