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Are Massachusetts Schools Doing Enough to Prevent Student Violence?

In recent years, student incited violence has made national headlines as injuries and deaths have resulted. From the Columbine High School massacre in 1999 to the suicide of Phoebe Prince, the South Hadley High School girl who was bullied online in 2010, the country has been a witness to how youth violence can lead to adult consequences. With schools now more than aware of what can happen, are they doing enough to protect their students?

Recently, Just North of Boston, 29 Lynn English High School students were suspended after videos of two girls brawling were posted online. Dozens of kids surrounded them, cheering the brawlers, while others used their cell phone cameras to record the fight. Criminal charges will likely be filed against the two girls.

Gone are the days when the idea of two girls fighting conjured up only images of hair pulling and shoving, which, our Boston injury lawyers would like to note, can also result in at least one, if not both persons, getting hurt. Just last Friday, a 10-year-old California girl suffered a fatal traumatic brain injury after she and another girl, age 11, fought each other in a nearby alleyway over a boy.

Meantime, the country is also reeling after Monday’s deadly student shooting at an Ohio high school where 17-year-old Lane gunned down high school students who were at a cafeteria table. Three of the victims have died. Two others are recovering from their injuries. Lane has confessed to the shootings. He says he chose his targets at random.

Can schools be held liable when violent crimes happen under their watch? Depending on the specifics of what happened, the answer can be yes. For example, Prince’s family settled their Hampshire County, Massachusetts wrongful death lawsuit with the South Hadley Public School District.

Mass. high school girls fight on tape, dozens suspended, charges loom, CBS News, February 28, 2012
Girl who died after school fight was bleeding inside skull, Los Angeles Times, February 28, 2012

Ohio Shooting Suspect Confesses, Prosecutor Says, The New York Times, February 29, 2012


More Blog Posts:

Hampshire County, Massachusetts Lawsuit in Phoebe Prince’s Bullying Settled for $225K, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, December 31, 2011

Andover High School Confirms Hazing Allegations, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, November 30, 2011

Three Teens Injured in Canton Group Home During Brawl, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, June 30, 2011
To find out whether you have grounds for a Massachusetts injuries to a minor case, contact our Boston personal injury law firm. Altman & Altman LLP would like to offer you a free case evaluation.