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If you were to ask Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, or Mark Zuckerberg’s Jarvis (aka Morgan Freeman) what legal issues often arise with the use of personal work phones, they would hopefully answer, “Public information requests, records retention, and security concerns.” If by chance 2017 technology has yet to discover the rugged frontier of education law, read on for a short synopsis of the common pitfalls of personal work phones.

Read this! - js - Following North Carolina’s lead, Texas Republicans last week unveiled the so-called “bathroom bill” to regulate bathroom use and keep transgender Texans from using bathrooms that align with their gender identity.  Senate Bill 6, one of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s legislative priorities, would require transgender people to use bathrooms in public schools, government buildings and public universities based on “biological sex.” The measure would also pre-empt local nondiscrimination ordinances that allow transgender Texans to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.  To help you understand the proposal, below is the text of SB 6, annotated with our own context and analysis. Text with a red strikethrough are being proposed for removal from the current law; text with a green underline are additions. view article arw

A Midway middle school employee has been accused of the unthinkable, physically abusing two non verbal autistic students, victims who who are unable to speak up to defend themselves. 52 year old Timothy Lindholm was taken into custody Tuesday, after a police investigation revealed, that during an incident on December 20th, he hit two fourteen year old special needs students on the head, and sprayed water on them so they would obey him. view article arw

Police arrested a boy last week after he posted a video of himself having sex with a female student in a Waco High School gym bathroom in October, an arrest affidavit states. Dari Washington, 17, a sophomore at Waco High at the time the video was recorded, was arrested Friday on a class A misdemeanor obscenity charge after he allegedly posted the video. view article arw

The sex scandal involving a former Aldine ISD teacher and her student shocked many people. Former English teacher Alexandria Vera will be in court today, and could learn her fate after she was caught in an improper sexual relationship with a 13-year-old student. view article arw

The Dallas Independent School District has put the original Jakes Hamburgers and other businesses on notice that it plans to use eminent domain to purchase their property and build a school. view article arw

Business owners in the Merriman Park area of Northeast Dallas expressed concern and frustration Tuesday over a plan from Dallas ISD to acquire eight parcels of land for a potential new elementary school. Dallas ISD voted in October to draft a resolution setting aside nearly $13 million to acquire the land east of Skillman Street and north of Walling Lane. Properties include City View Antique Mall, Jake's Hamburgers, a Chevron gas station, Merriman Park Automotive and Collision, a law office, Security Self Storage, First Cash Pawn and a daycare facility. view article arw

 The 24-year-old driver in a school bus crash that killed six children last month in Tennessee is appearing in court. view article arw

The Killeen Independent School District will reevaluate its holiday decoration policies after a principal ordered a staff member to remove a Christmas poster that used Christ's name. view article arw

Troup school board members have responded to a lawsuit filed on behalf of former Athletic Director and Head Coach Dennis Alexander. view article arw

For all their condemnations of illegal immigration, Texas lawmakers — Republican and Democratic — have shown little interest in cracking down on businesses that employ undocumented workers.   Few Texas politicians have harnessed anger over illegal immigration like Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who rose from talk radio host to powerful state leader largely on the strength of his incessant border security screeds.   Though he once embraced a foreign guest worker program himself, Patrick got elected lieutenant governor in 2014 in part by decrying what he called an “invasion” of disease-carrying immigrants and tying his GOP foes to policies that supposedly draw them here. He went on to become the top Texas cheerleader for immigration hardliner Donald Trump's presidential bid. view article arw

The Supreme Court review of a battle between the parents of an autistic child and his Colorado school district could help raise the standards of education for some of the more than 6 million disabled schoolchildren across the United States. But it could also prove expensive for already cash-strapped school districts.  Federal law guarantees disabled students a free and appropriate public education, but precisely what that means isn’t well defined. Federal judges often have had different interpretations of what they’re entitled to, something lawyers for the Colorado family and other advocates for disabled students say leads to better education and more services for disabled children in some states than in others. view article arw

Parents often have to fight with school administrators or borrow against their homes to hire attorneys before their children get the special education services they need. Families told federal authorities about the struggles they've faced in getting access to programs that help children with dyslexia, attention deficient disorders, autism and other disabilities during a listening tour on Monday  "There are so many fights against parents and all we want to do is get our children educated," said Cindy Wilkerson, whose four adopted children all needed some form of help Officials from the U.S. Department of Education were in Richardson to hear from the community about difficulties in Texas special education system, which is under federal investigation.  Disability advocates say a so-called enrollment "target" used to assess school performance amounted to an 8.5 percent cap that caused districts to deny thousands of children services. (paywalled) view article arw

 The Port Arthur Independent School District will be in trial this week over a wrongful termination lawsuit brought by a former white teacher. view article arw

Christmas in the Lone Star state has no greater defender than Attorney General Ken Paxton. So when he read my column about a middle school in Killeen that tried to censor the true meaning of Christmas, he decided it was time to jingle somebody’s bells. view article arw

NEW BRAUNFELS — Facing defense assertions that defective indictments were used in June to bring criminal charges against two former Comal Independent School District administrators, prosecutors Thursday dropped several of its criminal allegations against them  Marc Walker and Thomas Bloxham each still face charges of theft by a public servant, money laundering and misapplication of fiduciary property, which allegedly occurred between 2010 and 2012 when Walker was the school district’s superintendent and Bloxham was assistant superintendent of support services. view article arw

San Antonio Independent School District officials say the private information of seniors at two of the district’s high schools has been stolen. view article arw

The presence of minors on community college campuses will not exempt institutions of higher education from the law allowing concealed handguns on campus. That’s according to an opinion from the Texas Attorney General’s office. The opinion says, “[A] junior or community college may not adopt a blanket prohibition against concealed handguns in all of its classrooms merely because minors may attend or be present in any or all classrooms.” view article arw

Today the Supreme Court announced a new briefing schedule for Gloucester County School Board v. G.G., the case of a transgender student who identifies as a boy and wants to be able to use the boys’ bathroom at his Virginia high school. The revised schedule extends the time for each side to file its main merits brief by at least a month. Under the original schedule prescribed by the court’s rules, the main merits brief for the Gloucester County School Board, which has asked the justices to reverse a lower-court ruling ordering the board to allow the student to use the boys’ bathroom, would have been due on December 12, with the brief for G.G., as the student is known in the Supreme Court litigation, coming 30 days later, on January 11. But the school board’s brief will now be due on January 3, with G.G.’s brief following on February 23. view article arw

When a school police officer learned that a teacher was raping a 14-year-old sophomore, he did it too, the girl says in a civil lawsuit, and now the teacher is in prison and the cop is awaiting trial. In a federal lawsuit against the Edgewood Independent School District and Memorial High School, Jane Doe says both district employees used “hall passes” to pull her from class to sexually assault and sodomize her on school grounds. view article arw

It was one of the most shocking cases of school sex abuse we've seen: two employees, a teacher and a school police officer, arrested for sexually abusing the same female student. Now a federal lawsuit claims the Edgewood School District violated the girl's civil rights. The chemistry teacher and the school police officer from Memorial High School are already behind bars. The lawsuit that was just filed claims other teachers and the principal at the time knew about the abuse but did nothing. view article arw

A member of a Massachusetts town's school committee charged with assaulting a man with frozen fish patties has been ordered to attend anger management classes. view article arw

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) recently amended the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 11431, to address the educational effects of homelessness. ESSA alters the definition of homeless, commissions new methods of identifying homeless students, attempts to keep students in their original school district as long as possible, and creates many additional notice, privacy, and referral obligations for districts. As before, McKinney-Vento services are provided through the state’s local education agencies (called LEAs in the law, but Texas calls them “districts’ or “charters”) and coordinated by the locally appointed liaison.

A 7-year-old student was killed and several others injured Thursday morning when a Trinity ISD van, stopped to pick up a child for school, was rear-ended. According to the Trinity County Sheriff, Journey Magness died in the crash that occurred Thursday morning. view article arw

Yesterday, LIVE! reported on the arrest of a now former Lincoln Middle School science teacher whom Tom Green County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested after an investigation into allegations of sexual assault and indecency with a child (see story here). This arrest shocked many San Angeloans, especially those people who knew the 58-year-old teacher, Steve Skinner. view article arw

SAN ANTONIO - A new San Antonio city ordinance that takes affect Dec. 5 will allow school districts to hit drivers in the wallet when they ignore laws regarding stopped school buses.  The ordinance, which works in conjunction with current state laws, gives school districts the authority to impose civil penalties or fines. view article arw

Dallas County needs a balance of consistency and flexibility to get kids who skip school back in class and out of court, officials said at a news conference this morning. Area leaders outlined two dozen ways to reform truancy efforts so that school districts and courts can help students get on back track by giving authorities more discretion to consider their individual circumstances. view article arw

Dallas ISD makes up nearly half of all truancy cases in the state of Texas. And now, the county is changing the way it deals with students who skip school. This year, DISD has seen a huge drop in the number of truancy cases filed in court, and it has to do with the modified way DISD counts a student as being absent. For now, DISD is testing it out. But it will ultimately be up to the state legislature to approve the change and some of the 23 other recommendations made by a special truancy committee. view article arw

Truancy Reforms In Dallas Schools Are Keeping More Students In Class. Leaders issued 24 recommendations. Some need to be approved by state lawmakers, while others can be adopted now by school districts. view article arw

Dripping Springs ISD recently decided to allow a transgender elementary school student to use the girl's restroom. The fight against that new bathroom policy continues to grow. Texas Values is a faith-based organization that's helping parents and students get their message out. They say this issue affects safety, privacy and dignity. A press conference was held on Monday for that very reason. view article arw

Eleven-year-olds are not supposed to be afraid to go to school, but that's how a Spring Elementary School student felt after he said he was choked by a science teacher on the playground last week. "I was scared," Lylbrian Smith said. "I thought I was gonna die."  view article arw

Aldine ISD will pay a $140,000 civil fine, revise its policies and implement a three-year training program after the U.S. Department of Justice found the district violated a federal act written to protect immigrants and other non-citizens from discrimination. The Department of Justice's investigation found that Aldine required non-U.S. citizens, but not U.S. citizens, to present specific documents when verifying their employment eligibility once their original documents expired. view article arw

Two more lawsuit updates

November 2808:34 AM
 

The ban on the transgender bathroom rule remains in place pending appeals.  Continued lack of access in public schools to bathrooms matching transgender persons’ gender identity won’t cause them irreparable harm, a Texas federal judge has ruled.  U.S. District Reed O’Connor of Wichita Falls, Texas, made that finding Sunday in ruling against two federal executive branch departments.  O’Connor concluded the U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of Education had failed to show they will suffer irreparable injury if he allows to continue his nationwide ban on their policy for allowing transgender people in public schools access to the bathrooms assigned to the gender with which they self-identify. view article arw

Former Beaumont ISD contract electrician Calvin Walker wants the highest court in the nation to determine whether state prosecutors can try him on charges similar to the ones he fought in federal court in 2012.  In a petition filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 10, Walker asks the eight justices to review the government-claimed exception to Walker's constitutional protection against being tried twice for the same crime. Under the exception, two different government entities can try the same person for a crime as long as one case does not operate as an extension of the other.  Walker was indicted by a Jefferson County grand jury in July 2014 on four counts of fraud and two counts of money-laundering. He is accused of embezzling at least $2 million from the Beaumont Independent School District and the city of Port Arthur and converting the money into life insurance annuities. view article arw

HOUSTON, Texas — The U.S. Department of Justice announced it has settled a discrimination lawsuit against the Aldine Independent School District in Texas.  The Civil Rights Division’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) investigated accusations of discrimination against work-authorized non-citizens. view article arw