Federal program to offer webinars on website accessibility

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has launched an initiative to make more websites and online programs accessible for individuals with disabilities. OCR will offer technical assistance and design suggestions via a series of webinars to schools, districts, state education agencies, libraries, colleges and universities. The webinars are intended for IT professionals. Vendors are encouraged to attend as well. [More]

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]

Protests Post-Parkland: The legal ramifications of the rising tide of school protests

Tragedy. Loss. Sorrow. Debate. Passion. Protest. The devastating school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida has spawned national (and often contentious) debates across the country. Students, school staff members, parents and community groups are front-and-center in this ongoing conversation and are voicing their concerns. As a result, school districts, post-Parkland, have witnessed a tidal wave of student and employee protests in and beyond the classroom. These protests vary in form, size and character. They range from local and national walkouts (such as National School Walkout Day and the March for Our Lives event), administrative office walk-ins, "die-ins," marches, rallies and social media campaigns to school-structured debates, moments of silence, clothing or insignia support campaigns, and student listening sessions. [More]