A Capehart Scatchard Blog

Commissioner of Education Upholds Finding of HIB for Comments Related to Physical Strength

By on December 12, 2019 in Students with 0 Comments

In a case successfully defended by Sanu Dev, Esq., the Hainesport Township Board of Education’s (“Board”) determination of harassment, intimidation, and bullying (“HIB”) was upheld by the New Jersey Commissioner of Education (“Commissioner”) on June 19, 2019. In the case captioned M.S. and N.S. o/b/o J.S. v. Hainesport Township Board of Education, the parents of J.S. appealed the Board’s decision finding that J.S. violated the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act (“ABBRA”) and committed an act of HIB when J.S. slammed another student’s Chromebook, pulled on his earbuds, called him “weakling,” and commented on the student’s athletic ability, using the phrase, […]

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Upcoming Seminar: School Law – Social Media and Apps, Cyberbullying, Privacy, and Other Technology

By on October 12, 2019 in Seminars, Students with 0 Comments

On Wednesday, December 11, 2019, Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. will be presenting at the National Business Institute’s seminar entitled “Social Media and Apps, Cyberbullying, Privacy, and Other Technology.” Her presentation will focus on First Amendment issues and disciplining students in the age of social media. The seminar will be held in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

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Lunch Debt Debacle – Part II

By on September 6, 2019 in Students with 0 Comments

By: Lauren E. Tedesco, Esq.Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. Strengthening policies and procedures for outstanding lunch debt is one of the most important steps a school district can take in order to minimize the overall outstanding debt.  In addition to the statutory notice provisions to parents/guardians discussed in Part I of this article series, school districts should also ensure that parents/guardians are aware of the National School Lunch Program, which provides a free or reduced price lunch to children from households meeting criteria for eligibility.  Free/Reduced Lunch applications can be provided to parents/guardians and submitted at any time during the […]

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Lunch Debt Debacle – Part 1

By on August 30, 2019 in Students with 0 Comments

By: Lauren E. Tedesco, Esq.Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. Amassing lunch debt within school districts is not a unique circumstance.  In fact, in our practice representing school districts it is a relatively common occurrence.  Recently, a South Jersey school district came under scrutiny for proposing what has been dubbed the “Tuna Sandwich Policy” where a student whose lunch account is more than $10 in arrears would be provided a tuna sandwich for lunch as an alternate lunch in lieu of the lunch regularly provided and available.  Those who oppose the proposed policy argue that students who receive a tuna sandwich […]

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Upcoming Seminar at NJSBA Annual Conference

By on August 12, 2019 in Seminars, Students with 0 Comments

On Thursday, October 24, 2019, Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. will be presenting at the New Jersey School Boards Association’s Annual Conference in Atlantic City, New Jersey. She will be speaking about legal issues pertaining to Title IX and Affirmative Action.

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Elimination of Salary Caps for Superintendents of Schools Signed Into Law Effective Immediately

By on July 31, 2019 in Labor & Employment with 0 Comments

By: Cameron R. Morgan, Esq.Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. On July 19, 2019, Governor Murphy signed new legislation, L. 2019, c. 169 (S-692 / A-3775), which eliminated the cap on maximum base salaries for superintendents of schools which had been in effect since February 2011.  At time of the new law’s passage, subject to several potential modifications allowable under law, the salary cap levels had been set by administrative regulations of the Commissioner of Education at $147,794 for schools districts with enrollments of 749 students or less, $169,689 for districts with enrollments of 750 to 2,999, or $191,584 for districts […]

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New Jersey Supreme Court Rules on Student Records Issue – Part 2

By: Zachary M. Wildsmith, Esq.Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. In last week’s article, we discussed the New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision in L.R. v. Camden City Public School District, focusing on the Court’s decision to extend the protections for student records under the New Jersey Pupil Records Act (“NJPRA”) to include redacted records. In its decision in L.R., the Court also affirmed the Appellate Division’s holding that a requestor could gain access to student records if they fell within one of the categories of “authorized” individuals and entities identified in N.J.A.C. 6A:32-7.5(e)(1) through (16). Specifically, the Appellate Division suggested, that […]

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New Jersey Supreme Court Rules on Student Records Issue – Part 1

By: Zachary M. Wildsmith, Esq.Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. Under New Jersey law, student records are protected from public disclosure. “Student record” pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:32-2.1 means information related to an individual student gathered within or outside the school district and maintained within the school district, regardless of the physical form in which it is maintained. Essential in this definition is the idea that any information that is maintained for the purpose of second-party review is considered a student record. Access to student records by second-parties are governed by several state and federal laws including the federal Family Educational Rights […]

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Appellate Division Affirms OPMA Does Not Require BOE to Discuss Proposed Employment Action Prior to Voting

On May 17, 2019, the New Jersey Appellate Division in Centrella v. Prospect Park Board of Education issued an unpublished decision confirming that, under the Open Public Meetings Act (“OPMA”), a board of education is not required to discuss a proposed employment action prior to actually voting on that action. This case involved a former Prospect Park Board of Education (“Board”) employee’s appeal under the OPMA in which she alleged that the Board improperly eliminated her position of speech language specialist and terminated her tenured position when the Board did not discuss the proposed action at the same meeting in […]

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Appellate Division Rules Chapter 78 Does Not Preempt Terms of CNA

The Ridgefield Park Education Association (“Association”) filed an appeal with the New Jersey Appellate Division challenging a ruling by the Public Employment Relations Commission (“PERC”) in favor of the Ridgefield Park Board of Education (“Board”), which held that Chapter 78 preempted the terms of the parties’ collective negotiations agreement (“CNA”) for the period July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2018. On May 3, 2019, the Appellate Division reversed PERC’s determination in In the Matter of Ridgefield Park Board of Education and Ridgefield Park Education Association and remanded the matter to PERC to implement a remedial mechanism to refund the excess […]

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