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Education lawsuits are becoming a familiar name for anyone who has ever attended college or taught in a classroom. Whether you’re dealing with the IRS, your school district, or a cheating spouse, you’ll want to be on your guard at all times. While many of these lawsuits are ridiculous and without merit, others could hurt the future of your children. The goal of this brief article is to give you a quick education about what is a lawsuit, how it can affect you, and what you can do if a lawsuit has been filed against you.

First, let’s take a look at what an education lawsuit is and why they occur.

Like most legal situations, education lawsuits fall into two basic categories-warranted and unjustified. Typically, when a school district makes a valid argument that you, as an educator, have engaged in behaviors in violation of their policy, they will ask for a lower court to rule in their favor.

Usually, lower courts have no choice but to side with the school district.

But even here, there are chances for education lawsuits. If the lower court rules in favor of the teacher, it doesn’t mean that they have actually been mistreated. It only means that they were within the parameters of the law as set forth by the state.

There are also religious schools that have lawsuits pending against them because of the actions of their teachers.

When private schools refuse to hire someone on the basis of religion, they may be in violation of the Fair Employment Practices and Utah’s Sexual Orientation and Family Rights Act (SONDA). For example, teachers who choose not to participate in classes that reinforce traditional gender roles could be in violation of FEO principles. And if a school district tries to force an elderly lesbian teacher to practice her faith on her own, that teacher may also be in violation of FEO principles.

Religious and private school districts that receive special education services from the state may also be subject to lawsuits.

A recent case in Montana involved a teacher who was denied access to special education services. The union that represented the teacher sued the district on behalf of the teacher, stating that the teacher was a senior petite who used a wheelchair. The court decided that the denial of the special education services was based on sex discrimination and ordered the school district to allow the teacher to use the wheelchair in the classroom.

There are other lawsuits that could impact Montana’s public schools in the years to come.

One such lawsuit involves a Montana couple who lost their battle to get assistance for their autistic child from the state’s Department of Education. As expected, the courts will likely take up cases that involve children with autism. Even if the state wins the lawsuit, it may not have the funds to implement the special education services that it is required to offer students with autism or other learning disabilities. These lawsuits will continue to play a big role in the future of education in Montana.

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