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Safety Law News for April 19, 2019

In Michigan, the U. S. District Court held that parents of a seven-year-old child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder were entitled to sue a school resource officer and the City for placing the child in handcuffs in response to a disability-induced episode.  The court held that liability is appropriate when police fail to train its officers on appropriately interacting with juveniles who may have a disability.  Intentional discrimination may be inferred from the likelihood that inadequate training will result in a violation of federally protected rights. (McCadden v. City of Flint)


In Massachusetts, the United States District Court held that police had probable cause to arrest a student who posted threatening messages using a school computer. Massachusetts law makes it a crime to “communicate… a threat thereby causing either the evacuation or serious disruption of a school… or serious public inconvenience or alarm.”  Massachusetts Rev. Stat. 269, § 14.  The court reasoned that police could reasonably have inferred that an attack would take place at the high school, since the post appeared to be directed toward fellow students. 


In New York, the New York Supreme Court ruled that parents may sue a school district for injuries to their child from an attack by fellow students on a school bus.  The court held that schools are under a duty to supervise students and can be held liable for foreseeable injuries related to the absence of adequate supervision.  The court reasoned that a school is bound to take energetic steps to intervene and that a school bus company owes the same duty to the students. 


In Utah, the Salt Lake City Police Department released a Report by the International Association of Police Chiefs that recommends that rifles be locked in a safe inside schools for easier access by school resource officers in the case of an emergency.


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