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Artifact #3 Tort and Liability

Artifact # 3
Tort and Liability
Outstanding Student
College of Southern Nevada
October 18, 2014

Artifact #3 Tort and Liability

A middle school student, named Ray Knight, was suspended from school for three days
because he had too many unexcused absences. The school sent a note home with Ray to notify
his parents of the suspension. Ray proceeded to throw the note away, and did not tell his parents
about the suspension. The school district had procedures in place requiring telephone notification
and a written notice by mail to the parents, yet neither of these procedures were followed. On the
first day of his suspension, Ray went over to friends house and was accidentally shot. The
question in this case is whether the school can be found negligent, and whether Rays parents
have grounds for liability charges.
D.C. v. Landry Parish School Board (2001) will be the first case presented in favor of
Ray Knights parents to lawfully pursue liability charges against school officials for negligence
leading to the injury of their son. In the case D.C. v. Landry Parish School Board (2001), a 12
year old seventh grade girl was told that her skirt was too short and that she was violating dress
code. The student had no means to get a change of clothes so the school official in the office told
her to sign herself out so that she could go home and change. On her way home, a man sexually
molested her. The court sided with the defendant in this case stating that there was a breach of
duty, and the school failed to exercise reasonable care. The schools policy requires contact with
the childs parent or the child will remain on school grounds until contact is made. The school
became negligent in this case by not following procedure and if they had, it can be assumed that
no injury would have come to this young girl. D.C. v. Landry Parish School Board (2001)
sufficiently backs up a liability case for Ray Knights parents. The school did not follow
procedure by simply sending a note home with the student. If the school had called the parents
and sent a notification by mail of Rays suspension, it can be assumed that he would not have
been allowed to leave the house to go over to his friends house, where he was accidentally shot.

Artifact #3 Tort and Liability

The breach of duty in this case, under D.C. v. Landry Parish School Board (2001), was that the
school failed to follow through with the proper procedures for a suspension, school policy was
not followed, and the school did not uphold their standard of care duty to Ray Knight, therefore
liability charges should be pursued in this case.
Greider v. Shawnee Mission Unified School District (1989) will be the second case
presented in favor of Ray Knights parents to lawfully pursue liability charges against school
officials. In this case Greider v. Shawnee Mission Unified School District (1989), an 8th grade
student named Alexander Grieder, who was also behaviorally disturbed and classified as
handicapped, was placed into a woodworking class where he severely injured his hand with a
table saw. The teacher of the woodworking class claims to have never been notified that Greider
was a special needs student and that he never received an Individual Education Plan for him.
This type of notification is required not only by school policy, but by law. The injury might not
have occurred if the teacher was aware of the students special needs. Greiders father filed suit
claiming that the school district and the teacher were negligent on several counts, including
failing to properly notify the teacher of Greiders special needs. This case serves as an example
of a significant breach of duty in the case of Ray Knight. The middle school that Knight attended
had a duty to protect him from unreasonable risks. Their duty was breached when they failed to
properly notify his parents of his suspension as cited in Greider v. Shawnee (1989). The
causation element for Ray Knights case is not one hundred percent because the school did not
directly cause the injury, but there is a case for comparative negligence because Knights parents
were not properly notified and school policy was not followed. Therefore, because there was an
actual injury that could have been prevented, the school could be held partially responsible
because their act contributed to the injury. So under Greider v. Shawnee Mission Unified School

Artifact #3 Tort and Liability

District (1989), Ray Knights parents have sufficient grounds to pursue liability charges against
the school for the injury of their son.
Glaser v. Emporia Unified School District (2001) will be the first case presented to argue
that Ray Knights parents do not have grounds to pursue liability charges against the school in
this case. In the case Glaser v. Emporia Unified School District (2001), a seventh grader named
Todd Glaser was injured when he ran off of school grounds while he was being chased by
another student into a public street, and he ran into a car. The case with the driver of the car was
settled outside of court and not included in this case. Glaser had been on school grounds
unsupervised before school started. The school district of Emporia has a policy where the
district does not exercise supervision before school until a student is in the building (Glaser v.
Emporia, 2001). Since Glaser was on school grounds before school began, and ran into a public
street, the school itself and its employees had no duty to supervise him, therefore the court found
in favor of the defendant, the Emporia School District. In regards to Ray Knights case, Glaser v.
Emporia (2001) serves to back up the fact that Knights parents have no grounds to pursue
liability charges against the school. Even though the school did not give Knights parents proper
notice of his suspension, he was injured on someone elses property other than the schools. Even
though Ray knight was injured, the school could not have foreseen that he would have been shot
at his friends house. The school had no duty to exercise supervision once Knight left the school
grounds, so liability charges should not be pursued in this case.
The case Honeycutt v. City of Wichita (1990) will be the second case in argument against
Ray Knights parents pursuing liability charges against the school for the injury of their son. In
Honeycutt v. City of Wichita (1990), a 6 year old boy named Jeremy Honeycutt had his legs
severed by a train as he walked home from school. Honeycutts family, teachers, and the school

Artifact #3 Tort and Liability

safety patrol had warned him to stay away from trains. It appears that the issue at hand in this
motion is whether Jeremy Honeycutts actions made him comparatively negligent and the court
granted the motion for partial summary judgment. The Illinois rule states that a child under
seven is not capable of negligence as a matter of law (Honeycutt v. Wichita, 1990). This rule
also states that a child under the age of 7 is not capable of contributory negligence. In regards to
Ray Knights case, he is a middle school student, whose age range could be anywhere from 1115. In a piece from the Law of Torts, stated in Honeycutt v. Wichita (1990), it states that from the
age of fourteen on up, the child is presumed capable of negligence. For this particular
comparison, Ray Knight is presumably at least 14 years old and capable of contributory
negligence. Contributory negligence is defined as being negligent and causing any part of his
own damages which means there would be no recovery (Underwood & Webb, 2006). The fact
that Ray Knight threw away his notice of suspension and did not tell his parents means that he
was partially at fault or guilty of contributory negligence. If he had done the right thing, the
accidental shooting might never had occurred. Because of this negligence, Ray Knights parents
should have no grounds to pursue liability charges against the school in this case.
My decision in the case is in favor of Ray Knight, and that his parents do have grounds
to pursue liability charges under the cases D.C. v. Landry Parish School Board (2001) and
Greider v. Shawnee Mission Unified School District (1989). The middle school that Ray Knight
attended, failed to properly follow school policy and procedure, and Knight was subsequently
injured. Under D.C. v. Landry Parish School Board (2001), the school failed to follow through
with the proper procedures for a suspension, school policy was not followed, and the school did
not uphold their standard of care duty to Ray Knight, therefore liability charges should be
pursued in this case. Under Greider v. Shawnee Mission Unified School District (1989), Knights

Artifact #3 Tort and Liability

school breached their duty to protect him from unreasonable risks. The school should be charged
with comparative negligence and held partially responsible because their act contributed to the
injury. An injury that could have been prevented if Knights school had properly notified his
parents, and school policy and procedures had been followed.

Artifact #3 Tort and Liability

References

D.C. v. ST. LANDRY PARISH SCHOOL BD., 802 So.2d 19 (2001). (n.d.). Retrieved October
8, 2014.
http://www.leagle.com/decision/2001821802So2d19_1819.xml/D.C.%20v.%20ST.
%20LANDRY%20PARISH%20SCHOOL%20BD.

GLASER GLASER v. EMPORIA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT NO 253 EPP 253(2001). (n.d.).
Retrieved October 8, 2014.
http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ks-supreme-court/1364854.html

GREIDER v. SHAWNEE MISSION UNIFIED SCHOOL D. 512.(1989) (n.d.). Retrieved October 11,
2014.
http://www.leagle.com/decision/19891006710FSupp296_1951.xml/GREIDER%20v.%20SHAWNEE
%20MISSION%20UNIFIED%20SCHOOL%20D.%20512

HONEYCUTT v. CITY OF WICHITA (1990) ,796 P .2d 549. (n.d.). Retrieved October 8, 2014.
http://www.leagle.com/decision/1990497247Kan250_1475.xml/HONEYCUTT%20v.%20CITY%20OF
%20WICHITA

Underwood, J., & Webb, L. (2006). Teachers' Rights. In School Law for Teachers. Upper Saddle
River: Pearson Education.