“Behavior can be very subtle. Allowing teachers to have the training and encouraging them to address problems early on, as opposed to when they become a reportable material violation, is crucial,” said Matthew C. Van Vessem, a partner in Goldberg Segalla’s Employment and Labor Practice Group, in a Buffalo Law Journal special report on education law.
New legislation has teachers and school staff more on the lookout than ever for harassment, discrimination, and inappropriate behavior on campus, Matt noted, adding that student bullying issues and promoting respect for others have been tackled in recent legislation that includes the 2012 Dignity for All Students Act.
As part of his practice, Matt helps clients navigate school safety policies and issues, closely examining what the policies mean and how best to implement them in a practical manner. He encourages school administrators and staff to try and stop inappropriate behavior before it gets worse.
Matt also noted he has seen the increasing use of video technology to deal with these issues lead to labor relations concerns from some teachers and administrators who fear that monitoring technology could be used against them in professional reviews.