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Properly Prepare for Contentious Legal Situations

Bullying, discrimination and harassment remain some of the most difficult issues both students and schools face today. The extent and limitations of the law are not always obvious, however. This comprehensive overview of student bullying, discrimination and harassment laws will get you up to speed on the latest legal perspectives. You'll take away the valuable knowledge you need to confidently handle contentious legal situations - register today!

  • Get up to speed on federal and state anti-bullying laws you need to know.
  • Know to what extent schools are obliged to protect students from bullying.
  • Determine the scope of authority schools have to address cyberbullying.
  • Confidently handle situations where special needs students are aggressors. 
  • Understand the top mistakes schools make when handling discrimination and harassment claims.
  • Master the key steps of bullying, discrimination and harassment lawsuits.
  • Know how the latest court decisions affect the contents of anti-bullying policies.

  1. Case Law and Federal/State Laws You Must Know
    10:00 - 10:45, Richard F. Verstegen
    1. State Anti-Bullying Laws
    2. ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
    3. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
    4. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
    5. Sexual Harassment and Gender Anti-Discrimination Laws
    6. EEOA
    7. Constitutional Protections and Claims
  2. School Authority, Liability and Students' Rights
    10:45 - 11:30, Richard F. Verstegen
    1. Extent of a School's Legal Obligations to Protect Students
    2. Public School Liability and Government Employee Protections
    3. Liability for Private/Parochial Educational Facilities
    4. "Actual Knowledge" and Reasonableness Analysis
    5. Deliberate Indifference Assessment: Was the Response Reasonable?
    6. Authority to Conduct Searches vs. 4th Amendment Violations
    7. First Amendment Rights vs. Obligations to Address Bullying or Discrimination
  3. Off-Campus Incidents, Cyberbullying and Harassment
    11:45 - 12:30, Erin D. Gilsbach
    1. Scope of School Authority to Address Off-Campus Conduct
    2. School Liability for Harassment That Occurs Online
    3. Monitoring and Restricting Internet Use: How Far Can Schools Go?
    4. Investigation and Disciplinary Actions
    5. Case Law Review
  4. When Special Needs Students Are the Victims or Aggressors
    12:30 - 1:15, Laura Tubbs Booth
    1. Re-Evaluating IEPs
    2. Functional Behavior Plans (FBAs)
    3. Behavior Intervention Plans
    4. Manifestation Determinations
    5. Placement Changes: Ensuring Legal Best Practices
    6. Preparing for Due Process Hearings
  5. Top Mistakes Schools Make: Treasure Troves for Plaintiffs' Attorneys
    1:45 - 2:15, Laura Tubbs Booth
    1. Overlooking the Problem
    2. Downplaying the Issue: Horseplay vs. Bullying vs. Harassment
    3. Weak Policies and Procedures
    4. Inadequate Training of Staff
    5. Investigation and Disciplinary Mistakes
    6. Violations of Privacy and Free Speech Rights
    7. Insufficient Steps to Eliminate the Hostile Environment
    8. Failure to Stop Additional Harassment and Prevent Retaliation
    9. Red Flags and Cracks in Documentation
  6. Model Policies and Measures to Mitigate Liability
    2:15 - 2:45, Erin D. Gilsbach
    1. Tips for Drafting School Policies (with Samples)
    2. Measures Put Into Place by School Districts to Avoid Liability
    3. Measures Courts Have Expressed That Districts Should Put Into Place
  7. Bullying, Discrimination and Harassment Lawsuits
    3:00 - 4:00, Erin D. Gilsbach
    1. OCR Complaints and Investigations
    2. Identifying the Liable Party
    3. Causes of Action and Likelihood of Recovery
    4. Investigation and Discovery: Pointers and Sample Resources
    5. Cyberbullying Cases: Emails, Texts, Social Media
    6. When FERPA Problems Arise
    7. Damages
    8. Settlement and Trial
  8. Legal Ethics
    4:00 - 5:00, Erin D. Gilsbach
    1. Attorneys' Fees
    2. Conflicts of Interest
    3. Confidentiality Issues
    4. Ethical Concerns in Working with or Against Minors

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