The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that textbooks and other goods made and sold abroad can be re-sold online and in discount stores without violating U.S. copyright law, ABC OTUS News reports. In a 6-3 opinion, the court threw out a copyright infringement award to publisher John Wiley & Sons against Thai graduate student Supap Kirtsaeng, who used eBay to resell copies of the publisher’s copyrighted books that his relatives first bought abroad at cut-rate prices. Justice Stephen Breyer said in his opinion for the court that once goods are sold lawfully, whether in the U.S. or elsewhere, publishers and manufacturers lose the protection of U.S. copyright law……Read More
A former student at Oakland University in the suburbs of Detroit is suing the school for over $2.2 million after he was kicked out in September 2011 for penning a salacious essay entitled “Hot for Teacher,” the Daily Caller reports. Joseph Corlett, 57, a builder who now resides in Florida, filed the lawsuit Friday in U.S. District Court in Detroit, reports the Detroit Free Press. He claims the public university violated his First Amendment right to freedom of expression. He says he also suffered mental anguish and humiliation when he was forced to leave the school. The suit names the school’s board of trustees and two high-ranking officials as defendants. When Corlett wrote the essay, he was majoring in writing and rhetoric and working toward a bachelor’s degree. The class at issue was English 380: Advanced Critical Writing. The comely blond instructor was Pamela Mitzelfeld……Read More
Retired Ohio teacher Maria Waltherr-Willard is suing her school district, claiming it discriminated against her because of her disability — a debilitating phobia of young children, the Huffington Post reports. Waltherr-Willard, 61, claims in her lawsuit against the Mariemont school district that for 35 years, she taught Spanish and French to high school students in the system. But when she helped fight the district’s decision to cut French class in favor of an online course, officials retaliated by reassigning her to younger students at a middle school in 2009, ignoring her hypertension, specific phobia and general anxiety disorder, Waltherr-Willard says, according to Cincinnati.com. She claims that district officials were previously sympathetic and aware of her medically diagnosed pedophobia……Read More
A Texas school district can transfer a student who is citing religious reasons for her refusal to wear a so-called “smart ID” card that is part of an electronic tracking system, a federal judge ruled on Jan. 8.
The parents of 15-year-old Andrea Hernandez had requested a preliminary injunction that would have prevented the school district from transferring their daughter from her San Antonio high school while the lawsuit on whether she should be forced to wear the ID tracking badge went through federal court.
Last fall, the Northside Independent School District began experimenting with a “locator” chip in student ID badges on two campuses, allowing administrators to track the whereabouts of 4,200 students with GPS-like precision.…Read More
The Chicago Teachers Union has sued the nation’s third largest school district, saying Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s campaign to reform or close underperforming public schools discriminates against African-American teachers and staff, Reuters reports. The federal lawsuit filed on Wednesday and announced on Thursday is the latest battle with the city since teachers staged a week-long strike in September. It alleges that more than half of the tenured teachers fired in the most recent round of school closings and turnarounds were African American. But blacks make up less than 30 percent of the tenured teaching staff in the district and 35 percent of the tenured teacher population in the failing schools, the lawsuit claims. The suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois seeks an immediate moratorium on any additional school closings in the city. The school district declined to comment on the lawsuit while it is pending, but said, “We have an obligation to expand high quality school options to all families and children in every neighborhood and turnarounds is just one tool that allows us to provide those options.”…Read More
After months of negotiations, federal regulators and Google could reach a deal as soon as this week over how the search company uses its acquired stockpile of patents to target its competitors, according to sources close to the investigation, Politico reports. Google will most likely agree to curtail using key patents it picked up when it purchased Motorola Mobility to block competitors that are infringing those patents from getting their products to the market……Read More
One of the biggest awards ever issued for racial harassment in high school – $1 million – was upheld Monday by a federal appeals panel that said it was fair for a jury to conclude a school district should have done more to stop demeaning, threatening and violent conduct directed at a student, the Associated Press reports. The decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan left in place the award for Anthony Zeno, a former student at Stissing Mountain High School in Dutchess County. The award had been reduced from the $1.25 million a jury originally awarded the now 23-year-old haircutter during a 2010 trial. The appeals court said the award wasn’t unreasonable given that payouts for harassment in similar cases have ranged from the low six figures to $1 million in one other instance. The appeals court’s opinion noted that Zeno is “dark-skinned and biracial, half-white, half-Latino.” It said he “had been menaced, threatened and taunted” at a school where minorities represented less than 5 percent of the student population……Read More
To 15-year-old Andrea Hernandez, the tracking microchip embedded in her student ID card is a “mark of the beast,” sacrilege to her Christian faith—not to mention how it pinpoints her location, even in the school bathroom.
But to her budget-reeling San Antonio school district, those chips carry a potential $1.7 million in classroom funds.
Starting this fall, the fourth-largest school district in Texas is experimenting with “locator” chips in student ID badges on two of its campuses, allowing administrators to track the whereabouts of 4,200 students with GPS-like precision. Hernandez’s refusal to participate isn’t a twist on teenage rebellion, but it has launched a debate over privacy and religion that has forged a rare like-mindedness between typically opposing groups.…Read More
The U.S. Justice Department sued Mississippi state and local officials on Wednesday over what it called a “school-to-prison pipeline” that violates the rights of children, especially black and disabled youths, Reuters reports. The suit alleges that police officers in Meridian, Mississippi, routinely arrested students who were suspended from school, even when they had no probable cause to believe the students had committed a crime.
“We found that children have been incarcerated for being suspended from school for things like dress code violations or talking back to teachers,” said Roy Austin, a senior civil rights official in the Justice Department.
The police department acted as little more than a “taxi service” between schools and a juvenile detention center 80 miles away, where students did not have access to lawyers or counselors, the suit says……Read More
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