A jury in California recently awarded 3.8 million dollars to a school shooting victim. The school district was ordered to pay 54% of that 3.8 million, a jury finding the school 54% negligent.
Could this happen to your school?
The prosecutor argued that the school did not do enough to protect the student from harm. The school was found to have ignored “red flags” which included threats and a very disturbing violent drawing. Six school employees were also found negligent.
In this particular case, the perpetrator’s family also brought suit against the school district, alleging that they did not follow state laws regarding bullying and sexual harassment.
How can we avoid being caught in this type of situation?
I believe it’s imperative to have safety protocols and processes in place, provide safety training for all staff, and adhere to your school’s protocols for both intervening in bullying and harassment and for assessing indicators of violent thoughts and threatening behavior.
Only then, will we be able to show that we have done our due diligence to protect our students from harm. Of course, we cannot always anticipate the actions someone will take, especially when those actions do not follow our own sense of values or logic. But, we must be prepared to take action when there is even the slightest hint of violence or violent ideology.
To further assess your liability quotient when it comes to school safety, check out these critical points. If you find that your staff is in need of training, or your school needs help developing safety protocols, take a look at this.
I wish you a safe and productive school year!