Education Code section 55220 has long provided community college districts with immunity from claims for injuries sustained on field trips and excursions, including travel related to interscholastic athletic events. While California courts have recognized that the immunity provision allows districts to enhance the educational experience by reducing exposure to injury claims and thereby lessening costs (Sanchez v. San Diego County Office of Education (2010) 182 Cal.App.4th 1580, 1584), a California Court of Appeal recently clarified the extent of this protection.

California’s public education system is vital to the state’s future and success. However, there is currently no comprehensive method to track student progress throughout students’ educations and entry into the workforce. Recently, the Legislature has noted increased support for a system linking educational agencies’ databases in an effort to prioritize transparency and student welfare and success.

For many people, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and LinkedIn are essential for communicating in their daily lives.  Social media plays an integral role in the transmission of news, ideas, opinions, and personal expression.

How could thy notes flow in such a crystal stream? — Percy Bysshe Shelley

Streaming school or college events live over the Internet allows anyone in the world — relatives, friends, and sundry interested parties — access to student choir concerts, plays, sporting events, or graduations. It’s almost like being there! But live streaming these events raises a variety of legal concerns. Before deciding to stream an event online, districts should carefully consider these issues.

Tags: Streaming

On April 18, 2018, six leading public health and medical organizations insisted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take immediate action to address the rise in teenage usage of Juul electronic cigarettes. (See our April 10, 2018 blog entry about Juul devices here.) The groups cited recent research conducted by the Truth Initiative and published in the journal Tobacco Control, which revealed that 63 percent of current Juul users aged 15-24 did not know the product contains nicotine. Additionally, the research indicated that 25 percent of users may not even realize the product is an e-cigarette or tobacco product.

Often, the concept of requiring a student to testify before an administrative hearing panel is daunting.  Our students live in a difficult world of rumors, public humiliation broadcast on social media, and threatening messages sent by text and over the Internet.  It is no wonder that most students readily indicate they are afraid of testifying against a student accused of misconduct, and our site and District administrators are reluctant to put a student through the process.

Given the plummeting cost of digital storage, many educational agencies scan permanent records into electronic format and destroy the hard copy originals. The Education Code and Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations permit educational agencies to destroy paper records in certain circumstances — after their usefulness ceases, after they have been classified as “disposable,” or after they have been copied into an electronic storage medium. But even when the destruction is permitted by law, it may have negative repercussions if the agency knew or should have known the documents would be relevant to current or potential litigation.

Use of the best-selling e-cigarette on the market is spreading quickly throughout middle and high schools. The nicotine vaporizer, called Juul, looks like a flash drive; it can even be charged in a USB port. By the end of 2017, Juul sales made up a third of the e-cigarette market.

Across the country, students, parents, and community members rely on websites as a primary source for information about their children’s education, meal planning, and community events. The websites may be operated by a school, a district, a county office of education, or a state-level educational agency. A recent study entitled Tracking: EDU: Education Agency Website Security and Privacy Practices, produced by consulting firm EdTech Strategies, LLC, highlights significant privacy, online surveillance, and other security issues with the websites of many school districts and state departments of education.

Categories: Technology

In mid-October 2017, Hollywood movie executive Harvey Weinstein tumbled from grace when he was accused of sexual harassment from multiple actresses who had worked with him over the decades.  After the first complaint came in, more and more women began to come forward with their own allegations against Weinstein.  From there, out of the Weinstein complaints grew a new movement of women and men speaking out against other celebrities, politicians, and media personalities alleging sexual misconduct.  Social media responded with a “#metoo” movement where victims of sexual harassment and misconduct took to the internet to give light to a topic previously tucked away in the dark.

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