School Officials Keep Current on Legal Developments


Gender issues, harassment, healthcare and discipline were among the issues discussed at the Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES Spring Law Conference this week attended by almost 45 education administrators from 26 school districts.

Seminar presenter James E. Girvin, a partner in the law firm of Girvin & Ferlazzo, P.C., which represents more than 65 school districts in New York State, covered a variety of issues currently affecting school districts, including policies, procedures and litigation risks.

Among the issues discussed were gender issues, current contract and negotiation trends, opting out of state assessments, the rise in harassment complaints, the ongoing challenges of social media, and recent education law. He also discussed recent legal cases and their impact.

“There are good guidance takeaways from this seminar; this is a good resource for education administrators,” Mr. Girvin said. He has been presenting this seminar at PNW BOCES for about 20 years.

The seminar was attended by superintendents and assistant superintendents as well as human resources professionals and school building administrators from throughout Westchester County, and also included educators from Dutchess and Rockland counties.

“It’s important to understand current trends so we can do everything we can to minimize distractions and focus on student learning,” said Michelle Gosh, assistant superintendent in the Brewster Central School District, who was attending the seminar for the first time.

Another attendee, Josh Elder, assistant principal at Eastchester Middle School, noted that the laws are constantly evolving and “it’s important to keep as current as we can on issues like collective bargaining, labor relations, and gender issues.”

Mr. Vernon’s Associate Superintendent for Human Resources Dr. Jackie Manning-Campbell found the seminar very valuable. “It’s relevant, pertinent, hand-on information the helps decision-makers think strategically and critically,” she said.