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Safety Law News for April 19, 2019

April 21, 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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