I am frequently asked the following questions regarding education law in Connecticut and New York.
Can schools require students to be drug/alcohol tested to participate in extracurriculars?
Yes, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that public schools may subject students to random drug testing as a condition of participation in school sports and other extracurricular activities. See Board of Education of Independent School District No. 92 of Pottawatomie County v. Earls, 536 U.S. 522 (2002). Even school-sponsored proms and dances can be considered extracurricular activities. A school does not need a “reasonable suspicion” or evidence of a drug abuse problem in order to conduct a drug testing program for extracurricular participation. Such drug and alcohol tests are considered a “reasonable means” of preventing and deterring student drug use in a manner that does not violate the Fourth Amendment.
Are videos or photographs of students considered educational records maintained by a school?
It depends. Video and photographs are likely to be directly related to a particular student, and therefore part of the student’s educational record, when the images are used for disciplinary action or other official purposes, contain a depiction of an activity, or the entity taking the image intends to make the student the focus of the photo or video. The determination of whether a video or photograph is an educational record of the student, and subject to disclosure to the student’s parents pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”), is made on a case-by-case basis after examination of the relevant video or photograph.
Can my child with a disability be suspended from school?
Under the IDEA, a suspension in excess of 10 school days constitutes a change in placement. If a school intends on suspending a student for longer than 10 school days, it must conduct a manifestation determination review to determine if the student’s behavior is a manifestation of his or her disability. In New York, a superintendent’s hearing must occur before the manifestation determination review.
Can I appeal a superintendent’s suspension of my child in New York?
If your child was suspended for six days or longer, it is considered a superintendent’s suspension. The suspension is not finalized until a formal hearing is held or you plead no contest to the charges. After the formal hearing is conducted and within two school days, you should receive notice that the charges were either sustained, proven to be true, or dismissed, and if the charges were sustained, how long the suspension will last. Within five days of the hearing, the Hearing Officer should issue you a letter explaining his or her decision. If you disagree with the Hearing Officer’s findings, an appeal can be made to the local board of education, if it hears such appeals. The timing to bring such appeal varies from district to district, but is generally around 30 days. If the board of education upholds the superintendent’s determination, an appeal can then be sent to the Commissioner of Education. The appeal must be brought within thirty days from the board of education’s determination, or if the board of education does not hear appeals, then thirty days from the date of the superintendent’s decision.
Can children in Kindergarten through second grade be expelled in Connecticut?
Unless the school finds that the student’s conduct was of a violent or sexual nature that endangers persons, a student who is in Kindergarten through second-grade cannot serve an out-of-school suspension or expulsion.
What are Connecticut schools required to do for students with life-threatening allergies?
Food allergies are considered a disability under the American Disability Act. Schools are required to have an individualized health care plan and emergency care plan/allergy action plan for all students who have life-threatening allergies. Additionally, schools can also create a Section 504 plan regarding accommodations for the student regarding their allergies.
Additional resources provided by the author
If you have any questions about your or your child’s rights in the educational setting, it is important to speak to an experienced educational attorney today.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on
their profile in addition to the information we collect from state
bar associations and other organizations that license legal
professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo
with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do
What determines Avvo Rating?Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, education
Legal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awards
Legal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagements
This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority in .
Disciplinary information may not be comprehensive, or updated. We recommend that you always check a lawyer's disciplinary status with their respective state bar association before hiring them.