The Council of School Attorneys’ (COSA) School Law Practice Seminar, held Oct. 11 to 13 in Santa Fe, N.M., will examine issues related to bullying and harassment, discipline, special education, and employee relations. The annual conference hosts school attorneys from across the country, who may earn education (CLE) credits. COSA is part of the National School Boards Association (NSBA).
COSA Director Sonja Trainor said, “More than 30 experienced school law faculty will lead attendees through complex and challenging areas of their daily school law practice.”
The conference is focusing several sessions on school safety, from extreme threats to verbal harassment and bullying. Trainor will lead a session showing schools how to reduce the risks of violence, explaining how to decifer threat assessments, manage law enforcement in schools, communication and liability concerns.
Such topics also call into question students’ First Amendment rights to free speech. This year’s opening general session will include a panel of national speakers addressing “Can Schools Be Both Safe and Free? New National Guidelines on Harassment, Bullying and Freedom of Expression.” In May 2012 NSBA, as part of a coalition of 17 education, religious, and civil liberties groups, released “Harassment, Bullying and Free Expression: Guidelines for Free and Safe Public Schools” aimed at helping public schools uphold the First Amendment while combating harassment and bullying.
The COSA program also includes sessions on school safety, student discipline, immigration, employment issues, attorney/board member relationships, internet filtering in schools, intellectual property and confidentiality issues, and technology in the classroom.
The Twitter hashtag for the conference is: #COSASantaFe.