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Over the weekend, quite a few stories involving student rights caught our eye. In case you missed them over the long holiday, here's everything you need to know:
In New York, a high school senior was suspended after he started a hashtag for students to discuss the school district's budget, which failed to get voter approval last week.
Having Graham Spanier as president cost Penn State's reputation dearly. Getting rid of him wasn't cheap, either.
In the year that he was ousted -- on the day of his criminal indictment alleging complicity in the cover-up of coach Jerry Sandusky's serial child molestation -- Spanier was given (on top of his normal compensation package) an extra $1.2 million just to go away, making him not just the nation's most reviled college president, but also its highest paid.
"Golden parachute" agreements for college executives are a matter of intense public interest at any time, but doubly so given the austerity measures that many colleges are imposing that (unlike an extra million for the former CEO) directly affect the quality of instruction.
The rise of the "supersize severance" is no accident.
A federal court in Hawaii has become the latest to apply the Supreme Court's Hazelwood standard -- a ruling about the rights of kids attending K-12 schools -- to the First Amendment claims of an adult-age college student.
In a ruling issued last month, a federal district judge threw out the claims of a University of Hawaii senior, Mark L.
College campuses face a difficult balancing act in responding to excessive drinking by underage students.
New federal guidance about what constitutes sexually harassing speech on college campuses appear to expand the definition of "harassment" to include harmless references to sexual topics, even those in student media.
Two federal agencies, the Department of Justice and the Department of Education, announced a settlement last week in their investigation of the University of Montana-Missoula, which was accused of responding lackadaisically to campus sexual assaults.
Aided by technological advances, government agencies are constantly inventing new ways to collect information -- and it was only a matter of time before "drone surveillance" made it way onto college campuses.
Last week's announcement that the University of Alabama-Huntsville had acquired a fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles with an eye toward equipping them with police security cameras undoubtedly sent a shiver through public urinators and weed cultivators everywhere.
This morning, I learned that Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina is being investigated by the State Bureau of Investigation after city police discovered at least 126 reports of crimes since 2007 that campus police failed to investigate, including 18 reports of sexual assaults.
When I saw the news, I was immediately reminded of a series of public-records request that I and others at the SPLC have made in the past few months.
College broadcast stations that commit minor paperwork lapses, such as failure to keep a complete licensure file on-site for public inspection, have been socked with fines as high as $9,000 in recent years -- fines that can exceed the annual operating budget for the entire station.
The way that the IRS regulates nonprofit organizations is much in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. These headlines are a reminder that any nonprofit organization -- including a private college -- must make extensive disclosures to the IRS that are a matter of public record.
A must-have document for anyone doing research on a private university, or the privately incorporated arm of a public university such as a foundation, is the annual IRS Form 990.
A high school student is caught sending a text message during class, in violation of school rules. The teacher confiscates his phone.
A federal court has declined to dismiss the bulk of a civil-rights lawsuit brought by a vegetarian activist arrested while distributing leaflets outside the front gate of a City University of New York campus in the Bronx.
Richard Hershey, a St.
There is exuberance -- cautious exuberance, to be sure, among those who've been to the threshold too many times -- that, as a byproduct of the Obama administration's shameful mistreatment of journalists, Congress will soon enact a reporter's privilege that protects journalists against demands to disclose their confidences.
Largely lost in that exuberance is the vast distinction between competing versions of the "Free Flow of Information Act of 2013" in the House and Senate -- a distinction that could literally mean the difference between prison and freedom for student journalists.
The reporter's privilege (or "reporter shield") enables a journalist to refuse to give testimony or surrender unpublished information in connection with a police investigation or legal proceeding.
Kaitlyn Booth, 17, a junior at Hickman High School in Columbia, Mo., was arrested earlier this month after a prank in which she she changed a student's last name to "Masturbate" in the 2013 yearbook.
Booth faces charges of harassment as well as first-degree property damage, a felony, in addition to unspecified school punishment.
The name change is found on page 270 of the yearbook, the page that features the index.