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Running Head: ARTIFACT #5 1

Artifact #5

Tort and Liability

Michael Granado

CSN
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Abstract

Ray Knight, a middle school student, was suspended. The suspension occurred due to multiple

unexcused absences. The school district had established procedures for notifying parents of a

suspension. They were requiring a telephone call and a prompt written notice via mail to parents.

The school in this instance only gave the student a notice to take home and deliver to his parents,

who subsequently threw it away. Making the parents unaware of Mr. Knights suspension.

During the first day of his suspension Knight was shot while at a friends house. Do the parents

have the grounds to pursue liability charges against the school?


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Ray Knight, was a middle schooler who already established himself as a troublesome

student. Habitually not present from school with unexcused absences, and due to this trend and

habit of being absent was given a proper suspension. Legally in their rights to do so, and without

proper assistance from his parents to facilitate a change in their son and students behavior he

was suspended and ultimately shot while at a friends house. When he was supposed to be at his

own residence while serving his suspension. We can clearly see by looking at Sanford v Stiles

(2006), that a school is not liable if a student receives harm or is killed while at home during a

suspension. Due to the established case, the school district is not liable for any injuries sustained

while at home, the injury was a result of the conduct of the student and is not negligence on the

part of the school district. This can be further upheld by using the very definition of proximate

cause, which states that which produces injury and without which the result would not have

occurred. If Mr. Knight would have followed the guidelines of his suspension and stayed home,

then he would have never been shot in the first place and would not have incurred injury.

Furthermore, it was established that schools are not expected to protect truant students. That

includes truant from being home while serving a suspension.

Additionally, there was no amount of supervision that could have stopped this injury

from happening on the school. As seen in Swan v Town of Brookhaven (2006), the student in

this case decided to jump from the middle of a slide while going down it causing injury. The

court decided that no amount of supervision could have prevented this from happening and ruled

in favor of the school. Much like this case no amount of supervision from the schools part

couldve prevented this injury. It is not reasonable to assume that the school would send an
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employee to supervise this student at home, when it should be the responsibility of the parent to

ensure that Knight served his suspension correctly. Consequently, there are no signs of legal

negligence on the part of the school. And are not liable for the injuries that happened to Mr.

Knight.

The school should absolutely be forced to pay this family liability charges. There are

numerous amount and levels of negligence on the part of the school. The school has a duty to

warn. Meaning a duty to warn the parents of the numerous unexcused absences of Mr. Knight.

We can further this by looking at Norman v Ogallala (2000). A student was not given proper

instruction prior to participating in his welding class and was burned, negligence on the schools

part awarded a liability suit. As with this case the schools failure to give proper instruction not

just to the student but to the parent regarding the suspension and what actions they should take.

As well as the obvious procedural defects existing within the schools policy about notifying a

parent of habitual truancy. The school could not even follow their own guidelines gives more

than enough reason to award liability charges.

Furthering the legal action to pursue legal action the case of Doe v San Antonio (1997)

gives us precedence. The court determined that when a student left school without permission

and was later sexually assaulted, her injury was not foreseeable and was not due to any

disciplinary action taken by the district or its lack of supervision. Unlike this case the likelihood

of Knight being not was where he was supposed to be was extremely high and therefore

foreseeable. If the proper notification was given to inform of truancies and which was the basis

of this suspension in the first place, we can assume Knight would leave his house if unsupervised
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and is then foreseeable on the part of the school. Due to this fact, the school should be held liable

when even his parents were not aware of not only the truancies but the suspension in general.

Liable for again the duty to warn and liable for the unfortunately foreseeable actions of Mr.

Knight.

In conclusion, I believe the school district was in every instance liable for the injury to

Mr. Knight. They failed to follow not only school policy but the school districts policy on

notifying a parent of a suspension. Does the school have to protect against the student against

truancy? No, but they do have a duty to warn the parents of when behavior that is conducive to

bad behavior is present. The schools in ability to properly act and inform give the parents more

than enough reason to pursue liability charges. If properly notified of the suspension the parents

could have taken the action necessary to ensure the suspension was done properly. And for the

fact this did not happen and the inability of the school to follow district procedures the parents

didnt have the opportunity to make corrections for their child.


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References

18, W. N. 23. FindLaws United States fifth circuit case and opinions. Retrieved November 23,
2016, from http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-5th-circuit/1229948.html

18, W. N. 23. FindLaws supreme court of Nebraska case and opinions. Retrieved November 23,
2016, from http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ne-supreme-court/1275642.html

18, W. N. 23. FindLaws United States Third circuit case and opinions. Retrieved November 23,
2016, from http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-3rd-circuit/1380734.html

18, W. N. 23. FindLaws New York supreme court case and opinions. Retrieved November 23,
2016, from http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ny-supreme-court/1121187.html
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