Safety Law News for August 23, 2017

  • In Tennessee, state prosecutors say the failure of principals, counselors and teachers to report suspected abuse to proper authorities has become an epidemic.  State law mandates any adult with a suspicion or direct knowledge of child abuse must report it immediately to either child services or the police.  Not doing so is a misdemeanor and could mean jail time.
  • The Ohio Court of Appeals ruled that a school could discipline a student for his off-campus speech. The student participated in a message group that posed a threat to the school.  The school’s emergency removal, suspension, and expulsion did not violate the student’s Due Process or First Amendment rights. [N.Z. v. Madison Board of Education]
  • The United States District Court ruled that school officials did not discriminate against a student, neither by race nor religion, by imposing a three-day suspension after he brought to school a homemade contraption containing wires and batteries that made a beeping sound.  [Mohamed for A.M. v. Irving Independent School District]
  • The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that the policy that requires school officials to search unattended book bags is valid. A bus driver found a book bag, gave it to an SRO, who gave it to the school principal. Upon emptying the bag, bullets were discovered.  A subsequent search of the student turned up a handgun. [State v. Polk]