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School Safety Law for September 4, 2018

In New York, the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, ruled that educators were not liable to a child who was injured when students were “rough housing” in the hallway, resulting in the victim being grabbed and thrown on his head.  The court reasoned that while schools have a duty to provide supervision to ensure the safety of students, they are only liable for foreseeable injuries proximately caused by the absence of adequate supervision.  (Francis v. Mount Vernon Board of Education). 

In Minnesota, the United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit held that a school was not liable to a teacher who was injured when he attempted to stop a lunchroom fight.  The court reasoned that his lawsuit was preempted by the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Act because it was an injury sustained while on the job.  (Ekblad v. Independent School District No. 625) 

In Washington State, the United States District Court held that school officials did not violate the Fourth Amendment rights of a student by confiscating his cell phone for conducting a disciplinary investigation regarding the student’s forging of a permission slip.  The court reasoned that the confiscation was consistent with a reasonable school policy to take cell phones to prevent a student from contacting anyone while an investigation was ongoing.  (Rorvik v. Snohomish School District) 

In New York, the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, ruled that a school district was not liable to a Middle school assistant principal for injuries sustained when she attempted to stop a fight between two students.  The court reasoned that the school did not assume a special duty to the assistant principal, and that the administrator could not sue the school based on promises to improve security.  (Morgan-Word v. New York City Department of Education).

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