School Law News - June 5, 2019
In Mississippi, the United States District Court held that a former student’s threatened acts of violence against a high school were not protected speech under First Amendment. The court upheld the conviction after threats against a local High School were made on the “RuneScape” game. The game developer forwarded the threats to authorities and reached out to the high school. The court ruled that his statements were not political speech or words that could be dismissed as mere hyperbole. (Pillault v. United States)
In Utah, the United States District Court held that school officials were not liable for the injuries suffered by a student in a single-incident assault by other students on campus. The court ruled that a single occurrence of an assault does not give rise to liability when educators have no knowledge of the nature of the threat. Liability requires that school personnel fail to take action with knowledge of a known risk generally and specifically to the student. (Misty Cox v. South Sanpete School District)
In California, the Marin County Civil Grand Jury is recommending the hiring of more school resource officers to ensure safe learning environments for students. Its recommendation follows previous findings that “funding SROs to serve at schools in Marin County is a sound investment, because it prevents crime and teaches students to trust and work with law enforcement officers and other authority figures.”
In Pennsylvania, teachers and support staff from the Woodland Hills School District
protested proposed job cuts fearing that the cuts would come at the expense of “teaching, safety and the emotional needs of the students.” The reductions would target 15 elementary teachers; more than 10 secondary teachers; 14 paraprofessionals; seven climate coordinators; five special education staffers; more than 2½ secretaries; two guidance counselors; and two school resource officers.