News from Thrun Law

January 27, 2023

January is School Board Recognition Month. Thrun Law Firm has had the privilege of working with Michigan school boards for over 75 years. 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 23, 2023

We previously notified our retainer clients through E-Blasts and School Law Notes about the opportunity to join a nationwide lawsuit against Juul Labs, Inc., Altria, and other vaping product manufacturers. The lawsuit alleges that these entities fraudulently and intention­ally marketed their products to children.

A settlement is currently pending with Juul and Juul-related parties, including Juul executives. Although the settlement will resolve the litigation against Juul and...

January 16, 2023

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, whose decisions are binding in Michigan, recently declined to dismiss an employee’s Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) intermittent leave interference claim. Render v FCA US, LLC, 53 F.4th 905 (CA 6, 2022). The decision clarifies FMLA rules applicable to intermittent leave and highlights the importance of clear FMLA policies and procedures.

Background

FCA used a third party, Sedgwick, to process its FMLA...

January 9, 2023

School officials across the state are facing the unenviable task of determining when a student may constitute a threat to themselves or others and then taking the appropriate next steps. Contrary to popular belief, removing the student that potentially constitutes a threat from school is not always the answer, nor is it always legal. When facing a student threat, consider the following guidance.

Immediate Response

Depending on the threat, consider...

January 2, 2023

Congratulations to all recently elected school board members! We look forward to working with you. Before commencing board duties in January, board members elected to full-term seats must remember a critical step: taking the oath of office and completing the corresponding oath form. This is true even for those who are re-elected to a new board term.

Both the Michigan Constitution and Michigan election laws require board members to take and subscribe to an oath of office before...

December 26, 2022

On November 17, 2022, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) issued a memo waiving, for the 2022-23 school year, the 90-day teaching limitation that typically applies to Daily Substitute Permits. The announcement is intended to assist schools with the ongoing statewide teacher shortage. MDE’s memo is available at:

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December 19, 2022

A recent Detroit Free Press investigation into the seclusion and restraint of students in Michigan public schools suggests that the 2016 law intended to reduce the use of seclusion and restraint may not have had its desired effect. The investigation revealed that Michigan public schools reported nearly 94,000 instances of seclusion or restraint in the last five school years, although the newspaper speculates that the actual number is likely higher. The investigation also notes that...

December 12, 2022

The System for Award Management (SAM) is a government-wide registry for vendors doing business with the federal government. SAM centralizes grant recipients’ information and provides a central location for changing organizational information. Any entity receiving federal funds must be registered in SAM and must maintain active SAM registration through SAM.gov.

To register or renew SAM.gov accounts, school officials must validate their school’s legal business name, physical address,...

December 5, 2022

The 2020 Title IX sexual harassment regulations pose many challenges for K-12 schools, with the student discipline and removal rules among the most significant. The regulations require that a person accused of sexual harassment cannot be disciplined for sexual harassment until the Title IX grievance process is complete and a trained decision-maker has deter­mined that sexual harassment occurred. Practically speaking, this means that a student accused of sexually harassing another...

November 28, 2022

Dogs can be trained to provide significant physical and emotional benefits to people. Two types of dogs might serve that role in schools: service animals and therapy dogs. A service animal is a dog (or miniature horse in certain situations) that is individually trained to perform tasks that are directly related to and that mitigate the effects of a person’s disability; a therapy dog, however, provides emotional support with just its presence.

Schools must allow a person with a...

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