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Tort and Liability

Tort and Liability


Christina C. Martinez
College of Southern Nevada

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Abstract

The desire within us is a form of guidance, many have used in selecting our chosen profession.
With each profession, there consists an abundance of many different forms of guidelines,
protocols, and obligations to uphold any and all regulations that you have committed to. The job
of all personnel in the education system is not limited to these responsibilities. Our job is not
only to educate or manage within the system but to ensure that all students are safe. The safety of
students, regardless of age, is the number one most important duty of all educational personnel. It
is the responsibility of staff and teachers to maintain and continually have open communication
with parents, and guardians of all students, at all times. We take on a role that is comparative as
being a parent. Not only do we educated, guide, support, and supervise our youth, but we also
ensure the safety of each one within our care.

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Tort and Liability

The responsibility of the school system is to educate and ensure that all students are
knowledgeable and able to become successful before they go out into society. We take on a huge
role when we decided to be a part of the educational field. Ray Knight was a young student in
middle school. He was well known for missing school without having an excused absence. Ray
Knights parents were only informed in the form of a letter that was sent home with the student,
yet never received, and unknowledgeable of his truancy. The schools policy is to inform parents
in two forms, by phone call and a note. The school only upheld to one form. In the event Ray
Knights parents had no knowledge of the unexcused absences that had been ongoing for some
time. The school decided to suspend Ray for three days. On the first day of his suspension Ray
was shot while visiting a friend. Rays parents are holding the school liable for the injuries he
sustained. Where is the line drawn on the responsibility of the school system and our educators?
Applicable Rights
There are four key elements that must be proven in order to find an educator negligent
under the Tort law. Those four components are duty, breach of duty, causation, and injury. All
must be proven by the plaintiff in order to have a favorable argue. The No Child left Behind Act
gives schools the right to suspend a student for just cause. This will come into question
pertaining to why Ray Knight was suspended. The two negligence contributing and comparative
play an important part of deciding you bares blame or if they both will take on the responsibility
in the students death. (p.20, 21, 30)
Arguments in Support Plaintiff
The Goss v Dwight Lopez consists of nine students who were put on suspension for a 10
day period. There was no hearing and as far as I can understand, no letter or phone call was

Tort and Liability

mentioned. Under the 14th Amendment all 10 students are entitled to due process of the law. The
court found that the stature and implementing was unconstitutional. In order to conform with the
law and the Amendment students are required a hearing in a timely manner before or after being
suspended. (Web)
Tinker v Des Moines School District is a case where two students chose to purposely defy
the school board and were suspended. This case is important because it brings into play the now
established Tinker Test. The Tinker Test requires the courts now to be able to put into question the
justification of suspensions placed on students. It also helps with determining whether a schools
disciplinary actions violates a students 1st Amendment rights. The Tinker Test gives students a
better chance at defending themselves against the school. (Web)
Arguments in Opposition of Plaintiff
Bridgette Maldonado v Tuckahoe Union Free School District the plaintiff Maldonado
was attacked in her home by a student whom she willing let inside. She previously had
conformations with this student on numerous occasions. She was previously threatened by this
same student and he had even made death threats towards Ms. Maldonado. The court stated that
a school is not an insurer of the safety of its students, and the duty owed to its students is coextensive with the schools physical custody and control over them. (Web)
Barbara C. Collete and Scott E. MacFarland, Holly L. Scofield v Tolleson case in which
the plaintiffs were injured in a car accident off campus. The school had put into play a policy that
stimulated the campus would now be a closed campus and no students would be allowed to leave
during the allotted school hours. The plaintiffs chose to defy the rules, safety, and security
measures the district put into place. Neither students had permission or valid purpose to be off
campus. The students vehicle was hit while attempting to return into their lane. The plaintiff was

Tort and Liability

also driving at unsafe speeds and lost control of the vehicle. It was found that the District did not
directly injure the students, their injuries were caused by reckless driving and that the District
upheld their duty. (Web)
Conclusion
There was only one key factor that made me rule that both are in contributory
negligence. The school district had two requirements for notifying parents. One was to send a
note with the student and one was to call the parents. The school district was negligent in making
contact with the parents and making sure they were aware of the unexcused absences. Children
between the ages of 7-14 are considered incapable of negligence yet this can be rebutted. The
students were neglecting their education by not going to school and their for are just as
responsible for the incident occurring. If Ray Knight was not truant and stayed in school he
would not have been shot. If the parents had known it is possible it could have been preventable.
(p.30)

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References

Cambron-McCabe, McCarthy, Eckes, S.(2014) Legal Rights of Teachers and Students.United


States: Pearson Education, Inc., (p. 29-30)
Cornell Universtiy Law School (2015). Goss V. Lopz. Retrieved from
https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/419/565
Duke University (2015). Goss V. Lopez. Retrieved from
http://law.duke.edu/childedlaw/schooldiscipline/attorneys/casesummaries/gossvlopez/
FindLaw (2015). Collette v. Toleson Unified School District NO 214. Retrieved from
http://caselaw.findlaw.com/az-court-of-appeals/1291266.html
Justia (2015).Bridgette Maldonado v Tuckahoe Union Free School District. Retrieved from
http://law.justia.com/cases/new-york/appellate-division-second-department/2006/200604989.html