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Portfolio #3

Spencer Cofer

EDU Portfolio Artifact #3

College of Southern Nevada


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In the following case we have the suspension of a middle school student but not known

to the parents as the school did not follow the school district procedures. The student Ray

Knight who was suspended was only given a notice to him which he threw away and instead of

the parents getting an email and phone call notice they received no notice. His parents not

knowing of his suspension Ray went to a friend’s house to visit where he was accidentally shot.

The first case I have to use to make a case as to why the parents have legal ground to

pursue legal action against eh school is the court case of Eisel v. Board of Education of

Montgomery County 597 A.2d 447 (Md. 1991). Basically in this case the father of a student who

was his daughter committed suicide. She did so after classmates had notified the school

counselors of her intent to do so and they did not ever call or give notice to her parents. Just as

we have in this case the school did not follow the procedure and notify the parents which ended

up in the loss of a young life.

The second case that can be used in favor of Ray Knights parents if they pursue legal

action is that of Goss v. Lopez, 419 U.S. 565 (1975) where the court ruled that all students who

are suspended should still be given a hearing in front of school administration in part of their due

process. So the fact that Ray Knights parents were not notified nor was he given a hearing to see

if his suspension was valid or was within the schools right to suspend him is another part where

the school failed the student and parents in this case. This of course could have also saved a

young adults life.

Now for the case of the school or on the side of the school the case of COLLETTE v.

TOLLESON UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT 54 P.3d 828 (2002) this case brings up the idea of an open

period of lunch where certain students are able to leave for a brief 50-minute time period to go

get lunch if they have good grades and have parents sign a waiver. Now this relates to the case at
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hand because during this period one student left after not being allowed too and caused a car

accident and the people injured tried to sue the school. However, the court found it was not

within the school’s jurisdiction as the student left against rules just as this one is not in school’s

jurisdiction as it was not the schools doing for the student to go to his friend’s house where he

was accidentally shot.

Another case in which the school district might want to look into to help their side of this

case is the case of Sanford v. Stiles, 456 F.3d 298, 310 n.13 (3d Cir. 2006) in this case basically

an ex- girlfriend of a boy named Michael Carr had received a note from Carr where she found

that he had written about being suicidal and brought it up to the counselor. The counselor called

in for Carr and had many meeting where she deemed that he was not showing any signs of being

suicidal. The family of Carr sued Stiles the counselor for not following the proper procedure.

The court found that Stiles did follow procedure and that even after the fact once Carr leaves

property he is not in hands of the school at the moment. Just as we have in this case they for the

most part followed procedure and the school cannot be held accountable for him going to his

friend’s house and not showing his parents the notice of being suspended.

In my opinion in regards to the cases I have mentioned and researched on the topic of this

case it was very hard for me to make a true decision. However, I believe with everything said the

death of Ray Knight does not fall on the school’s hands. Yes, they may have not completely

followed procedure the right way but they did give a notice to the student who should be held

responsible for not notifying his parents and the parents should be more aware. As a parent if my

son did not go to school I would know and also whoever shot the young man is at fault I just do

not see how this case puts the school at fault for this death.
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Reference Page

Eisel v. Board of Education of Montgomery County 597 A.2d 447 (Md. 1991)

Goss v. Lopez, 419 U.S. 565 (1975)

COLLETTE v. TOLLESON UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT 54 P.3d 828 (2002)

Sanford v. Stiles, 456 F.3d 298, 310 n.13 (3d Cir. 2006
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