Academic journal article Journal of Law and Education

Recent Decisions - ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION

Academic journal article Journal of Law and Education

Recent Decisions - ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION

Article excerpt

Torts

Student-athlete sued high school alleging premises liability. A ball struck the student while he stood in the dugout during a school baseball game. He claimed the school failed to conform to excepted standards and failed to take reasonable steps to prevent balls from entering the dugout. The school asserted that it owed no duty to the student because of contact sport exception and assumption of risk. Held: in part for student and in part for the school. The contact sport exception states that there are known risk associated with a contact sport that are assumed by participants in the sport. It is inapposite to the competitiveness of contact sports to impose a duty of protection. Furthermore, the assumption of risk rule indicates that open and obvious risk is inherent to an activity and does not overcome a duty owed, rather it is just factor in determining contributory negligence. Here, the contact-sport exception is not applicable to the high school because the exception is for participants, not the owner of premises, and the assumption of risk does not eliminate the duty owed to the student. However, the school is entitled to customary evidence by someone who is qualified, as long as there is no controlling statute about customs. The architect of several dugouts was willing to testify about the custom and their dugout design was not controlled by a statute. Thus, the school was entitled to introduce evidence of custom in dugout design. Ludman v. Davenport Assumption High Sch., 895 N.W.2d 902 (Iowa 2017).

Faculty and Administration

Teacher sued school board alleging due process violation by not providing proper notice of administrative hearing. The school board sent a letter to a kindergarten teacher informing her that it intended to commence a disciplinary proceeding against her for inadequately supervising students. The teacher had thirty days to respond by mail with a request for a hearing, but she responded thirty-five days later. The board denied her request and then permanently revoked her teaching license at a hearing for which she was not present. Held: For the school board. The school board's letter provided constitutionally-adequate notice to the teacher because it was sent by certified mail, requested a return receipt, apprised the teacher of the reasons for the action, informed her of the applicable law, and informed her that she was entitled to a hearing and how to request such a hearing. McClendon v. Ohio Dept, of Edn., 77 N.E.3d 523 (Ohio Ct. App. 2017).

Charter school sued county board of education alleging it did not include transportation funding for school's students. Upon the state's implementation of charter schools, the general assembly mandated that charter school funding would come from respective local school board budgets. Considering this appropriation method, the school board declined to provide financing for a charter school's student transportation budget. Held: For the charter school. The charter school was entitled to a proportional, per-pupil share of all funds in the local school board's total operating budget. The board's decision to deny transportation funds to the charter school was arbitrary and capricious. Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. v. Frederick County Board of Education, 454 Md. 330 (Ct. App. 2017).

Coach sued school district alleging school district violated his rights by not renewing his contract. A basketball coach received numerous parent complaints over several years. The school placed the coach on leave and conducted a formal investigation. At the end of the investigation, the school decided not to renew the coach's contract. The coach alleged he had a protected property right in the contract based on state law, and therefore the contract should be renewed. Held: For the school district. State law did not create a property interest when the contract expired. Thus, the decision not to renew the contract did not violate the coach's rights. …

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