Academic journal article Journal of Law and Education

Recent Decisions - ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION

Academic journal article Journal of Law and Education

Recent Decisions - ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION

Article excerpt

This review reports all Supreme Court activity in the area of education law from May 5, 2015 through Aug 12, 2015.

Torts

Minor student appealed summary judgment in favor of school board alleging failure to protect student from traffic hazards. A student was dropped off by a school bus and hit by a non-negligent automobile driver five minutes before school started. It is unclear whether the student was pushed into the street or ran into the street. Held: For the minor student. The record presented issues of fact as to whether the school board owed a duty of care to protect the student from traffic hazards while playing in front of the school five minutes before the school day began. Issues of fact were also presented as to whether the school board breached that duty by failing to provide adequate safety measures. Mamadou S. v. Feliciano, 999 N.Y.S.2d 65 (N.Y. App. Div. 2014).

School district appealed denial of motion for summary judgment after student sued for injuries sustained in high school's self-defense tournament. The student voluntarily enrolled in her school's self-defense class. The student claimed the school district breached its duty of care by allowing a self-defense class to be taught, and the tournament officiated, by an instructor lacking adequate martial arts training. Held: For the student. The school district failed to establish that the student consented to the risks of the self-defense tournament. The risk of the move that ultimately caused the student's injury was concealed and unreasonably increased by the instructor's lack of training. Pierre v. Ramapo Cent. Sch. Dist., 2 N.Y.S.3d 510 (N.Y. App. Div. 2015).

Teacher appealed summary judgment in favor of Department of Education (DOE) for injuries teacher sustained from assault by student. The high school teacher was assaulted by a student while on school grounds and claimed that the DOE breached its duty of care by not previously removing the student from classes. Held: For the DOE. The DOE did not voluntarily assume a duty to protect the teacher upon which the teacher could justifiably rely. Thomas v. N.Y.C. Dep't of Educ., 2 N.Y.S.3d 178 (N.Y. App. Div. 2015).

City and Department of Education (DOE) appealed denial of motion for summary judgment after mother and student sued for negligence resulting in student's injuries during gym class. A middle school student was injured when thrown down during a basketball game in gym class by another student with a prior history of misconduct. The injured student and his mother claimed that the city and DOE should have been on notice of the conduct and had negligently supervised the students. Held: For the City and DOE. Under state law, the city was not a proper party. The DOE could not have prevented the injury even by the most intense supervision because the attacking student's conduct was spontaneous. Furthermore, the attacking student's prior conduct was insufficient to place the DOE on notice to warrant heightened supervision. Thomas v. City of New York, 2 N.Y.S.3d 578 (N.Y. App. Div. 2015).

Estate of student appealed summary judgment in favor of superintendent, principal, and assistant principal in wrongful death suit. A high school student committed suicide after sending suicidal and threatening notes to other students in order to impress his girlfriend. School officials assessed the threats and informed the parents of the students. The deceased student's estate claimed that the superintendent, principal, and assistant principal were wanton or reckless in not promptly informing the deceased student's parents of the situation. Held: For the superintendent, principal, and assistant principal. The deceased student's suicide was not foreseeable; great lengths were taken to assess the threats and inform students and parents. The threats in the notes were not reasonably indicative of suicidal behavior. Estate of Smith v. W. Brown Local Sch. Dist., 26 N.E.3d 890 (Ohio Ct. App. 2015). …

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