NSBA Legal Clips
Archived entries for Minnesota

Federal appellate court rules Minnesota district violated religious group’s free speech rights by removing it from district’s enrichment program

A three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has ruled that a Minnesota school district violated a religious group’s free speech rights when it engaged in impermissible viewpoint discrimination by removing the religious group as a participant in the district’s after-school enrichment program, resulting in irreparable harm to the religious group.

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Minnesota task force urges state to adopt tougher anti-bullying laws

According to the Associated Press in The Sacramento Bee, a Minnesota task force, called “The Prevention of School Bullying Task Force” is urging state lawmakers to toughen up a state law on bullying, harassment, and intimidation in schools.

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Parents of African-American students have filed race discrimination suit against Minnesota district

The Star Tribune reports that even after teacher Timothy Olmsted was placed on paid leave and later resigned as a result of an investigation of racial incidents in his classroom, the parents of African-American students at Heights Community School have filed suit against St. Paul Public School District.

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Minnesota district settles with African-American student for allowing students to celebrate “Wangsta Day” during homecoming week

As reported on StarTribune.com, the Red Wing School District has agreed to a settlement, pending court approval, of a suit brought by an African-American student over an informal homecoming week ritual mocking African-Americans.

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Graduating class subjected to unannounced breathlyzer tests at Minnesota high school

The Post-Bulletin reports that parents of a number of graduating seniors at St. Charles High School are considering filing a lawsuit, after their children were given breath tests at school for alcohol consumption.

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Minnesota’s governor vows to veto teacher layoff legislation

Gov. Mark Dayton said he won’t sign legislation that would allow schools to lay off teachers based on factors other than seniority, reports Associated Press (AP) in NECN.com.

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Federal district court issues consent decree in Minnesota peer harassment suit; school district pledges improved treatment of gay and lesbian students

The Anoka-Hennepin School District (AHSD) in Minnesota has entered into a consent decree with the U.S. Dept. of Justice and the U.S. Dept. of Education, Office for Civil Rights resolving the federal civil rights investigation and two separate actions against the district and several administrators. As reported by the Star Tribune, AHSD’s school board voted 5-1 to approve the settlement agreement with six former and current students who claim they were targets of peer bullying based on their sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation.

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ACLU files suit against Minnesota district over two Facebook incidents

According to the Morris Sun Tribune, the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota (ACLU-MN) has filed suit against Minnewaska Area School District (MASD) and the Pope County Sheriff’s Office alleging they violated a student’s free speech and privacy rights in two instances related to Facebook.

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Minnesota measure to phase out teacher tenure wins state senate approval

The Minnesota Senate has approved, 36-26, a bill to end the tenure system that protects older teachers and makes newer teachers the “last hired, first fired,” says the Star Tribune.

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Minnesota district abandons policy of teacher neutrality on controversial subjects

According to Associated Press (AP), the Anoka-Hennepin School Board has abandoned a much-criticized policy that required teachers to remain neutral when issues of sexual identity arose in the classroom, replacing it with a policy designed to create respectful discussion about controversial topics. With only one dissenting vote, the school board dropped a policy that is the subject of two lawsuits by critics who contend it muzzled teachers and prevented them from holding effective discussions to reduce bullying against students who are gay or perceived to be gay.

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