PLAINTIFFS' TRIAL BRIEF/JURY INSTRUCTIONS
filed with the SUPERIOR COURT, FRANKLIN COUNTY, WASHINGTON
Jan. 22nd 2003
HIGH, Plaintiffs, vs.
PASCO SCHOOL DISTRICT, Defendants.
TRIAL ISSUES # 2
Was the District negligent in
its supervision of Andrew S. and the location of the beating on May 6,
(From: PLAINTIFFS' PROPOSED JURY INSTRUCTION NO. 4
Plaintiffs contend defendant Pasco School
District No. 1 knew or should have known that Andrew S. presented an unreasonable
risk of harm to other students, including Jared High; that it was negligent
in its handling of the discipline and discipline records of Andrew S. during
his elementary and middle school enrollment; that it was negligent in failing
to identify Andrew S. as a focus of concern for alternative placement and
special education services for a behavioral disability during his elementary
and middle school enrollment; that it was negligent in its supervision
of students at the time and place of the attack on Jared High; and
that it was negligent in the handling of the discipline of Andrew S. and
Jared High on and after May 8, 1998, in that the school's investigation
of the incident was negligently performed, Jared High should not have been
punished and his record should have been cleared and corrected when it
became apparent that Andrew S. assaulted Jared High.
Pasco School District denies these contentions, contends
that the altercation between Jared High and Andrew S. was a mutually engaged
fight and denies that it was negligent.
Plaintiffs contend that Andrew S. intentionally assaulted
Jared High. Andrew S. denies that contention.
Plaintiffs contend that Collette S. and J. H. negligently
supervised Andrew S. Collette S. and J. H. deny that contention.
(From: PLAINTIFFS' PROPOSED JURY INSTRUCTION NO. 7)
In the supervision of the pupils within its
custody, the defendant school district must exercise such care as an ordinary,
reasonable and prudent person would under the same circumstances.
This duty of supervision requires the defendant to exercise that degree
of care to protect its pupils from the reasonably foreseeable harmful actions
of a fellow student.
A harmful action of a fellow student is reasonably foreseeable
if the defendant school district knew or should have known of the general
risk of harm presented by that student. It is not necessary the the
sequence of events or the particular resultant occurrence be foreseeable.
It is only necessary that the resultant harm fall within the general field
of danger which the defendant should reasonably have anticipated.
Where the aggressive nature of a child is known to school
authorities, proper supervision requires the taking of reasonable specific,
appropriate procedures for the protection of other children from the potential
for harm caused by such child's behavior.
A statute provides that within each school the school
principal shall determine that appropriate student discipline is established
and enforced. A Pasco School District administrative rule requires school
staff to enforce the rules of student conduct fairly and consistently,
and to maintain good order in the classroom, in the hallways and on the
playgrounds. A Pasco School District administrative rule requires
that discipline be:
a. Consistent from day to day
and student to student
A Pasco School District administrative rule requires that,
prior to imposition of a corrective action or punishment upon a special
education student, the school principal and special education staff who
have knowledge of the student's handicapping condition will determine
if there is a causal relationship between the handicapping condition and
the misconduct giving rise to the corrective action or punishment.
A Pasco School District administrative rule also provides that as a general
rule, no student shall be suspended for a short or long term unless other
forms of corrective action or punishment reasonably calculated to modify
his or her behavior have previously been imposed upon the student as a
consequence of misconduct of the same nature.
b. Balanced against the severity of
c. Appropriate to the student's nature
and prior behavior.
d. Fair to the student, parent(s) and
A statute provides that a principal shall consider imposing
long-term suspension or expulsion as a sanction when deciding the appropriate
disciplinary action for a student who, after July 27, 1997, engages in
two or more of the following acts within a three-year period:
a. Disrupts normal classroom
A McLoughlin Middle School administrative rule states:
b. Abuses or insults a teacher anywhere
on the school premises while
such teacher is
carrying out his or her official duties.
c. Willfully disobeys a teacher.
d. Uses abusive or foul language directed
at a school district employee or another students.
e. Violates school rules.
f. Interferes with an orderly education
Repeated violation of different school rules.
Generally, several assignments to in-school suspension will result in an
out-of-school suspension and several suspensions will result in a recommendation
to the superintendent for expulsion. If an incident involves more
than one violation, the accumulated discipline may be combined.
A Pasco School District administrative rules student's records
to contain such information as will enable school district personnel to
counsel with students and plan appropriate activities and dated and signed
reports pertaining to specific problems associated with the student.
That rule also requires that, when a student transfer to another school
in the district, such information and reports shall be transmitted to the
Short term out of school suspension
Long term out of school suspension
Long term out of school suspension/
recommend to Superintendent for expulsion.
The violation, if any, of a statute or administrative
rule is not necessarily negligence, but may be considered by you as evidence
in determining negligence.
J.N. v. Bellingham School District No. 501, 74
Wash.App. 49, 56-58, 871 P.2d 1106 (1994). [and cases cited therein]
Swartley v. Seattle School District No. 1 70 Wash.2d
17, 22-23, 421 P.2d 1009 (1966).
Restatement (Second) of Torts, 867 320 (1965)
Administrator's Discipline Handbook, effective September,
1995, pp.3, 5,.
PSD Policies and Procedures, #3300 and #3300P; #3310,
#3600 (1/82), #3600P (5/88)
RCW 28A.600.020 (5); RCW 28A.600.460 (1); RCW 28A635.010
RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED this 22nd day of January, 2003.
By: Jay E. Leipham, WSBA # 4961
(Attorney for Brenda High)