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Running head: TORT AND LIABILITY

Tort and Liability – Portfolio #3

Lauren Ritzer

College of Southern Nevada


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TORT AND LIABILITY

In this case we can see an issue between a middle school student, and the school District.

Our student is Ray Knight; he was suspended for three days due to unexcused absences. Parents

are required to know about any suspensions, but Ray’s parents were not aware of the issue

because the one form of notification was thrown out by the student. The first day of suspension,

Ray was accidently shot while visiting a friend’s house. With this case we are going to see if

Ray’s parents have defensible grounds for liability charges against school officials.

In our first case, Robbie L. Johnson V. School District of Mallard (1998), we see that a

Nebraska teacher of an elementary school, had her students learn a new game for music class.

The students to get into a group of three, and lock arms, while they swing to the song “London

Bridge is Falling Down.” The argument is Robbie was thrown across the room and hit a library

case, and the teacher was not there to watch it. The students in the class claim that the teacher, at

this time was facing away from the incident, working on her black board, and could not see how

rough the students were playing. Robbie was awarded money for his injuries, and it was ruled

that the teacher should of payed close attention, especially of the start of a new game to

determine how the student’s behavior was going to present itself.

In our next court case, Rollins V. Concordia Parish School Board (1985). We see the

plaintiff, Lisa Rollins, is a nine-year-old fourth grade student. Unfortunately, the student

fractured her leg when she fell off a merry-go-round during a physical education class on school

grounds. The class consisted of about forty students, the girls were playing on the playground

equipment, and the boys were on the basketball court only fifteen feet away. The substitute
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TORT AND LIABILITY

teacher, Mrs. Green observed that thy were going too fast on the merry-go-round, and told them

to slow down. Soon after, boys on the basketball court were now getting out of hand too. The

teacher attends the fight between the boys, and in the meantime, Lisa fell off the ride and hurt her

leg. On appeal, the defendant School Board contended that "the trial court erred in finding that

the School Board was negligent in failure to provide adequate supervision." The trial judge had

found Rollins guilty of contributory negligence because she was "riding on the inside of the

merry-go-round and apparently trying to get off of the merry-go-round while the machine was in

motion." The appeals court, therefore, affirmed the trial court's judgment against the defendant

school board awarding plaintiff Rollins $5,000 in damages. The award would have been

$10.000, but since it was mostly the students fault for playing that way, they awarded only half

of the amount.

The next two following court cases show us our con opinion. Our first one, L.R V.

Philadelphia School District (2016). Christina Regusters entered W.C. Bryant Elementary

School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where Jane was enrolled as a kindergarten student.1

Regusters proceeded directly to Jane’s classroom, where she encountered Defendant Reginald

Littlejohn, Jane’s teacher. The teacher asked Regusters to produce identification and verification

that student had permission to leave school. Regusters failed to do so. Despite this failure,

teacher allowed Jane to leave his classroom with Regusters. Later that day, Regusters sexually

assaulted Jane off school premises, causing her significant physical and emotional injuries.

Our last case, Anderson V. Independent School District 97 (2003). A school bus driver

was suspended was refusing to undergo a random drug test. Since then, the information was
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TORT AND LIABILITY

made public, and the school bus driver sued for defamation. It turns out, the driver actually did

submit a sample and complete a test, but failed to supply enough urine to complete the test so he

ended up being suspended.

These court cases were all very hard to rule, in my opinion. I know it is hard for teachers

to have an eye on their students all of the time, especially when their usually is only one teacher

to about thirty students at a time. It is hard to see parents and students winning cases because

they are injured at school. Injuries happen all of the time. I understand the teachers and

administration are supposed to protect the students, but sometimes things go wrong, s shown in

these cases, you close your eyes fir one second, and something could have happened. A teacher’s

whole life could change because of this. I understand the parents side of it too, being that the

child is their life, and when anything happens to them, they are wanting to try to defend

everything that happens at a school, or when the parent is not present. I think if a teacher is

wrong, and can absolutely avoid a situation, like the teacher that signed out the kindergarten

student to a stranger, that is a good case, but when things happen that the teachers cannot control,

such as accidental injury, there should be more laws to protect them.


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References

(ROBBIE L. JOHNSON V. SCHOOL DISTRICT OF MALLARD (1998),

(ROLLINS V. CONCORDIA PARISH SCHOOL BOARD (1985).

(L.R V. PHILADELPHIA SCHOOL DISTRICT (2016).

(ANDERSON V. INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT 97 (2003)


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