July 2021
Dear Readers of The Extra Mile:

Welcome back from a beautiful Fourth of July weekend. This past month has been an unusually busy one, with the school year wrapping up, the Supreme Court issuing a highly anticipated student speech case, and a steady slew of bills being sent to the Governor daily.

Before getting into this month's content, we want to highlight two upcoming installments of our summer webinar series. The first is tomorrow, July 7, at 11:30 AM and will feature a panel of Hodges Loizzi attorneys for a discussion of the implications of the Supreme Court's Mahanoy cheerleader case. If you haven't registered yet, do so now...you won't want to miss it.

The second webinar is July 28 at 12:00 PM. Titled "Background Checks and More…Key Legislative Updates in Labor/Personnel," this session will feature a panel of Labor/Personnel attorneys as they walk through a few of the most important pieces of legislation in the school HR world. Registration is open, so sign up now!

We also are pleased to announce the dates for our annual Fall Seminar event, "The Year in Review: The Highlights and Lowlights of Illinois School Law." The event will be held October 5 in Peoria, October 14 in Collinsville, and October 21 in Oak Brook. Save the date now, and watch for emails with registration details in the weeks ahead.
In this month’s edition of The Extra Mile, we highlight legislation amending the Illinois Human Rights Act, isolated time out/physical restraint legislation, litigation over mandatory vaccination policies, the latest Title IX "Dear Educator" letter, and--for those who missed it--a summary of the Mahanoy cheerleader case that will be the subject of tomorrow's webinar.
It’s Hiring Season: Updates on Conviction Records and Disqualifying Candidates From Employment

In preparation for the new school year, many districts are reviewing their hiring procedures. Before following your usual procedures, however, consider some recent amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act, which extend certain protections to individuals with a record of criminal convictions. Read more
Additional Changes to Isolated Timeout, Timeout, and Physical Restraint Practices Pass Both Houses and Await the Governor’s Signature

A bill amending the Illinois School Code regarding the use of isolated timeout, timeout, and physical restraint interventions in public schools has passed both houses. The amendment adds additional oversight, requirements, and restrictions to the use of these interventions, with the stated purpose of a systematic reduction and eventual elimination of both isolated timeout and physical restraint interventions within the next three years. Read more
Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy Upheld for Houston Hospital 

A Texas federal court upheld Houston Methodist Hospital’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy and rejected arguments that the policy required employees to participate in a “clinical trial” or that it violated public policy or federal law. Read more
U.S. Department of Education Issues Dear Educator Letter Regarding Title IX 

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights issued a Dear Educator Letter in which it affirmed its position that the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County applies to school districts receiving Federal financial assistance and that OCR will enforce Title IX to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Read more
U.S. Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Student in First Amendment Off-Campus Speech Case 

In a much-anticipated decision, the Supreme Court ruled that a school district could not discipline a cheerleader for her off-campus Snapchat posts in which she expressed frustration with the school following cheerleading tryouts. Read more
"Students’ Free Speech Rights at the Supreme Court: Legal and Practical Implications for Schools Post-Mahanoy" Webinar. Join Michelle Todd, Jen Deutch, Jessica Nguyen, Kaitlin Atlas, and Aimee LeBlanc as they analyze the impact of the Supreme Court's recent off-campus student speech decision tomorrow, July 7, at 11:30 a.m. Click here to learn more and register.

"Background Checks and More…Key Legislative Updates in Labor/Personnel" Webinar. Join Cindi DeCola, Tina Christofalos, Barb Erickson, and more as they discuss key HR legislation from the most recent legislative session on July 28 at 12:00 p.m. Click here to register.

"The Year in Review: The Highlights and Lowlights of Illinois School Law" Seminar. You won't want to miss this annual event, in which attorneys from the firm cover all the most important legal updates from the past year. The event will be held October 5 in Peoria, October 14 in Collinsville, and October 21 in Oak Brook. Registration details will be coming soon.

A School Board Member's Handbook. Order your copy of the 2021 Revised Handbook, a guide for school board members and administrators alike, filled with easily understandable summaries of the major laws affecting Illinois public schools. Click here to place your order.

  • Remember to present to your Board and file your District's administrator and teacher salary and benefits report with ISBE in August.

  • With your district's parent-teacher advisory committee, review your student discipline policies and implementation, and any other safety factors. Also consult with your PTAC and other community-based organizations to address aggressive behavior, including bullying, in your student behavior policy.
The Extra Mile is intended solely to provide information to the school community. It is neither legal advice nor a substitute for legal counsel. It is intended as advertising but not as a solicitation of an attorney/client relationship. 

Arlington Heights