The Impact of Current Legal Issues in Schools

10/23/2019 , 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Bullying, Special Education, Investigations, Policy, Procedures, Guidelines and other Issues
Hosted by Geneva College
October 23, 2019
Skye Lounge
8:00 AM—Noon

Why you and others should attend. You will meet other educators that will help you expand your network and cycle of influence. You will be challenged to consider new ideas and views. You will receive encouragement for what you do. You will have the opportunity to build partnerships and that will help you professionally. You will receive answers to difficult and challenging questions that you have or will encounter. You will leave having helped, “Build Partnerships for Student Success”.

Who should attend? This program will be beneficial to anyone who works with children and parents. The list includes but is not limited to: administrators, teachers, counselors, school psychologist, nurses, parents, school board members, social workers, prevention specialist, community leaders, college professors, children and youth services, law enforcement, school safety personnel, etc.

Event Format  Listening Session presented by Russell Lucas and an Interactive Session by an All Star Focus Group.

Listening Session presented by Russell Lucas

Russ Lucas has attended and participated in events for a number of years. He has always brought thoughtful insight into difficult situations. Because of this I have invited him to share his knowledge and experiences while working in school districts. You will hear about what policies, procedures and guidelines you should follow. I guarantee you will not be disappointed with what you hear and what you learn. You will leave knowing you will be safer and more secure in what you do.---- Herb Hunt

About the Presenter

Russell Lucas is an associate attorney with Andrews & Price.  Russ’s practice focuses on the representation of school districts and other public sector entities. He has provided counsel to school districts as both solicitor and appointed special counsel regarding student matters, constitutional issues, policy and general school matters and defense of claims, special education matters, labor and personnel matters, contracts and collective bargaining. In the labor and litigation portions of his practice, Russ’s representation of clients extends from grievance arbitration to administrative agencies such as the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to state and federal trial and appellate courts. Russ also has extensive experience in zoning law, and acts as a solicitor to zoning hearing boards and special counsel in other land use matters, including oil and gas development.
During his twenty-three years of legal experience, Russ has been involved in a wide range of matters.   Russ was a member of the trial team in the Woodland Hills School District desegregation case, which culminated in the winding up of thirty years of litigation.  Russ was lead appellate counsel for the City of Pittsburgh School District in a case of first impression involving parochial student transportation. Russ has successfully represented school districts in federal litigation in the Western District Court and Third Circuit Court of Appeals involving discrimination claims and state-created danger claims. Russ worked extensively on the 2009 merger between the Center and Monaca School Districts in Beaver County, Pennsylvania which created the Central Valley School District.

Interactive Session

AN ALL STAR FOCUS GROUP: Educators who will share their insight on what you should and should not do as it relates to Current Legal Issues. These insights will come from their real life experiences.

Sample Questions

What are some of the current Legal Issues about Special Education that concern you?
If you had one suggestion of what school districts should do to avoid litigation what would it be?
What information should be maintained that demonstrates the district has been working cooperatively with outside agencies (i.e. mental health, law enforcement)?

Participants are encouraged to submit questions. What do you want to hear about from Russ Lucas and/or the FOCUS GROUP? Email questions to hhevents@zoominternet.net

If you have difficulty registering online simply email the registration information to the address above. If you have questions call Herb Hunt at 724-494-0968. Your registration will be confirmed within a week.

Thank you for your support

Geneva College
Milton Hershey School
Computer Reach, Pittsburgh PA
Educational Development Software—home of HIBster

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The 6th Annual School Safety Summit

May 15, 2019

Hosted by: Slippery Rock University

Highlights of the Event

98 Participants Registered that included educators, law enforcement, business, community leaders.

51 school district, organizations and businesses were represented.

An All Star Panel: Jim Budzilek, Dir. of Education HIBster, Russ Lucas, Attorney, Phil Little, Pa Attorney General’s office, Steve Oler, Retired PA State Police, School Resource Officer


Jim Budzilek, Russ Lucas, Steve Oler, Phil Little

A Presentation by Mike Vereb, Director PA Attorney General’s Office Topic: Safe2Say Something

Mike Vereb PA Attorney General’s Office

What is Safe2Say Something?

Safe2Say Something is a youth violence prevention program run by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General. The program teaches youth and adults how to recognize warning signs and signals, especially within social media, from individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others and to “say something” BEFORE it is too late. With Safe2Say Something, it’s easy and confidential to report safety concerns to help prevent violence and tragedies.

Here’s how it works:

  • Submit an anonymous tip report through the Safe2SaySomething system
  • Crisis center reviews, assesses and processes all submissions
  • Crisis center sends all submissions to school administration and/or law enforcement  for intervention
  • If needed, crisis center may contact tipster anonymously through the app



The Safety Summit Goals that were met:

Before the event: bring together a diverse group of school districts and organizations from a wide geographic area to discuss the importance of school climate and school safety.

After the event: for participants to leave with information and ideas they could share with colleagues in their school or organization to enhance school climate and school safety.


Some general comments made by participants:

*The Annual School Safety Summit is always informative and well done I appreciate the communication and the Best Practices that are discussed—Brad Meehan, Mohawk School District

*First rate in all ways, as your programs always are—Dr. John Hicks, Slippery Rock University

*This was a good event—David McDevitt, Allegheny Clarion Valley School District

*Excellent speakers, panel and format—Kelley Engle, Blackhawk School District

* Great topic—Jessica Hall Wirth—Slippery Rock University

*The topic today was timely, relevant and is such a great resource I will be sharing with my preservice teachers—Toni Mild—Slippery Rock University

*Great Job again—Matthew Bennett—Union City Area School District

*The event provided multiple perspectives: schools, law enforcement, government and private business. This is what is needed to solve issues—Michael Leitera—Mohawk School District

*Great Event—Dave Sevick, Computer Reach

*The Summit is informative and insightful and keeps me informed of current administrative and social issues.—Tony DeFelice, Springfield Local School (Ohio).

*Mike Vereb was outstanding,,,,I’m so glad he was able to be here and share this information—Sarah Antal , The Prevention Network

*I love HH Education Events—Taylor Gall-Ruggiero, Butler County Vocational Technical School

Here is what some participants said when asked “What did you learn today that you will share with others?”

*80% of school shooters tell someone of their plan.

*We need to get more secure and steady record keeping systems for bullying and how it is handled.

*Less than 1.5% of the Say2Say calls are false tips.

*Ideas for addressing bullying.

*Contact information about Safe2Say and the APP.

*Social media needs to be controlled within the district.

*HIBster tracking software and doing bullying reports digitally.

*Safe2Say Something—very useful, great APP.

*New Social Wellness Training Program for K-12 is Amazing.

*I think the discussion about tracking and educating students/parents about bullying is important and I will discuss it with our administration.

*A shocking fact was the numbers that Safe2Say has generated.

*Specific instances of bullying and an appreciation of why students face such challenges.

*The attorney general’s office is aware and addressing the over whelming mental health needs school districts are facing.

*That legislation exists to make sure an anonymous tip system exists for all schools that students can utilize.

*Reports are available from Safe2Say.

All of this happened  from 9:00 AM to Noon. It was an amazing 3 hours of information, reflection and active participation—Herb Hunt


Thank You for Your Support

Slippery Rock University, Dr. Keith Dils, Dean College of Education

Andrews &Price, Attorneys, Pittsburgh PA