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Artifact 3: Tort and Liability 1

Artifact 3: Tort and Liability

Lauren Hawthorne

EDU 210

College of Southern Nevada


Artifact 3: Tort and Liability 2

A middle school student, Ray Knight, faced a three-day suspension for a number of

unexcused absences. In the situation of a suspension, the school district requires a telephone

notification and written notice by male to the parents or guardians. However, the school only

sent a notice with the student, who threw it away. His parents were not aware that he was

suspended. On the first day of his suspension, Ray was shot when visiting a friends house.

In the case Eisel v. Board of Education Montgomery (1991), two counselors failed to

notify a parent of a students suicidal comments. The court held that the counselors had a

responsibility to communicate such things to prevent a suicide. Similarly, the school failed to

properly follow procedures in notifying parents of Ray Knights suspension. They have the

responsibility of communicating such things with parents or guardians to ensure the well-being

and safety of the student. Based on this case, the court may hold the school responsible.

In D.C. v. Landry Parish School Board (2001), a school violated school district policy

allowing a student to leave campus. After leaving campus the student was sexually assaulted.

Because the school knowingly violated district policy and failed to care for the student, they

were held liable for her injury. Ray Knights school knowingly violated school district policy by

failing to notify parents by telephone and mail of his suspension. This violation caused them to

breach their duty to care for the student.

In contrast, the Glaser v. Emporia Unified School District (2001) case held that schools

are not responsible for the supervision of students beyond school grounds. The school was not

liable for the injuries of the seventh-grade student who was struck by a car when running off

school grounds and into a public street. In the same way, the court could rule that the school is

not responsible for Knights injury because he was not on school property.
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In Collete v. Tolleson Unified School District (2002), drivers filed a suit against the

school district for injuries from an accident caused by a student who left school in violation of

the closed-campus policy. The court decided that the school district was not liable because they

cannot control the actions of the student. In comparison, Ray Knight chose not to notify his

parents of his suspension and went to a friends house. The school district cannot control his

actions, especially outside of school, so cannot be held liable for his fate.

Although the student was not under the supervision or control of the school, the school

could be held liable for the students harm for not following the correct procedures in notifying

Ray Knights parents of his suspension. However, the student did willingly fail to notify his

parents of the suspension with the notice provided. Knight went to his friends house knowing

the risks of visiting without parental permission or awareness. Blame can be placed on both

sides, so I believe the court will see this as a comparative negligence case in which the

retributions awarded will be reduced based on Knights own contribution to his fate.
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References

Collete v. Tolleson Unified School District, 54 P.3d 828 (2002).

D.C. v. Landry Parish School Board, 802 So.2d 19 (La. App. 2001)

Eisel v. Board of Education Montgomery, 324 Md. 376, 597 A. 2d 447 (Md Ct. App. 1991).

Glaser v. Emporia Unified School District No. 253, 21 P.3d 573 (Kan. 2001).