Participation by Students with Disabilities in Extracurricular Activities

This month, we are going to take a break from our focus on student discipline to report on a legal development that is likely to come across your desk in the near future.  On January 25, 2013, the United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released a “guidance document.”  The subject of the guidance is the participation of students with disabilities in “extracurricular athletics.”  Within this context, OCR has used the term “extracurricular athletics” to include “club, intramural, or interscholastic (e.g., freshman, junior varsity, varsity) athletics at all education levels.”  In the very short time that the document has been available to the public it has raised considerable concern among members of the educational community on its meaning and potential impact. Read more here.

Additional Insights...

Special Conflict of Interest Rules for Schools

Governor Snyder signed 2012 PA 606 on January 8, 2013, which, effective immediately, added Section 1203 to the Revised School Code, MCL 380.1203, and created special conflict of interest rules for school board members.  The new law is aimed primarily at school board members with family members employed by or doing business with the district. Read more here.

DOL Issues New Interpretation Concerning FMLA

The Department of Labor (DOL) has released a new interpretation of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) which has the effect of expanding coverage.  The benefit applies to an individual 18 years of age or older and incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability. Read more here.