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Safety Law News for April 16, 2019

April 17, 2019

• In Tennessee, the U.S. District Court held that a school district can be liable for failing to protect students from danger when officials fail to intervene to eliminate a dangerous condition.  The court reasoned that the crash of a school bus, in which six students were killed, was connected to the principal’s failure to act in response to multiple complaints that the bus driver drove his school bus in a dangerous fashion. (M.S . by Covington v. Hamilton Cty. Dep’t of Education).

• In New York, the New York Supreme Court held that restrictions limiting a father's access to school were valid.  The court ruled that the restrictions were rationally related to the in loco parentis authority of the school.  The father was a Level III sex offender convicted of rape against a juvenile, which meant that he posed the highest possible risk.    The restrictions were not a blanket prohibition from entering school but required prior notice and that the father be accompanied by school safety agent.  (Lujan v. Carranza).

• In Michigan, school officials at Mattawan High School are implementing a new policy of searching students found loitering in bathrooms as a means to crack down on e-cigarette use, also known as vaping.  A letter sent to parents gave notice of the intent of educators to send to the administrative office to be searched students who congregate and loiter in the bathroom or multiple students who gather in a closed bathroom stall.

• In Indiana, the Board of Education for the Perry Central Community School Corporation voted to create an in-house, school-based police department.  The goal of the policy is to make the school-based officer more effective in keeping the campus safe, better trained on school law enforcement, and a consistent presence on campus to build rapport with the students. 

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