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Artifact #3 Tort and Liability 1

Artifact #3

Tort and Liability

Callie Homan

College of Southern Nevada

October 17, 2015


Artifact #3 Tort and Liability 2

Ray Knight was suspended from school for unexcused absences. The school sent a note

home to Rays parents explaining the suspension. However, shortly have Ray received the note

he threw it away. Rays parents never knew of his suspension and assumed he would be at school

the next day when he was supposed to. Since Ray was suspended he did not go to school, instead

he when to a friends house. While Ray was at the friends house he was unintentionally shot and

obtained injury. This tort and liability case will discuss whether the school or Ray Knights

parents were negligent in supervising Ray Knight.

First we will discuss the Ray Knights parents rights to pursue charges for liability against

the Middle School. The case of Eisel v. Board of Education of Montgomery County (1991) The

court found two school counselors negligent in failing to communicate to a parent a students

suicidal statements made to other students and to them. The counselors had questioned the

Nicole Eisel about the statements made and the student denied them, so the counselors did

nothing else. The court ruled in Eisel v. Board of Education of Montgomery County that the

counselors had a duty to use reasonable means to prevent a suicide when they are on notice of

a students suicide intent (Underwood & Webb, 2006, p.108-109).

Nicoles parents sued the school for wrongful death because they were aware of the

possible. The school councilors had failed to properly notify the parents of the situation, which

was a part of their duty, and in result the student was fatally injured. Similarly, the school knew

that Ray Knight had a history unexcused absences, which is the reason for his suspension,

therefore they should have used reasonable judgement that the student most likely would not

give the note to his parents. The school should have done their duty to properly notify the

parents. If the parents had known they could have prevented the student from going to his

friends house and the accident would have not been able to occur.
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The second case in support of the Ray Knights parents is D.C v. St. Landry Parish

School Board (2001). In the case of D.C v. St. Landry Parish School Board (2001) K.C a twelve

year old girl was wearing a skirt that was to short and went against the school dress code was

sent to the office for the offense. When K.C was unable to have any clothing brought to her she

told the office secretary that the only way she could change was to walk home. The secretary

passed her the checkout sheet and told her to check herself out first and did not properly notify

K.Cs parent/legal guardian. While the student K.C. was walking home she was sexually

molested. The court found that given the high crime environment of the surrounding

neighborhood, it was foreseeable that the student might be assaulted if she walked through the

neighborhood unescorted (Underwood & Webb, 2006, p.105-106). In Ray Knights case the

school should have procedure and properly notified Ray Knights parents by not doing so they

allowed the student to be put in possibly dangerous situations. It was foreseeable that the student

might not notify the parents due to his previous unexcused absences. By not considering the

reasonable possibilities that could occur when protocol was ignored the school became liable for

all injuries sustained.

In the defense of the school once Ray Knight was at home he was then in his parents

custody and became their responsibility until he was back on school grounds. In support of this

the case of Glaser v. Emporia Unified School District (2001) signifies why the school would not

be held liable. In Glaser v. Emporia Unified School District (2001) a twelve year old boy arrived

at school between 7:30 7:45 am before school started at 8:10am. While waiting for school to

start he was playing with a friend when he ran out into the road and was struck by a car. In the

case of Glaser v. Emporia Unified School District (2001), the state supreme court ruled that the

school district was not liable for the students injuries because the school had no duty to
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supervise or protect a student who was not in the school building and therefore not in the

schools custody or under its control, (Underwood & Webb, 2006, p.101). In comparison, Ray

Knight was not on school grounds therefore he was not in the schools custody where they could

provide protection. The school cannot be held liable because once Ray Knight was home he

became the parents responsibility. The parents should have better knowledge of where their

child is because until the child is on the school grounds they are still in their parents custody.

Another example of why the school should not be held liable is from the case Thomas v.

City Lights School, Inc. (2000). The student in this case was assaulted by five classmates while

on a school field trip. Due to the assault the student obtained injuries to his body and a

concussion. The court ruled that the school owes a duty to prevent students from being harmed

and from harassing others while on a school field trip (Underwood & Webb, 2006, p.102). As

such the school would be liable as a result of the failure to supervise its students while on the

field trip. However, unlike Thomas v. City Lights School, Inc. (2000) the student was not on a

field trip and was in the parents custody before he left for his friends house. Therefore the

school owes no duty to prevent harm or injury to the student if said student is not available for

their supervision.

Based on the cases of of Glaser v. Emporia Unified School District (2001) and Thomas v.

City Lights School, Inc. (2000) the school is only liable while the student is in their custody and

there is an expected supervision of the student. The school has a reasonable defense that since the

injury to Ray Knight did not take place until the day after he had received his note of suspension

the student was no longer their responsibility and instead the student would have become the

parents responsibility. In light of all the supporting evidence, I would have to agree with the

parents that the school was liable for Ray Knights injury based on the cases of Eisel v. Board of
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Education of Montgomery County (1991) and D.C v. St. Landry Parish School Board (2001). In

both cases the school did not follow proper protocol which directly resulted in the injury of

students. Just like in the case of Ray Knight, the school did not follow correct procedures which

allowed the student to be placed in dangerous situations. If the schools had used reasonable

judgement of the situation then the incident would have never occurred. It was the schools duty

to notify the parents of the situation. If the parents had been properly made aware of Rays

suspension they would have known that he needed to be supervised. Since they were unaware it

is reasonable for the parents to have expected him to be in school where he would be safely

supervised and therefor the school is liable for all injuries occurred while Ray Knight was

suspended.
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References

D.C v. St. Landry Parish School Board, 802 So. 2d 19 (2001). Retrieved October 12, 2015
http://www.leagle.com/decision/2001821802So2d19_1819/D.C.%20v.%20ST.

%20LANDRY%20PARISH%20SCHOOL%20BD.

Eisel v. Board of Education of Montgomery County 597 A. 2d 447 (1991). Retrieved October 12,

2015 http://www.leagle.com/decision/1991700324Md376_1672/EISEL%20v.%20

BOARD%20OF%20EDUCATION

Glaser Glaser v. Emporia Unified School District No. 253, 31 P. 3d 573(2001). Retrieved

October 12,

2015http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ks-supreme-court/1364854.html

Thomas v. City Lights School, Inc., 124 F. Sup. 2.3d 573 (2000). Retrieved October 12, 2015

http://www.leagle.com/decision/2000831124FSupp2d707_1767/THOMAS%20v.

%20CITY%20LIGHTS%20SCHOOL,%20INC.

Underwood, J. & Webb, L.(2006). Tort and Liability. In School Law for Teachers. 101-108.

Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education.