Articles tagged with Supreme Court Ruling

NSBA applauds Supreme Court’s school diversity ruling

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) lauded the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today for upholding a 2003 case that finds schools have a compelling interest in pursuing the educational benefits of diversity.

In Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, the Supreme Court voted to uphold its decision in Grutter v. Bollinger, which permitted the use of race in university admissions if such policies were narrowly tailored. The Court remanded the case to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which previously had ruled in favor of the university, for further review.

“NSBA is glad that the Supreme Court recognizes the value of diversity in the role of public schools,” said NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel. “While this is a case that specifically involves higher education admissions, elementary and secondary schools also need the ability to consider diversity to promote student achievement.”

NSBA, joined by the College Board and 11 other educational organizations, filed an amicus brief in support of the University of Texas at Austin’s (UT) admission policy promoting a diverse student body.

The case centers on Abigail Fisher, a student who was denied admission to UT’s 2008 freshman class. More than 80 percent of the university’s students are admitted through a formula that automatically accepts the top 10 percent of each Texas high schools’ graduating classes; however, the alternate formula that was challenged by Fisher allows the university to use special circumstances as criteria for admission, including the socioeconomic status of the applicant or her high school, the applicant’s family status and responsibilities, and race.

In the majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy reiterated the right of schools and universities to deference from the courts to educational decisions involving diversity. NSBA General Counsel Francisco M. Negrón, Jr., noted that NSBA’s amicus brief was designed in part to appeal to Justice Kennedy in its call to uphold Grutter.

“In upholding Grutter, the Court preserves an important framework available to schools to put into place diversity policies that advance the educational benefits of students,” Negrón said. “We are pleased that this decision does not erode the existing legal landscape for the K-12 diversity environment.”

For further analysis, read NSBA’s Legal Clips.

Alexis Rice|June 24th, 2013|Categories: Diversity, School Law, Uncategorized|Tags: , , |

High Court declines to hear two Internet cases

The U.S. Supreme Court missed an opportunity to clarify what school districts can do to monitor harmful and potentially disruptive off-campus Internet speech when it declined this week to hear a pair of Pennsylvania cases involving students posting fake Internet profiles, said NSBA General Counsel Francisco M. Negrón Jr.

In one of the cases, J.S. v. Blue Mountain School District, a middle school girl who was upset about being reprimanded for dress code violations posted a fake MySpace profile of her principal That profile, according to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, “contained crude content and vulgar language, ranging from nonsense and juvenile humor to profanity and shameful personal attacks aimed at the principal and his family.” Nonetheless, the court, in an 8-6 decision, ruled that the school district had violated the girl’s First Amendment right to free speech when it suspended her for 10 days.

The Supreme Court also declined to hear an appeal of another Pennsylvania case, Layshock v. Hermitage School District, concerning a high school senior who was suspended after created a fake webpage mocking his principal. That suspension was overturned by a district judge in a ruling that was confirmed by a three-judge panel and the entire Third Circuit Court.

NSBA and several other national education organizations appealed the rulings to the Supreme Court in the hope that it would provide more definitive guidance to school districts at a time when technology has blurred the line between campus and off-campus speech.

“We’ve missed an opportunity to really clarify for school districts what their responsibility and authority is at a time when kids are using electronic medial instantaneously, and especially when those messages are so impactful and immediate on the school setting,” Negrón told the Associated Press. “This is one of those cases where the law is simply lagging behind the times.”

Negrón was also quoted on the websites of CNN, ABC News, and other media outlets.

Lawrence Hardy|January 18th, 2012|Categories: Governance, School Law, Social Networking|Tags: , |

Not Black and White

NSBA and the College Board have released a report spotlighting the Court’s most recent decisions and what they mean to schools as they try to decipher how to forge ahead while maintaining high quality education for all students. This report, titled “Not Black and White: Making Sense of the United States Supreme Court Decisions Regarding Race-Conscious Student Assignment Plans,” will be showcased at NSBA’s Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE) Annual Conference in Atlanta this weekend. The report explains the Court’s decision and its impact on race-conscious policies and practices districts may currently have in place. It also discusses how best to pursue diversity-related educational goals, as well as how to manage the associated legal risks in the future.

The Supreme Court rulings earlier this year are a topic of discussion as school systems across the country strive to answer the question, “What does this mean for us?” The topic is not new to BoardBuzz, we covered the issue here and here.

When the news hit back in June, media coverage on the Court’s decision was widespread and NSBA’s General Counsel, Francisco Negron told ABC News, “We have our work cut out for us, but I think it’s a task that school boards all over the country are up to.”

For more information on NSBA and the College Board’s latest publication view the press release and for answers to your FAQ, click here.

If you want to get NSBA’s legal news delivered to your e-mail inbox, subscribe to Legal Clips published by NSBA’s Office of General Counsel and the NSBA Council of School Attorneys.

Erin Walsh|September 27th, 2007|Categories: Educational Legislation, NSBA Opinions and Analysis, School Law|Tags: , , , |
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