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Legal Issues for Athletic Administrators 2010 Karen Haase Harding & Shultz (402) 434 434-3000 3000 khaase@hslegalfirm.com


Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s up p this yyear? < < < <

Sped kids and activities Pregnant cheerleaders First amendment/FCA hazing


SpEd p kids and activities


Marana Unif. Sch. (AZ. 2009)  Down Syndrome student in band • IEP listed li t d participation ti i ti in i band b d • Band trip p to Disneyland y for contest • Kid didn’t march, participate in recording session or group picture • Parents filed complaint with OCR  OCR: reasons for not participating not based in kid kid’ss needs  Found violation; parents can sue


McDowell Schs. (W.Va. 2010)  Third-grader didn’t make cheerleading squad • Student small b/c of hormone deficiency • 24 auditioned for 12 spots • Multiple judges applied multiple criteria • Student scored lowest of everyone  OCR: no discrimination


Polk County Schs.(Fl. 2009)  9th graders with Fragile X syndrome, autism and fetal alcohol syndrome. syndrome  Parent complained that the district discriminated against the students by failingg to notifyy them about extracurricular activities  School communicated using:


Polk County Schs.(Fl. 2009) • a marquee outside the building • a Web site • a scroller system that appeared on classroom TVs • an automated telephone messaging system • Students’ teacher sent notes home once or twice a month announcing upcoming i events t att the th school h l and d in her class


Polk County Schs.(Fl. 2009)  OCR: while the students might have had access to the information, information they could not effectively understand and access this i f information ti on their th i own.  In order for students with disabilities "to effectively participate in activities, all of their parents would need to be provided advance notice of all the activities on a consistent basis...” basis ”


Pregnant g Cheerleaders


Chipman v. Grant County Sch. Dist., (Ky 1998)  Girl excluded from NHS because of pregnancy  Parents sued  District Ct. discrimination on basis of sex • Unless refusing to admit sexually active unmarried boys


Woodman v. Kera Schs. (Mich. 2010)  Cheerleader pregnant • Father signed liability waiver • Cheerleader and fetus injured in cheer squad throw • Girl sued  Ct: father could not preclude child child'ss negligence suit


Myy advice:  Be an administrator, not a doctor  Be an administrator not a priest or pastor or rabbi  Be an administrator not a parent  Treat pregnancy like any other disability  Require doctor’s consent, follow f ithf ll faithfully


First Amendment / FCA


Doe v. Duncanville Ind Sch Dist, (5th Cir. 1995)  School’s basketball coach initiated prayers before games and practices  School: can’t can t prevent employees from praying because would violate coach’s free exercise rights


Doe v. Duncanville Ind Sch Dist, (5th Cir. 1995)  Ct: “[t]he challenged prayers take place during school-controlled, curriculumrelated activities that members of the basketball team are required to attend. During these activities . . . coaches and other school employees are present as representatives of the school and their actions ti are representative t ti off [school] [ h l] policies.”


Courts’ Concerns with Staff-Lead Prayer:  It could appear that the school endorses the teacher’s religious views.  Could have coercive effect on the students


How to do it lawfully?  Qualify FCA as a “qualified student club” under Equal Access Act • Must be student initiated and student led • Faculty can be involved in these clubs only to monitor, facilitate, or supervise and non-school supervise, non school persons cannot be regularly and directly i involved l d in i the h meetings i


How to do it lawfully?  All of the activities must be student-led  Teacher-sponsor must be “nonparticipatory” p p y • Can’t pray • Can Can’tt organize • Can’t lead • Can’t answer questions about personal faith


Hazing


Hazing g  “any any activity by which a person intentionally or recklessly endangers th physical the h i l or mental t l health h lth or safetyy of an individual for the purpose of initiation into, admission into affiliation with, into, with or continued membership with any organization”  Includes:


How Common is Hazing?  National study commissioned by North American Interfraternal ( ) Foundation (NIF) • 48% of college athletes reported that they had been hazed before coming to college - Male and Female athletes roughly equivalent in reporting experience - Types of hazing differed • 66% reported t d th they’d ’d observed b dh hazing i off others in high school sports


Legal Issues for Athletic Administrators 2010 Karen Haase Harding & Shultz (402) 434 434-3000 3000 khaase@hslegalfirm.com


Legal Issues for Athletic Administrators 2010