Ohio Legislature Alters Law on Truancy and Student Discipline

The Ohio Legislature passed House Bill 410 (H.B. 410) last December after considering the legislation for over a year. The bill became law on April 6, 2017. As of April 6, school districts must measure absences in hours, rather than days, and must adhere to new laws regarding student discipline. The new law substantially changes the truancy law for the 2017-2018 school year, and requires school districts to prepare and implement policies that emphasize intervention strategies for chronically absent students. Significant changes have also been made with respect to student out-of-school suspensions. [More]

Ohio Court Weighs in on Transgender Student Access to Restrooms and Name Issues

As the national debate regarding transgender students' rights and school districts' obligations rapidly evolves, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio adds to the conflicting precedent. On September 26, 2016, Judge Marbley ordered the Highland Local School District ("District") to treat 11 year-old "Jane Doe," a biological male, "as the girl she is." The Judge's order requires the District to allow the student to use the girls' restroom in the elementary school and refer to her by female pronouns and her female name. The crux of the issues involves transgender identity protections under the Equal Protection Clause and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. In making his ruling, Judge Marbley rejected the privacy argument made by the District that the privacy rights of other students weighed against allowing Jane Doe to use the girls' restroom. [More]