Kudos to CASTLE for supporting Edjurist, a blog covering school law. The interpretation of law, which is often via paranoid hearsay and self-interested marketing, has a huge effect on how we implement IT in schools. In particular, it is the ultimate conversation-ender: "We can't do that because it is illegal."
These two posts on e-discovery are essential:
As I mentioned above, the e-discovery amendments for the first time introduced into the FRCP explicit provisions regulating the disclosure and production of electronically stored information. Since then, a misconception has developed among some public education practitioners that institutions using such information must therefore now archive all electronic information in case it is later needed in discovery, despite their prior practices and despite the lack of any anticipated litigation concerning the information in question. No such independent duty was created by any of the e-discovery amendments adopted in 2006, and no such duty exists anywhere else in the FRCP (although state education laws or administrative codes may require otherwise). As I will explain further in a future post, under the FRCP, an institution may be required to halt the routine destruction of electronically stored information once litigation has begun, but outside that limited circumstance, the e-discovery amendments do not require the archiving of any electronic information not previously stored.
There is nothing about e-discovery that requires schools to archive all electronic communication coming in and out of a school -- a common argument for blocking virtually all websites that allow user posting.
Another excellent post is Revisioning The Justification For School Employee Legal Education, which starts to make the case that education for democracy requires, in turn, education of educational lawyers about education for democracy.
Tom, thanks for spreading the word about The EdJurist. Justin is a brand new professor at U. Kentucky. He's off to a great start in terms of recognizing the power of the Social Web for information dissemination and conversation. Now all I have to do is figure out how to get more educational leaders reading him!
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