Missouri House Bill 1878 Puts New Restrictions on the Voter Registration Process

by Mark Timmerman Every school year, high schools and colleges across the country hold voter registration drives for students who have reached the age of 18. In Missouri, two voter registration laws set to go in effect on August 28, 2022 pose new challenges to any school that seeks to partake in this American tradition. These laws are a part of House Bill 1878, which was signed into law by Governor Parson on June 29, 2022. Missouri Revised Statutes read more

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Praying Football Coach in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District

by Mark Timmerman Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States released its opinion in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District. In 2015, an assistant football coach named Joseph Kennedy, at Bremerton High School in Bremerton, Washington, was reprimanded by District administration for actions such as leading students in a pre-game prayer, conducting post-game talks that included religious content, and leading students in a prayer at the 50-yard line after games. The District, which is public, was concerned that his religious

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New CDC Guidance Removes Mask Requirements for School Buses

Effective February 25, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) no longer requires the wearing of masks on buses or vans operated by public or private school systems, including early care and education/child care programs. However, school districts may still require people to wear masks on buses or vans at their discretion.

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Federal Appeals Court Rules That Federal Law May Require Mask Mandates in Public Schools

by Jim Layton In a suit brought by parents of children with serious disabilities, the St. Louis-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit upheld an injunction against an Iowa law barring mask mandates in public schools. The court held that “mask requirements are reasonable accommodations required by federal disability law to protect the rights of Plaintiffs”™ children.” “Reasonable accommodations” for students (and staff) with disabilities are required by the federal Rehabilitation Act. Prior to the enactment of a

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Department of Education Releases Questions and Answers on Title IX Regulations

by Veronica Potter On July 20, 2021, the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) published it’s Questions and Answers on the Title IX Regulations on Sexual Harassment (“Q&A”). This resource contains a series of questions and answers regarding the regulations on Title IX that went into effect on August 14, 2020 (“2020 Regulations”), as well as excerpts of example policies from elementary, secondary, and postsecondary institutions. In a blog

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Missouri Governor Signs COVID-19 Liability Bill

by Jenna Lakamp On July 7, 2021, Missouri’s Governor Parson signed into law a bill limiting civil lawsuits that can be brought against Missouri business, religious organizations, and health care providers.   SB51 was passed by the Legislature on May 25, 2021, with support from Governor Parson. The law states that no individual or entity will be liable for any COVID-19 exposure, unless the individual can prove they were exposed and suffered illness by “clear and convincing evidence.”   In

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United States Supreme Court Holds Discipline for Off-Campus Speech Violated First Amendment

by Kylie Piatt In an 8-1 decision issued on June 23, 2021, the United States Supreme Court upheld a student’s First Amendment right to free speech related to comments made via social media while off-campus. In Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L., B.L. was a rising sophomore high school student at Mahanoy Area High School, who tried out for but did not make the school’s varsity cheerleading squad.   Concurrently, B.L. had tried out for a certain position on her

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U.S. Dept. of Ed. Says Title IX Protects Students from Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination

by Jenna Lakamp On June 16, 2021, the United States Department of Education (the “Department”) issued a Notice of Interpretation (the “Notice”) confirming that Title IX’s prohibition of sex-based discrimination includes discrimination based on students”™ sexual orientation and gender identity.  This interpretation of Title IX stems from the Supreme Court decision, Bostock v. Clayton County, 590 U.S. __ , 140 S. Ct. 1731; 207 L. Ed. 2d 218; 2020 WL 3146686; 2020 U.S. LEXIS 3252 (2020), which was issued on

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EEOC Updates and Expands Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccines

by Mandi Moutray On May 28, 2021, the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (“EEOC”) updated and expanded its guidance regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, and specifically addressed questions relating to COVID-19 vaccinations. The full guidance can be found in the EEOC publication,  What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws. The updated guidance confirms that federal EEO laws do not prohibit employers from mandating vaccination for all employees physically entering the

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CDC Publishes COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Toolkit for Essential Workers

by Christine Self In our recent Insight, EEOC Updates its COVID-19 Guidance to Address Vaccines, Tueth Keeney discussed the grant of FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for two COVID-19 vaccines. Our guidance indicated that employers could encourage their employees to take the COVID vaccines without running afoul of the ADA, Rehabilitation Act and other EEO requirements, if they ensure that any mandate (post-EUA period) provides exemptions for sincerely held religious beliefs and employees with disabilities. Of

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