Retain or Delete? Managing Documents in the Digital Age

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.

“Juul” Vaporizers Trending Among Teenagers in Schools

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.

Study Highlights Security & Privacy Flaws in Public Educational Agency Websites

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
A Renewed Focus on Title IX: Addressing Sexual Misconduct Allegations in the Educational Setting Amidst Hollywood Revelations

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.

School districts are no longer authorized to grant permission to persons to carry firearms in school zones and on school campuses, closing a longstanding loophole under the California Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1995 (Penal Code § 626.9). Now, with certain limited exceptions, no one is permitted to possess a firearm in a school zone or on a school campus

Categories: Legislation

The New Law (SB 395)

Effective January 1, 2018, a California minor age 15 or under must consult with an attorney before he/she can give a confession to a law enforcement officer in a custodial setting which would be legally admissible in a court of law. (SB 395, Welfare and Institutions Code § 625.6.)  The consultation with the attorney can occur by phone or video conference.  Neither the minor nor the minor’s s ...

In June 2015, we reported here that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission launched a pilot program called ACT Digital to digitally transmit employment discrimination charges and related documents. The program was initially piloted in 11 EEOC offices, including San Francisco. In March 2017, EEOC announced its Online Inquiry and Appointment System, which was available as a pilot in five cities ...

Categories: Labor/Employment

California has taken an important step in protecting students from being subjected to sexual misconduct by teachers. Recently, the California legislature enacted AB 872, which makes all sex offenses that require registration as a sex offender now also result in the immediate suspension of a teacher’s credential. The bill amends Education Code Section 44010 to add Penal Code Section 288.2, which relates ...

In June the U.S. Department of Education launched a new website related to student privacy issues. The website serves as the primary source of best-practice tips, technical assistance, and training on the administration of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and other topics related to student privacy. (Access the website at https://studentprivacy.ed.gov/.)

The website replaces the ...

As of January 1, 2017, the California Public Records Act allows public agencies, including school districts to “direct[] a member of the public to the location on the Internet Web site where the public record is posted.” (Gov. Code, § 6253(f).) However, if the requesting party is unable to access or reproduce the online record, the agency must “promptly provide a copy of the public record.” ...

Categories: Legislation

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