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

Faculty and Administration

Teacher appealed decision after suing pubic school corporation for discrimination under Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Family and Medical Leave Act, Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Civil Rights Act of 1866, 1871, and 1991. The teacher was diabetic and had a son with sickle cell anemia, and was absent from school for twentythree days. Later that school year his contract was not renewed. Held: For the public school corporation in part, and the teacher in part. The court determined that the teacher was not a qualified individual with a disability, had never requested accommodations, and was not meeting his employer's expectations. The court overturned the ruling for the public school corporation in part because the teacher gave notice of FMLA leave and the school used it negatively in the decision to not renew his contract. Preddie v. Bartholomew Consol. Sch. Corp., 799 F. 3d 806 (7th Cir. 2015).

Torts

Parents on behalf of child appealed decision granting summary; judgment dismissing negligent hiring, negligent retention and respondeat superior claims against New York City Department of Education. A teacher allegedly had inappropriate sexual contact with a minor student over a period of two years. The department of education allegedly knew of the teacher's propensities based on allegations from a former student. Held: For the parents. The department of education had a duty to supervise students in their care and may be held liable for injuries that occur while under their supervision. The department of education failed to establish that they had no specific knowledge of the teacher's misconduct. Thus, because of the duty owed by the department of education, dismissal would have been unwarranted. Nevaeh T. v. City of New York, 132 A.D. 3d 840 (N.Y. App. Div. 2d Dep't 2015).

Parent appealed decision in favor of school district having no duty to report bullying. After a physical altercation between two students, the school principal met with the injured student and suspended the other student involved. The principal failed to notify the injured student's mother of the incident pursuant to the school's anti-bullying policy. Days later, the injured student received threatening messages on social media. While both students were in the cafeteria for lunch, a fight broke out between them and the already injured student received new injuries. Held: For the school district. Schools do not have an overarching duty to protect and supervise every single student against all harms. Only school officials who have stepped into special supervisory responsibilities within the school should be held to a higher protection standard, and that was not evident here. Thus, there was no duty to report the incident to the student's mother. Gauthier v. Manchester Sch. Dist., 123 A. 3d 1016 (N.H. 2015).

Deputy appealed decision denying sovereign immunity for alleged excessive force and violations of student's Fourth Amendment rights. The student was confronted by a school police officer over her violation of a rule banning cell phones at school. The student claimed she was pushed against the wall before and after she was handcuffed. However, the officer claimed he was trying to restrain her after she smacked his hand and hit his head. The officer argued that he was protected under sovereign immunity. Held: For the student. The Court lacked jurisdiction to determine factual issues of the case. It could only review facts important to the issue at hand and not whether factual disputes existed and no conclusive factual evidence was presented to refute the student's testimony. Curran v. Aleshire, 800 F. 3d 656 (5th Cir. 2015).

Parent of student appealed summary judgment decision granting school district sovereign immunity. The student sustained an injury during cheerleading practice where non-cheerleaders could participate and engage in tumbling. The school district argued it was immune from liability because the injury happened during an athletic contest, on district property, and with district employees. …

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