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Emerging issues in bullying and cyberbullying

On Board Online • November 24, 2014

Ashley C. Pope
Guercio & Guercio LLP

About two years have passed since New York’s legislation targeting bullying in public schools, the Dignity for All Students Act (the Dignity Act), took effect. In that time, several issues involving or implicating the Dignity Act have been addressed by the courts, the commissioner of education, and the U.S. Department of Education, including:

  • Adequacy of response. The commissioner recently found a district’s investigation of alleged bullying complied with the Dignity Act.
  • Money damages. A recent Nassau County decision may open up a new avenue for parents to seek recovery of money damages from schools based on non-compliance with the Dignity Act.
  • Private school victims. The same Nassau County court concluded that the Dignity Act can protect private school students who are the victims of bullying carried out by public school students.
  • Federal claims. Peer-on-peer bullying and harassment can rise to the level of prohibited discrimination under federal laws such as Title IX, Title VI, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
  • Free speech. Students accused of bullying may claim their actions were constitutionally protected speech, particularly where off-campus or online communication is involved.
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News Releases

New York’s leading education groups outline need for $1.9 billion state aid increase in 2015-16

FOR RELEASE:  November 13, 2014

CONTACT: Al Marlin
(518) 783-3723 or (518) 527-6933 cell
On Twitter: @nyschoolboards

New York’s major statewide education organizations issued a report today outlining the need for a $1.9 billion state aid increase for schools in the upcoming state budget to continue current services and make progress on a number of critical new initiatives.

The organizations comprise the New York State Educational Conference Board (ECB), and together represent parents, classroom teachers, school-related professionals, school business officials, school building and program administrators, superintendents and school boards.

The ECB report is titled “Turning the Corner: With an improved fiscal condition, New York can lead the way for sustainable educational progress.” It cites the state’s improved fiscal outlook, aided by recent financial settlements, in advocating for investments in education.

The report comes after a period of years in which state aid has been reduced, flat, or otherwise inadequate to help schools continue essential services while also adapting to state-mandated education reforms. A little more than $1 billion in state funding remains withheld from schools through the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA), and phase-in of the state’s Foundation Aid formula has been stalled since 2008-09.

 

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Daily Clips

Capital New York
Amid accolades for P-TECH, ed leaders warn it's a work in progress

Glens Falls Post Star
New Fort Ann schools leader intends to listen

Schenectady Gazette
Justice officials reject Schenectady school aid complaint

Here are the top education stories found in today's NYSSBA e-Clips. If you're a NYSSBA member, you can subscribe to e-Clips to receive education news from over 26 newspapers each day.Sign-up TODAY!

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Winter Law Conference - Navigating Section 3020-A - Albany
Date: December 9, 2014
Time: 8:00 am - 2:30 pm
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Date: December 12, 2014
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Winter Law Conference - Navigating Section 3020-A - Long Island
Date: January 14, 2015
Time: 8:00 am - 2:30 pm
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Date: October 18 - 20, 2015
 
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