Do You Know What You Need to Know?

Written By Dale McDonald, PBVM, Ph.D., NCEA Vice President of Public Policy and co-director of the Annual Education Law Symposium, [email protected]

We live in an increasingly litigious society. Catholic schools are being challenged more frequently on a variety of actions and policies, many of which require some understanding of legal issues. Diocesan and school administrators and teachers should be aware of the many situations that can put institutions and individuals in legal jeopardy. The Annual Education Law Symposium will provide important information to assist educational personnel in avoiding missteps.

The Twenty-Second Annual Education Law Symposium, sponsored by NCEA and Loyola Marymount University, will present a lineup of speakers who will delve into relevant topics in education law, providing valuable insights for school administrators and teachers, religious education professionals, pastors, school board members and other church personnel.

Education law is a distinctive, complex area. While most case law is derived from public school suits, some of it applies to private and faith-based institutions—but not all. Catholic school administrators need to know what those differences are and be able to communicate them to their teachers, students and communities for several reasons: to avoid behaviors or policies that rupture the contract with students/families, violate the applicable rights of others or breach the trust/responsibilities entrusted to school by the parents who enroll their children and to be able to refute threats of lawsuits by informing potential litigants of what particular law is or isn’t applicable in the Catholic school.

The symposium will explore current legal cases and decisions and offer timely insights into the latest legislative developments that impact Catholic schools as well as several additional topics that deal with everyday practical issues facing educators. In addition to the presentations and discussions of the legal issues, the networking and sharing of issues and problems encountered by participants is always a highlight of the symposium.

These are some of the sessions that will be presented this year:

  • School Law Update
  • Legislative Update: Government Programs
  • Technology and Social Media
  • Faculty and Student Handbooks
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Administrators and Athletics
  • Personnel and Contract Issues
  • Title IX: Religious Liberty
  • Dealing with Difficult Parents
  • Crisis Management/Armed Intruder Readiness
  • Student with Medical Issues
  • Special Education Law in Catholic Schools
  • Child Custody Issues
  • Fundraising Issues
  • Ask the Lawyers
  • And More!

Come join your colleagues in Catholic education ministry at the Twenty-Second Annual Education Law Symposium in Louisville, KY from July 11-14, 2024. Increase your general knowledge about questions and issues which may arise regarding education law and its applicability to Catholic schools and Catholic school personnel.

As each child and school is unique, so is each situation involving potential litigation. For specific legal advice, school administrators should consult the diocesan or school attorney. The symposium will provide participants with important insights enabling them to know how to approach legal issues with teachers, parents and legal personnel.