News from Thrun Law

March 23, 2020

Three years ago, the Michigan Legislature amended the Revised School Code to prohibit the use of seclusion and restraint in schools except in emergency situations. An “emergency situation” occurs when a student’s be­havior poses an imminent risk to the safety of the student or others.

School officials continue to confront legal and practical issues related to emergency seclusion and re­straint, particularly in identifying whether an action constitutes seclusion or restraint. The...

March 16, 2020

To assist our clients with questions about specialized employee benefits, Thrun has developed a close relationship with Steven D. Lowe, P.C. The following article was drafted by Attorney Steven Lowe. Questions about those topics may be directed to him at (517) 575-0720.

By Steven Lowe, Steven D. Lowe, P.C.

Many school officials are familiar with Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) and understand that they are a type of employer-funded,...

March 9, 2020

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that a school’s communication plan, restricting a parent’s communications with school staff to biweekly in-person meetings with two administra­tors, did not violate the parent’s First Amendment rights. LF v Lake Washington Sch Dist, Case No. 18-35792 (CA 9, 2020). Although not binding in Michigan, this decision suggests that schools may set reasonable limits on parent communications with school staff.

A parent sent school...

March 2, 2020

Boards planning to nonrenew an administrator’s employment contract must comply with the timelines and procedural requirements in Revised School Code Section 1229. We recommend starting the statutory nonrenewal process no later than March 13 for con­tracts which expire on June 30. Failure to follow the statutory nonrenewal process (or related contract pro­visions) may re­sult in an administrator’s contract automatically renewing for an additional year.

The multi-step nonrenewal process...

February 27, 2020

As reported in last month’s School Law Notes, the Thrun Policy Manual is now available to order. Our policies are designed to be legally compliant and provide school officials with guidance and flexibility in a well-organized and user-friendly format. Please see the attached order form for relevant information about the Thrun Policy Service.

If you have questions about the Thrun Policy Service or board policies in general, we encourage you to watch a video presentation...

February 10, 2020

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring chemical compound in the cannabis sativa plant, from which both marijuana and hemp are derived. Tetrahy­drocannabinol (THC), another compound of the canna­bis plant, produces psychoactive effects and is only contained in marijuana. Thus, while both hemp and ma­rijuana contain CBD, which is non-intoxicating, mariju­ana also contains THC. Both Michigan and federal law classify CBD oil as “hemp” rather than “marijuana” if the oil contains no more than...

January 30, 2020

January is School Board Recognition Month. Thrun Law Firm has had the privilege of working with Michigan school boards since 1946. We recognize your commitment, dedication, and passion. We applaud the positive impact your efforts have on your students and your schools. Thank you for the continuing opportunity to work with you in serving your communities.

January 27, 2020

In a case handled by Thrun Law Firm, the State Tenure Commission recently upheld a tenured teacher’s discharge for misconduct and insubordina­tion arising from the violation of Michigan’s seclusion and restraint laws. Nichols v Bay City Pub Schs, STC 19-7 (2019).

Kendra Nichols, an elementary special education teacher, worked in a classroom for students with emo­tional impairments. Nichols’s discharge resulted from two separate incidents involving two different stu­dents....

January 20, 2020

The Michigan Court of Appeals recently dismissed a lawsuit filed against the Detroit Public Schools Com­munity District Board of Education, which alleged a se­ries of Open Meetings Act (OMA) violations concerning its superintendent search. A Felon’s Crusade for Equality, Honesty, and Truth v Detroit Pub Sch Cmty Dist Bd of Ed, COA Case No. 343881 (2019).

The board appointed a three-member search committee to review organizations that could assist the board with the...