Monday, June 01, 2009

School wins lawsuit regarding boy's suicide

This vice principal was focused on discipline, and didn't notice (or didn't care about?) the fragile emotional state of the student with whom he was angry.

This page has a link to the full June 1, 2009 decision.

Corales v. Bennett, US 9th Circuit Court

On March 28, 2006, Anthony Soltero, Annette Prieto, and
two other students walked out of De Anza Middle School
with the intent to participate in protests in their neighborhood
against then-pending immigration reform measures.

Two days later, they were disciplined for their one-day absence from
school by Vice Principal Gene Bennett (Bennett), who took
away one of their year-end activities and lectured them
harshly regarding the possible legal consequences of truancy,
including police involvement, a $250 fine, and a juvenile hall

Tragically, Anthony committed suicide after school that day.

Anthony’s parents and one of the other students
brought this action against Bennett, Principal Kathleen Kinley
(Kinley), and the Ontario-Montclair School District, alleging
violations of the students’ and parents’ civil rights under 42
U.S.C. § 1983; violations of California’s Unruh Act; intentional
infliction of emotional distress, and negligently causing
Anthony’s suicide.

The district court granted summary judgment
to Defendants. Because Bennett did not violate the students’
constitutional rights, there is no evidence that Bennett
intended to harm the students, and because Anthony’s death
was not proximately caused by Bennett’s actions, we affirm...

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