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Safety Law News for February 9, 2018

In California, the United States District Court ruled that a high school student must be allowed to kneel during the playing of the national anthem at school-sponsored events and cannot be punished by school officials for refusing to stand.

In Massachusetts, the United States District Court ruled that a school could be liable under Title IX for being deliberately indifferent to a student’s peer-to-peer sexual discrimination by using restorative justice mediation rather than direct intervention. The court held that even if the mediation was “timely and reasonable,” it could still amount to deliberate indifference under the law.

In California, the United States Court of Appeals, ruled that a school uniform policy requiring clothing with a logo consisting of the name of the school, the school mascot, and the motto “Tomorrow's Leaders,” violated the First Amendment. The court ruled that the policy exemption, which allowed only the uniform of nationally recognized youth organizations (Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts) was an unreasonable restriction on the speech of students.

In California, the United States District Court upheld a decision by school officials to discipline students for racist and derogatory content posted on an Instagram account that was directed at the school. The court held that although the speech originated off-campus, it was reasonably foreseeable that it would reach the school and create a risk of a substantial disruption.

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