Get Answers to Your Highest Priority South Dakota Legal Questions
Have questions? We have answers! Our South Dakota attorneys answer the questions they hear most often from clients just like you.
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Is prayer allowed at public school football or basketball games?
No. In Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe, 530 U.S. 290 (2000), the United States Supreme Court held that a policy permitting student-led “invocations” before football games violates the Establishment Clause. The Supreme Court refused to view the expression as “private speech” because the messages were delivered over the school’s public address system by a student body member under the supervision of school faculty and under a school policy that encouraged public prayer. Under these circumstances, the Supreme Court considered the prayer to be “school-sponsored.”
When do school officials have disciplinary authority over students off school grounds?
In South Dakota, any superintendent, principal, supervisor, and teacher has disciplinary authority over all students while the students are participating in or attending school sponsored activities off school grounds.
For more information about school disciplinary authority, read Chapter 8 of The South Dakota School Law Deskbook.
In South Dakota, who has disciplinary authority over students on school grounds?
Any superintendent, principal, supervisor, and teacher has disciplinary authority over all students while the students are in school or participating in or attending school sponsored activities on school grounds.
In South Dakota, what is undue influence in estate planning?
In South Dakota, undue influence consists of someone taking unfair advantage of another, especially when they hold real or apparent authority over them. An example of this is a caregiver for an elderly person who isolates them from their family and convinces them to leave most or all of their assets to the caregiver. Essentially, the person exerting undue influence takes unfair advantage of another person’s frailty of mind or body to get an unfair advantage over them. Undue influence can come from an outsider, such as the caregiver, or could come from a family member.
As a new business owner in Sioux Falls, I've been told that I should consider all of my workers to be "independent contractors." Is this true?
No. Most small business owners worry about initial start-up costs and continuing overhead expenses.
One popular "myth" that small business owners often hear is that designating your workers as "independent contractors" and not as "employees" is a great money-saving technique.
However, there are strict legal definitions of employees and independent contractors. And any business that incorrectly classifies its workers can create significant legal liability relating to taxes, workers’ compensation, wage-and-hour issues, and unemployment insurance.
Is a school district required to accept credits from a transfer student?
Yes. A school district must accept credits for any course completed in any other accredited school district under the open enrollment program. However, the nonresident district must award a diploma to a nonresident student only if the student satisfactorily meets its graduation requirements.
My wife and I signed a premarital agreement before our marriage. My wife now wants to change this agreement. How can a premarital agreement be changed in South Dakota?
In South Dakota, once the parties have been married, a premarital agreement may be amended or revoked only by a written agreement signed by the parties.
Who is a “parent” under FERPA?
Under FERPA, a “parent” means a parent of a student and includes a natural parent, a guardian, or an individual acting as a parent in the absence of a parent or guardian.
How long does a school district have to comply with a request to view education records?
FERPA requires that a school district comply with a request by a parent or eligible student for access to education records within a reasonable period of time, but not more than 45 days after receipt of a request.
May a school board prohibit a teacher from sharing his or her personal political viewpoints with students during instructional time?
Yes. The Supreme Court has stated that when public employees make statements in their official capacities, they are not speaking as public citizens for First Amendment purposes, and their comments are not isolated from regulation by the employer. Since teachers making statements during instructional time are speaking in their official capacities, the First Amendment does not protect their comments. As a result, school boards may adopt policies that prohibit employees from discussing their personal political views with students during instructional time.