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School corporation sued by attacked students wins on appeal

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A student who filed a lawsuit against his school corporation after he was assaulted by a fellow student while a teacher was in the hallway lost his negligence case on appeal Thursday. The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of the school.

Richard Prancik was a seventh grader at Oak Hill Junior High School in November 2009 when he was put in a choke hold from behind by student K.M. in a classroom during a passing period. Prancik lost consciousness and injured his face when he fell. The classroom teacher, Rita Nolan, was standing in the hallway during the passing period supervising students as required by school policy. She did not see the incident.

The Court of appeals reviewed several cases addressing the nature and scope of a school’s duty to prevent children from coming to harm while in the school’s custody and care and the quantum of proof necessary to establish a possible breach of that duty. The cases show that courts will not shy away from holding as a matter of law that a school did not breach its duty to reasonably supervise children in their care and control where the facts warrant such a holding. Prancik’s case warrants a ruling in favor of the school corporation.

While Nolan could have positioned herself better to be able to view students in both the classroom and hallway, which may have prevented the attack, such speculation is insufficient to avoid summary judgment, Judge Michael Barnes wrote in Richard Prancik, b/n/f, Renee Prancik v. Oak Hill United School Corporation, 27A05-1302-CT-86.

There’s no evidence K.M. had violent tendencies or of any prior altercations between the two students. Nolan was following school policy and the time that Prancik and K.M. were left unobserved was no more than four minutes.
 

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  1. Im very happy for you, getting ready to go down that dirt road myself, and im praying for the same outcome, because it IS sometimes in the childs best interest to have visitation with grandparents. Thanks for sharing, needed to hear some positive posts for once.

  2. Been there 4 months with 1 paycheck what can i do

  3. our hoa has not communicated any thing that takes place in their "executive meetings" not executive session. They make decisions in these meetings, do not have an agenda, do not notify association memebers and do not keep general meetings minutes. They do not communicate info of any kind to the member, except annual meeting, nobody attends or votes because they think the board is self serving. They keep a deposit fee from club house rental for inspection after someone uses it, there is no inspection I know becausee I rented it, they did not disclose to members that board memebers would be keeping this money, I know it is only 10 dollars but still it is not their money, they hire from within the board for paid positions, no advertising and no request for bids from anyone else, I atteended last annual meeting, went into executive session to elect officers in that session the president brought up the motion to give the secretary a raise of course they all agreed they hired her in, then the minutes stated that a diffeerent board member motioned to give this raise. This board is very clickish and has done things anyway they pleased for over 5 years, what recourse to members have to make changes in the boards conduct

  4. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  5. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

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