Allen Law Blog

    Free Speech, Harassment, and Distance Learning

    The following is a post from Samantha K. Harris, Esq., and Michael Thad Allen, Esq. that originally appeared here on HigherEducationLaw.org Samantha Harris is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. For more than 15 years, she has advised students, faculty, administrators, and attorneys on issues of free speech and due process on campus. She lectures regularly about…

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    K-12 and Title IX: Strengthening Enforcement to Protect Students

    Education secretary Betsy DeVos has been in the news again—this time, calling for strengthening Title IX enforcement in K-12 schools as a response to increasing sexual misconduct and harassment allegations in elementary through high schools. DeVos’ office is particularly concerned about claims in which a teacher harassed or assaulted a student. What is Title IX? Title IX is a federal…

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    Can Fraternities Be Required to Admit Women Under Title IX?

    In February 2019, three female Yale students, Anna McNeil ’20, Ry Walker ’20 and Ellie Singer ’21, filed a lawsuit against Yale University, arguing that fraternities should be required to admit women and nonbinary students under Title IX as well as the Fair Housing Act. In May 2019, an on-campus group named Engender, which fights for gender integration in on-campus…

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    Allen Law Wins Motion to Dismiss against Syracuse University

    Last week, the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York shot down Syracuse University’s attempt to dismiss the Complaint of “John Doe,” who sued the university for unfairly expelling him in 2017. This is a major victory for Allen Law LLC’s client, John Doe, who is represented by attorneys Michael Thad Allen of Allen Law LLC…

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    Judge Upbraids UConn for Unfair Investigation

    The University of Connecticut expelled a male student for an allegedly nonconsensual sexual encounter with a female student. But now a judge has issued a temporary restraining order to halt the student’s removal, on the grounds that the university’s investigation was wildly unfair. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has obtained a transcript of the court proceeding, which…

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    Allen Law LLC Wins Temporary Restraining Order for University of Connecticut Student

    As reported in the Hartford Courant on Saturday, Attorney Michael Thad Allen of Allen Law LLC successfully argued in the District Court for the United States District of Connecticut that the University of Connecticut denied his client, identified only as John Doe, his constitutional rights to due process. The decision, issued Thursday, January 23, 2020, required the university to permit…

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    Is Your Free Speech Protected on Social Media when You’re at School? The Answer Is …. Maybe?

    How broadly does the First Amendment’s free speech clause apply to students? This is a question that American courts have been interpreting for quite some time. Social media has made it more complicated. The First Amendment guarantees the right to free speech without government interference—with certain limits that are designed to protect the public. Today, social media is a hub…

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    Why Colleges and Universities Believe the Federal Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Prohibits (But Actually Doesn’t) Medical Marijuana on Campus

    As medicinal and recreational cannabis is becoming legal in more and more states, students are under the assumption that they can use medical marijuana on campus. It’s a fair assumption, especially if your state has legalized both medical and recreational use. Except your school most likely disagrees. Its phalanx of campus administrators who police “community standards” will not hesitate to…

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    Disability Rights in Higher Education

    Students with disabilities are disproportionately at risk to be victims of crimes—up to three times more likely to be attacked. Federal law protects all students with disabilities from being unfairly discriminated against to enable them to feel physically and mentally safe within the institution. Unfortunately, the system is not perfect. There are times when filing a discrimination claim is your…

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    The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Rules to Protect College Students with Disabilities Five Lessons from Endres v Northeast Ohio Medical University

    The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals just reversed a lower court in a university plagiarism case against a disabled student. The school expelled a medical student over accusations of cheating. It ignored two doctors and the student’s own protests that the behavior he was accused of was a manifestation of his disability, not cheating. Sandra Emerick, Northeast Ohio Medical University’s…

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