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, 1998?
(From: PLAINTIFFS' PROPOSED JURY INSTRUCTION NO. 4 & 7)

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
b.    Balanced against the severity of the misconduct.
c.    Appropriate to the student's nature and prior behavior.
d.    Fair to the student, parent(s) and others.
e.    Effective
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.

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 activities.
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 process.
A McLoughlin Middle School administrative rule states:
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.
1st Offense:            Short term out of school suspension
2nd Offense:           Long term out of school suspension
3rd Offense:            Long term out of school suspension/
                               recommend to Superintendent for expulsion.
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 other school.

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)
WPI 12.05
RCW 28A.400.110
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.

RICHTER-WIMBERLEY, P.S.
By: Jay E. Leipham, WSBA # 4961
(Attorney for Brenda High)
 

HEAR JARED'S VOICE - PLAY - From an interview with Pasco School District investigators concerning the assault.  This is a recording of a recording and it isn't real clear, but worth the download effort.  Jared had a real mellow voice.   Note: If you have a slow load wav, wait for it to load entirely and then play again from the start.   5 minutes long

 

TRIAL ISSUES
http://www.jaredstory.com/trial_brief01.html
http://www.jaredstory.com/trial_brief02.html
http://www.jaredstory.com/trial_brief03.html
http://www.jaredstory.com/trial_brief04.html
http://www.jaredstory.com/trial_brief06.html
http://www.jaredstory.com/trial_brief08.html
http://www.jaredstory.com/trial_brief09.html
http://www.jaredstory.com/trial_brief10.html
http://www.jaredstory.com/trial_brief11.html

 

HIGH v. PASCO SCHOOL DISTRICT
The Lawsuit

PLAINTIFFS' TRIAL BRIEF & FACTUAL BACKGROUND

The Complaint for Damages
THE SETTLEMENT
The Rest of the Story
The Assault
Suicide - The Forseeable Consequences of Bullying
Why the Pasco School District wouldn't help Jared

Court Case about Videos on a bus & bullying

 

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