We all know the importance of keeping employee information in a secure location, but did you know that you have the same responsibility to protect employee data electronically? In a recent case from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Dittman v. UPMC, the court found an employer has a legal duty to exercise reasonable care to safeguard its employees' sensitive personal information stored by the employer on an internet-accessible computer system. The employees alleged that a data breach had occurred through which personal and financial information, including names, birth dates, social security numbers, addresses, tax forms, and bank account information of all 62,000 current and former employees was accessed and stolen from company computer systems. The employees further alleged that the stolen data, which consisted of information the company required the employees to provide as a condition of their employment, was used to file fraudulent tax returns on behalf of the victimized employees, resulting in actual damages. The court agreed with the employees and found that the company was negligent in protecting employee data.

Northside ISD is investigating a sexual assault allegation involving two high school students. The alleged victims said it happened on campus at Harlan High School. The father of the victim, who wished to remain anonymous pressed charges against the 17-year-old senior who allegedly sexually assaulted his 15-year-old daughter. view article arw

Good read! - js - The extent of Adam Lanza’s abject loneliness, the intensity of his scorn for the world, his interest in pedophilia, his astounding list of daily grievances, the reach of his obsession with mass murder — some of the granular details of the Sandy Hook shooter’s last years have been elusive. Until now.  More than 1,000 pages of documents obtained by the Hartford Courant from the Connecticut State Police, including hundreds of pages of Lanza’s own writings and a spreadsheet detailing the gruesome work of 400 perpetrators of mass violence, bring into sharper focus the dark worldview of a 20-year-old who shot his mother four times as she slept and then killed 20 first-graders and six educators before killing himself at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, 2012. view article arw

In 1970, the student population in Richardson ISD was roughly 96 percent white, 3 percent black and less than 1 percent Hispanic. As of last year, it was 60 percent black and Hispanic. Despite the dramatic shift in student demographics, the makeup of Richardson ISD’s school board still looks the same.  That’s why David Tyson, the first — and only — person of color to ever serve on the school board, is now suing Richardson ISD and each of its seven board members. As the Tribune’s Alexa Ura and Aliyya Swaby report, Tyson argues that the district’s system for electing members prevents people of color from having a fair hand in picking who represents them. view article arw

Forty-three-year-old Charles Fulmer was sentenced Friday, December 7th, 2018 after pleading guilty to one count of attempted transfer of obscene material to a minor. Fulmer resigned in April of 2017 after being accused of misconduct with a student, and was arrested in May of 2017. view article arw

The parents of a Trinity ISD student who was killed on a bus that had allegedly not been modified to meet safety standards have reached a settlement with the district. Though the terms of the settlement are confidential, the parents told us recently that the main reason they decided to go to court was to save other parents' children in the future. view article arw

A couple who alleged an East Texas school district’s failure to modify a school van to meet federal safety standards lead to the death of their 7-year-old daughter has settled a lawsuit with the district. Kim Magness, the mother of Journey Magness, said Thursday that a settlement was reached this month with the Trinity Independent School District over the December 2016 death of her daughter. Magness says the van, used to transport special-needs children, was stopped to pick up a student when it was rear-ended by a pickup. view article arw

After criticizing the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office on its Facebook page, Deanna Robinson found herself blocked from commenting or liking its posts. Nearly two years later, her free speech case against the small law enforcement agency is reaching the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. The case could ultimately clear up what's become a muddied legal question impacting everyone from rural elected officials around the country to the president: In the age of social media, what constitutes a public forum? Robinson’s lawsuit against her local sheriff's office was a culmination of years of contentious run-ins with the office. view article arw

The first time Shahid Shafi ran for a seat on the city council in Southlake in 2011, advisers assured him a Muslim in post-9/11 America who spoke with an accent and emigrated from Pakistan would never win an election in Texas. It’s a story that Shafi, a Republican trauma surgeon, likes to tell because he didn’t believe them. He won the Southlake City Council seat on his second try, in 2014, has since served as a delegate to multiple Texas GOP conventions and, in July, was appointed vice chairman of the Tarrant County Republican Party, located in Fort Worth. But that’s when his religion somehow became a problem again — in the eyes of some Republican colleagues. view article arw

The Harlandale Independent School District will challenge the unfavorable findings of a Texas Education Agency investigation — now in its second year — into the district’s governance and financial practices. The findings have not been publicly released. The TEA gave the district a preliminary report on the probe two weeks ago, and the Harlandale board voted in a special called meeting before Thanksgiving to request an “informal review,” essentially asking TEA to reconsider its conclusions. view article arw

Valuable legislative updates from presenters who are working for the children of Texas. One-on-one sessions with the state’s keenest school finance and legal minds. Perfect conference for Superintendents, Business Officials, and Board Members.Excellent networking opportunity view article arw

The parents of a Pakistani exchange student killed in a mass shooting at Santa Fe High Schoolin southeast Texas are suing the parents of the accused gunman. Sabika Sheikh was among the eight students and two teachers who were killed in May when a classmate stormed into the Galveston County school and opened fire. Thirteen others, including a school resource officer, were injured. view article arw

The town of Smithville, Texas is rallying around an elementary school teacher who received backlash after she posted a video of her first-grade class reciting a Bible verse. Susan Schobel’s now-deleted Facebook video posted on Nov. 1 showed the children at Brown Primary School quoting from a passage of Scripture in the New Testament book of Romans. view article arw

A former Harlandale ISD parent has filed a lawsuit against the district. Erica Eckols claims Harlandale ISD administrators violated an item known as 'Child Find' under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). It requires school districts to have a set process for identifying and evaluating children who may need special education and related services. Her son, Arturo Garcia, is now in third grade and continues to struggle. She says he has mental and learning disabilities that have been diagnosed by multiple doctors. view article arw

The number of Texas teachers accused of haivng inappropriate relationships with students continues to rise, but the larger number is being driven mainly by a new state law that has boosted requirements to report such misconduct. view article arw

For the 10th year in a row, the number of Texas teachers accused of soliciting romantic relationships with students has increased, driven in part by a law adopted last year that has strengthened requirements to report such misconduct. In the fiscal year that ended Sept. 1, the Texas Education Agency opened 429 cases of improper teacher-student relationships, a 42 percent increase from the previous year and the largest one-year jump in at least a decade. view article arw

CARTHAGE — U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap has dismissed part of a federal lawsuit filed against Carthage ISD but says a Title IX suit can go forward.  Gilstrap ruled that the lawsuit’s claims under the 14th Amendment fail as a matter of law. But he said the Title IX violation allegations met legal standing to continue to trial.  “The Court finds that Plaintiff has adequately pled that Carthage ISD acted with deliberate indifference once it was put on notice of (the football player’s) actions,” Gilstrap wrote in the ruling from his Marshall court on Wednesday. view article arw

Leading an 11-state coalition, Attorney General Ken Paxton today filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking it to review the case of two Oregon bakers and their constitutionally-protected conscience rights.  The state of Oregon forced Aaron and Melissa Klein to shut down their business, Sweet Cakes by Melissa, after declining to create a cake for a same-sex marriage ceremony in 2013 because of their deeply held religious belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries ordered the Kleins to pay $135,000 in compensatory damages for violating the state’s public accommodations law. The couple filed a petition asking the Supreme Court to overturn the state of Oregon’s ruling. view article arw

A former Beaumont ISD administrator convicted after she admitted to embezzling from the school district has been transferred to a halfway house. Patricia Lambert, 64, is now at a residential reentry management facility in San Antonio, also known as a halfway house, according to the Federal Bureau of P view article arw

Advocates are pushing lawmakers to change how Texas funds special education resources, and a recent court ruling may help their cause. The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals sharply criticized the way Texas calculates how much to spend on special education, saying in an opinion that there is potential for “future abuse,” and the state’s method for allocating funds creates a “perverse incentive” to minimize a student’s needs. view article arw

A Brownsboro ISD employee has been charged with improper relationship between an educator and a student. According to Henderson County jail records, Lindsey Nation, 31, of Chandler was arrested by Brownsboro ISD police on Nov. 14. Records show she was booked into the Henderson County jail and charged with improper relationship between an educator and a student. Nation later posted a $25,000 bond. view article arw

Parents of students in the Smithville school district have taken issue with a video a first grade teacher shared online showing her class repeating Bible verses and potentially going against a U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down school-sponsored Bible readings and prayer. The video, which was posted to Facebook on Nov. 1 by Susan Schobel, a Brown Primary School teacher, shows her classroom sitting in a circle repeating Romans 12:9-10. “Start your day with a good Bible verse and life just seems better!!” Schobel wrote in the video’s caption. “This is our daily Bible verse.” view article arw

Lawsuit against Sweeny ISD dismissed

November 1308:40 AM
 

A former Sweeny ISD employee who claimed wrongful termination and sexual harassment in a federal lawsuit against the district plans to appeal dismissal of her claims, Lisa Marie Smith’s attorney said Monday. “We do think there are questions that should go to a jury and that a jury should be able to decide,” Smith’s attorney, Karla Epperson, said. view article arw

DALLAS -- Two separate outside investigations are underway at the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) after WFAA started asking questions about irregularities within its purchasing department that two former employees discovered.  Those questions surround possible criminal violations along with the misuse of taxpayer dollars. view article arw

About 75 South San Antonio High School students walked out of class Friday demanding that the school district pay the medical bills for a classmate who was left paralyzed from injuries he suffered while practicing for a powderpuff football game. Roman Caldera. was injured while performing a cheerleading stunt for an upcoming senior fundraiser at which the boys take on the duties of the cheerleaders and the girls hit the gridiron. view article arw

A lawsuit is accusing Brownsville I.S.D. of failing to take appropriate action after a teacher caught a fellow teacher having sex with a student in a classroom. The lawsuit says this happened January of 2017 at Brownsville Hanna High School. The lawsuit stated that the district never notified the Department of Family Protective Services, which is required by law. view article arw

Repost!  After the Texas Supreme Court on Friday reaffirmed Kountze cheerleaders’ right to quote Bible verses on their spirit signs, the lawyer for the women who brought the lawsuit six years go said it’s time for critics to drop the matter. “Kountze Independent School District officials continue to waste taxpayer dollars despite Texas courts’ rejecting their efforts to squelch the cheerleaders’ religious free speech,” Hiram Sasser of the First Liberty Institute said in an emailed statement.The high court declined rehear the case Friday, following a motion last month by the Kountze district’s lawyer requesting it. view article arw

HENDERSON — The board of trustees for Henderson ISD considered an audit Thursday afternoon that will help the district recoup tax revenue it lost in a lawsuit.  Natural gas companies sued several taxing entities, including Henderson ISD, for tax revenue they received between 2012 and 2017. The Texas Supreme Court’s March 2 ruling changed the location of the entity collecting taxes from where a natural gas compressor is located to where the company’s home office is located, requiring local taxing entities to refund the tax money.  Trustees met for an update regarding the 2018-19 budget, which was led by Superintendent Keith Boles. view article arw

A mother says the Waxahachie school district, Felty Elementary School and two local police officers failed her autistic son when he was held down in a classroom for five minutes and put in handcuffs in March 2017. On Oct. 15, she filed a federal lawsuit against the district, school principal and police officers, claiming they violated her 8-year-old son’s civil rights. The lawsuit does not include her or her son’s last name. view article arw

It is sometimes unclear what a public school district’s duty is when it comes to serving children with disabilities placed by their parents in private schools. Further complicating matters is the fact that sometimes a private school student requesting services can reside in the boundaries of one district and attend a private school in the boundaries of another district. What follows is a simplified list of steps to follow, and an explanation of each step, when evaluating a district’s responsibility to a private school student.

A jury in Texas has awarded $68,000 in damages to the family of a 12-year-old girl who suffered rope burns to her neck during a school field trip in 2016. The Travis County jury in Austin awarded the damages in the case against Live Oak Classical School. The girl's attorney, Levi McCathern, alleged that classmates tied a rope around her neck and pulled her to the ground during a field trip in Blanco County in the Texas Hill Country. The attorney says the girl had long been the victim of bullying. view article arw

A man has been arrested in connection to the Central ISD bomb threat that was called in to the Angelina County Sheriff’s Office 911 dispatch. Det. J.B. Smith with the Lufkin Police Department said that the Central ISD Police Department and the ACSO arrested Scott Thompson, 34, on a charge of false alarm or report Wednesday evening. view article arw

Former school employees indicted

October 3108:32 AM
 

Two former Huntsville ISD employees were indicted by a Walker County grand jury on a single count of abuse of official capacity. Prosecutors say the former transportation director Timothy Hooks, 44, and assistant director David Baker, 62, used school facilities and personnel to restore, repair, paint and maintain personal vehicles. Their charge notes the value of the property, services, personnel and other things of value between $2,500 and $30,000. view article arw

Port Neches-Groves’ last-second comeback football win at Crosby will now go down as a loss.  Head coach and athletic director Brandon Faircloth said Monday morning the District 12-5A Division II executive committee, or DEC, voted by a 3-2 count for PNG to forfeit a 48-45 victory that was decided on a touchdown catch with 3 seconds remaining. view article arw

Officials at Carroll Independent School District in Southlake say they're looking into a racially offensive video that was posted on Twitter over the weekend. The video shows about 10 students sitting around a bed shouting a racial slur at the camera. "I say [racial slur], you say [racial slur,]" the girl says to the group and to the camera, which is in selfie mode. NBC DFW has chosen to not show the video. view article arw