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Artifact 3 Tort & Liability 1

EDU 210 Artifact #3 Tort & Liability

Richard Tipton

College of Southern Nevada

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In this scenario Ray Knight, a middle school student with issues with his attendance is

suspended for three days due to unexcused absences. The school had neglected to contact Ray’s

parents via phone contact, and only informed his parents via written notice. On the first day of

suspension, while at a friend’s house Ray is shot accidentally. The following question is what

can Ray’s family do to take action against the school district.

First, we have to look at the school’s standpoint, how can they be held liable for

something that happened off of school grounds? Mitchell v. Cedar Rapids Community School

District Deals with the sexual assault of a student that happened off school grounds outside of

school time. In this case the courts ruled in favor of the district stating it was not under

supervision of the school, therefore they could not be held liable. This was determined due to this

taking place outside of school grounds and outside of school hours.

Fundamentally though the school has no true liability in the situation since it was off of

school grounds, and they could fall back on immunity, as the school district cannot be held

liable. Tollett v. MEMBERS OF THE ORLEANS PARISH SCHOOL BOARD is an example of a

school entity using immunity to remove liability of a situation that members of a school entity

cannot be held liable for damages that are not caused as of direct consequence of their actions.

Now we must look at the side of Ray’s family, where they had no idea that Ray was

under suspension due to inadequate communication from the school. If we look at Flanagan v.

Canton we see that injury caused to a student via peers can be held accountable by the school

even if a faculty member is not present at that point in time. If there is reasonable cause to

believe a student may be harmed in any way by another student by looking at behaviors in the

classroom or on campus. It is evident Roy has some issues with truancy, which may also stem
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from other behavioral issues, therefore the school should assume that on a suspension he may get

into some trouble with another student.

A case to look at is Hoyem v. Manhattan Beach City Sch. Dist In this case, a mother was

seeking action due to her son Michael being hit by a vehicle at a public intersection while he was

leaving school at a time he was not supposed to while it was still in session. The court mentioned

an important factor here, that the school can only supervise so much, and that it is only liable in a

situation where it was lack of supervision that caused the injury. Due to Michael, not being

properly supervised he was injured at a crosswalk after leaving school grounds, he was able to

exit due to lack of supervision. The similarities in this situation to the one Roy is in allow us a bit

more clarity. The school could have provided more supervision by informing the family via

phone like they are supposed to, or by scheduling a meeting to talk about Roy’s attendance

issues before issuing the suspension.

Personally, I believe the courts would rule in favor of Roy and his family. The school did

not meet its duty of informing the students family of issues regarding attendance, and suspending

him without proper notice to the parents. Even though it happened off of school grounds, it was

on a day and time that Roy would have been in school if he was not suspended. Roy’s parents

would have also been able to put more preparations for the suspension in place had the school

notified them properly first.

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Retrieved September 22, 2017

Justia US lawbase, Hoyem v. Manhattan Beach City Sch. Dist Retrieved September 22, 2017


22, 2017

Osborne, Jill K Esq. Teacher Tort Liability Retrieved September 22, 2017

Underwood, J.D, Webb, L.D, Upper saddle River, NJ, Columbus OH, School law for teachers,

concepts and applications, Pearson Merril Prentice Hall