Legal Developments Regarding Transgender Students

While Ohio has not addressed the issue yet, the nationwide trend of affording protections to transgender students under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 continues. On April 19, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled on a transgender high school boy's motion for a preliminary injunction. See G.G.ex rel. Grimm v. Gloucester Cty. Sch. Bd., 4th Cir. No. 15-2056, 2016 WL 1567467 (Apr. 19, 2016). The student sought to use the boys' restroom after his school district adopted a policy requiring students to use the restroom or locker room of their biological gender. The district also allowed the alternative of using a private facility for individuals with gender identity issues. The student had initially been permitted to use the boys' restroom for several weeks before this policy was implemented. After the policy was implemented, the student was no longer permitted to use the boys' restroom. [More]

Email Exchanges Between School Board Members May Violate Ohio's Sunshine Law

In Tuesday's much-anticipated decision, the Ohio Supreme Court held that an email exchange between a majority of board members may qualify as a meeting under Ohio's Open Meeting Act. The plaintiff, a board member who conducted an independent inquiry into allegedly improper athletic expenditures, voted against a proposed board policy that would have limited similar future investigations. After a newspaper editorial praised the dissenting board member, his four colleagues collaborated on a formal response to the editorial, but did so by email and without his involvement. The board president submitted the final response to the paper, signing consent to its publication in his official capacity. [More]

Ten Dangerous Apps

On March 18, 2016, Christina Peer spoke at OSBA 2016: Technology and the Law Seminar. Her presentation with Rhonda Porter, Esq. of the Akron City School District will describe in detail ten dangerous apps that can expose students to bullies and predators, and how to handle their widespread use. [More]

"Ban the Box" for Public Employers in Ohio

In late December 2015, Governor John Kasich signed a law that prohibits public employers, including townships, villages, municipal corporations, and public school districts, from asking questions about an applicant's criminal background on their job applications. Under the new law, the Fair Hiring Act, public employers are permitted to conduct background checks, but they can only do so later in the application process. The law takes effect March 23, 2016. [More]