|Jan. 3, 2012 | www.fisherphillips.com|
The 2012 election season is upon us. There will be hotly-debated contests throughout the nation, culminating in national and local contests this fall. Each political cycle, schools face questions regarding their obligations (and limitations) when it comes to involvement by the school in various political activities. For example, can your school permit a student club to host one party's candidate on campus? Must you open the opportunity to other candidates? It is extremely important that you understand the IRS guidelines relating to a non-profit's political limitations so that you do not place the school's tax-exempt status in jeopardy.
A recent court ruling in Texas shines a spotlight on the student-teacher boundary issues in schools. Recent headlines involving instances of teachers having allegedly inappropriate relationships with students always take our breath away, although for the most part, schools were rarely seen as a responsible party for these actions. But those days may be over as a result of a landmark verdict against the Episcopal School of Dallas (ESD) in a lawsuit brought by a student and her parents. John and Jane Doe v. Episcopal School of Dallas.