Last year Mentor schools landed in the headlines after a wave of student suicides. Parents alleged the deaths were precipitated by school hall bullying, and a few filed suit to hold the district accountable. Yesterday a Federal judge dismissed the lawsuit filed by the parents of one dead teen, ruling the district is not responsible for the actions of asshole kids.
According to the News-Herald, U.S. District Court Judge Donald C. Nugent tossed the suit with the following legal logic: “[A]lthough it is certainly reasonable for parents to expect that the school will do its best to protect their children while they are under the school’s supervision, the law does not elevate this expectation to a constitutional guarantee.”
We’re guessing a lot of parents might get a strange paranoid pang in the gut after reading that sentence. In less clinical humanspeak, it means the schools can’t shoulder the blame for what a third party does, either the bullies or Mohat to himself. The suit originally alleged Mohat’s right to safety had been violated when the school didn’t stop bullies from repeatedly descending on the student in math class.
Although the ruling ends the lawsuit’s run in Federal court, the family could refile in state court. A similar case against the Mentor district filed by the family of Sladjana Vidovic is still working through the court.