Mark Law Firm Blog

NJ finds no religious discrimination in pledge at school

Posted by Jamison Mark on Jun 10, 2015 10:47:15 AM

https://www.becketlaw.org/media/new-jersey-student-wins-court-case-keep-god-pledge-allegiance/Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. --US Constitution, Amendment I

More than two centuries after its adoption, the First Amendment remains one of the bedrock tenants of American values; most state constitutions (including New Jersey’s) have equivalent free exercise provisions. But like all of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, modern courts determine how it should be interpreted and applied to current disputes.

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Topics: Discrimination & Harassment, Education Law

Bullying in New Jersey Schools – Know Your Child’s Rights

Posted by Jamison Mark on Dec 5, 2014 3:00:00 PM

The Mark Law Firm, Basking Ridge, NJ.

Anti-Bullying Attorneys in Basking Ridge, New Jersey 

Children deserve a safe and respectful school environment in which to learn and associate with their peers.  A child subjected to bullying may lose interest in school, perform poorly, and withdraw from participation in school events.  Feeling safe in school promotes student learning and healthy development.

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Topics: Discrimination & Harassment, Education Law

Race & Disability Discrimination in South Orange-Maplewood Schools

Posted by Frank Butterfield on Oct 31, 2014 12:00:00 PM

Student tracking and school discipline practices may unfairly affect students of color and those with disabilities in New Jersey, or so it has been alleged in the South Orange-Maplewood School District.

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Topics: Discrimination & Harassment, Education Law

Family of Blind Student Settles Discrimination Claim

Posted by Jamison Mark on Aug 6, 2014 4:30:00 PM

Standardized tests can cause young students significant stress and anxiety. Thorough preparation and a solid study regimen can help ease fears and prepare students for success. This requires, of course, access to practice tests and other preparatory materials.  The family of a blind student has recently reached a settlement agreement with an organization that creates these types of standardized tests after filing a lawsuit that alleged the group discriminated against students with vision impairments.  The organization now must provide additional materials to help blind and vision-impaired individuals prepare for the organization’s standardized tests.

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Topics: Discrimination & Harassment, Education Law

What Are My Protections Against School Bullying?

Posted by Jamison Mark on Aug 4, 2014 8:00:00 AM

On January 6, 2011 Govern Chris Christie signed one of the toughest laws relating to zero tolerance for bullying in schools.   Public schools are now required by law to set up and enforce procedures to detect, monitor, investigate, and report acts of bullying and to discipline those who commit them.  In a great step forward to hold schools accountable, this statute holds school administrators personally responsible for the protection of our children.  The act strengthens enforcement efforts and calls for revisions to the existing statute (N.J.S.A. 18A:37-2).  The statute, officially titled “Prohibiting Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying on School Property, at School-Sponsored Functions, and on School Buses,” now adds harassment and intimidation as to the list of illegal behaviors and gives the statute teeth by allowing the school to discipline any student who commits acts of harassment, intimidation, or bullying.

 

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Topics: Discrimination & Harassment, Education Law, Bullying

School Accused of Discriminating Against Undocumented Immigrants

Posted by Jamison Mark on Jul 28, 2014 2:00:00 PM

All children have the right to receive public education in the United States. This right extends even to students who are neither citizens nor legal residents of the country. Court rulings throughout the past several decades have further emphasized this right, holding that regardless of a child’s background, national origin, or immigration status, she or he is entitled to attend public school.

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Topics: Discrimination & Harassment, Education Law

Developments in School Bullying Law

Posted by Frank Butterfield on Jul 28, 2014 9:45:00 AM

By now parents of school-aged children in New Jersey are aware of the New Jersey Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act. It is a law that seeks to protect students from the effects of harassment, intimidation and bullying (“HIB”) in the school environment.  The Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights was enacted in 2011 and is an extension of New Jersey’s original anti-bullying law, N.J.S.A. 18A:37-13.  Recently, a new wrinkle has been added to legal ramifications of HIB litigation that may have widespread effect not only in New Jersey, but across the country.

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Topics: Discrimination & Harassment, Education Law

Suit Asks Whether Student’s Tweets Are Protected from Retaliation

Posted by Jamison Mark on Jul 8, 2014 5:00:00 PM

People use social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter to share many of their thoughts.  Although many times social media posts are celebratory, reflective, or simply funny, sometimes they take a negative, critical, or vulgar tone.  In these instances, the subject of the post may become offended or may even retaliate against the person who made the post.  The question this raises, however, is whether or not retaliation in response to a social media post is legal, particularly in an employment or educational setting.

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Topics: Discrimination & Harassment, Free Speech, Education Law

Student Evicted from Dorm Claims Discrimination

Posted by Jamison Mark on Jul 2, 2014 10:11:00 PM

Many freshmen handle the adjustments associated with moving to college differently.  For most, college is the first time they are away from home, and living in a new and unfamiliar situation can lead to increased stress and anxiety.  One Princeton University student claims that this challenging transition was made even more difficult for him after he was evicted from his dorm and asked to withdraw from classes. As a result, he has filed a formal complaint alleging that the university discriminated against him on the basis of a mental health condition in violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

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Topics: Discrimination & Harassment, Education Law

Court Says Parents of Bullies Can Be Sued

Posted by Jamison Mark on Jun 27, 2014 5:54:00 PM

 

Bullying in schools has recently become an issue that has received increased attention, especially in New Jersey.  In response to increased reports of school bullying, New Jersey passed the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act (ABBRA) in 2011.  Recently, a New Jersey Superior Court judge has further strengthened the state’s anti-bullying stance by ruling that a bully’s parents can be sued by their child’s victims.

In a recent decision, Yolanda Ciccone, a Superior Court judge from Hunterdon County, allowed a school district to hold the parents of a teenage bully responsible for liability stemming from a bullying lawsuit filed against the school district.  In that suit, the plaintiff alleged that he had been subject to a hostile learning environment for several years, including constant bullying and ridicule about his weight and perceived sexuality.  Despite complaints to the school district, the plaintiff claimed that the bullying did not stop, and the victim’s family filed a lawsuit against the district. 

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Topics: Discrimination & Harassment, Education Law