News from Thrun Law

February 14, 2022

FOIA, while a hallmark of transparency, can overwhelm school officials with its strict response timelines, potential for large record requests, and cryp­tic exemptions. As members of the community and media seek to understand policies, track expenses, and unearth communications involving schools, school officials – particularly FOIA coordinators – should be familiar with the contours of FOIA. Misapplying an exemption and improperly withholding records can subject the school to an appeal in...

February 7, 2022

Although the 2020 Title IX regulations are anything but “basic,” this article provides an overview of common investigatory mistakes.

Title IX Grievance Process Overview

Title IX prohibits sex-based harassment and discrimination in schools receiving federal financial assistance. Therefore, this broad prohibition applies to public elementary and secondary schools. The law protects students, employees, applicants for admission and employment, and other individuals from...

January 31, 2022

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) is now implementing the 2022 Michigan Clean Diesel Program. This program seeks to subsidize the replacement of diesel vehicles, engines, and/or equipment with either (1) zero tailpipe emission vehicles, engines, or equipment or (2) hybrid or alternative fuel vehicles, engines, or equipment.

The program funds may be used to decommission and replace diesel school buses. To be eligible, a bus must be operational, have...

January 24, 2022

Thrun Law Firm is pleased to announce that Mackenzie Flynn has joined the firm as our newest associate attorney.

Mackenzie holds an undergraduate degree in History and Political Science from Central Michigan University (B.A., 2018, summa cum laude) and a law de­gree from the Michigan State University College of Law (J.D., 2021, cum laude).

Mackenzie is a member of the State Bar of Michigan. Her...

January 20, 2022

  

Jeffrey J. Butler

Jeffrey J. Butler

Dear Retainer Client:

Thrun Law Firm received word that Jeffrey J. Butler passed away yesterday evening in his home in Okemos, Michigan. Jeff had just this past Thursday joined Team Thrun after more than thirty years of legal practice in the areas of special education and disability-rights law, with...

January 17, 2022

On November 17, 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its COVID-19 guidance. The latest update provides school officials with information on preventing retaliation in pan­demic-related employment situations in violation of federal equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws. The EEOC guidance is available at:

https://www.eeoc.gov/wysk/what-...

January 10, 2022

This month’s Back to Basics article focuses on school officials’ responsibility to comply with the “child find” requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. School officials must exercise vigi­lance to identify students with disabilities residing within the school’s boundaries.

IDEA Requirements

The IDEA and its implementing regulations impose an affirmative duty on public schools to ensure that all...

January 3, 2022

Over the last two years, schools have received funding through the Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief (ESSER) and Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) programs. These funds are re­stricted to certain allowable uses, which generally relate to preventing, preparing for, or responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recently, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) released guidance on using these funds to address an­other pandemic-related obstacle: the bus driver short­...

December 27, 2021

It is a heavy time for Michigan public education. The COVID-19 pandemic and a strained political environment have made this school year beyond challenging. The recent tragedy in Oxford seems almost unbearable. Like you, our hearts ache for the Oxford victims and their families and for the entire Oxford community, including its teachers and staff, students, administrators, and board of education.

We know that the challenges of this year, now compounded by renewed school safety concerns...

Pages