Responding to parent requests for video footage in light of federal student privacy laws

The Family Policy Compliance Office (“FPCO”) now offers school districts a tentative framework for responding to parents’ requests for videos. Often such footage – a security video of a cafeteria fight, for example – includes images of multiple students, which may all be individually protected by FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. For years, school districts struggled with how to handle such requests, what to release, to whom, and what to redact, if anything. [More]

Profiles: Miriam Pearlmutter / Walter Haverfield LLP

Fueled by her love of podcasts and her passion for education law, Walter | Haverfield attorney Miriam Pearlmutter started her own podcast for school administrators and teachers. Her colleague, Lisa Woloszynek joined in as her co-host. Cleveland Jewish News recently took notice, profiling Miriam and her increasingly popular podcast, Class Act: Updates in Education Law. [More]

Religion in the classroom

In an article published by the Ohio School Boards Association, in its October 2017 issue of School Management News, Miriam Pearlmutter asserted that school districts attempting to resolve religious conflicts should consider the First Amendment’s Religion Clauses as well as federal and state laws on employee discrimination. [More]

Supreme Court Allows Parents to Avoid IDEIA Administrative Process for Section 504 Claims

In last week's high-profile decision, the Supreme Court permitted parents to skip the due process complaint procedures if their claims relate primarily to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ("Section 504"), rather than the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act ("IDEIA"). The IDEIA requires school districts to provide qualifying students with a free appropriate public education ("FAPE") through specially-designed instruction and related services. Section 504, however, is a more general law prohibiting discrimination and obligating districts to provide equal access to public institutions to all persons with disabilities. In the past, courts have often required dissatisfied parents to exhaust the special education due process procedures, even if their claims related primarily to Section 504, and did not involve FAPE under the IDEIA. In Fry v. Napoleon, however, the Supreme Court rejected this approach and provided new parameters for claims appearing to relate to both laws. [More]