Two South Pasadena High School seniors were arrested in mid-September on charges of planning an on-campus attack against staff and students. The boys had been under heavy surveillance for a week following information supplied by the school district, which had managed to get wind of the planned attack. Police had evidence that the boys were researching weapons and how to assemble them, including research on submachine guns, rifles and other explosives.
The arrest comes on the heels of the arrest of a 15-year-old Santa Clarita Valley high school student who used social media to post death threats against his high school classmates. Police believe those threats were a hoax, as they found no evidence that the boy had purchased any weapons or that he actually intended to follow through on his threats.
Both of these cases illustrate the need for schools and college campuses to have trained security officers on campus who understand how to keep weapons out of the school, and for schools to implement safety plans and lockdown procedures in the event an armed gunman enters the school. It also highlights the importance of school district staff taking all threats of violence seriously and reporting them to the police immediately.
Since July 1, 2000, California law requires that all security guards employed more than 20 hours per week by California school districts that educate students aged kindergarten through high school, as well as all community college districts, to complete a school security guard trainingthrough the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services. The curriculum includes segments on responding to weapons brought on campus, dealing with emergencies and school safety plans.
In the wake of the Newtown school shooting, many California schools revised their traditional lockdown procedures, where staff and students were taught to remain in the locked classroom, instead instructing staff and students to run, hide and, if necessary, fight if an armed gunman enters the school.
Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Claims from School Shootings
If you or your child were injured or killed in a school shooting, you may have a personal injury or wrongful death claim against the school district and the gunman (or his estate if he committed suicide).
Schools have policies in place to protect students from injury. If an armed gunman entered the school, and the school failed to follow proper emergency procedures – or if it had inadequate security procedures in place – they may be liable for the injuries you or your child sustained in the incident. Likewise, if there is evidence that school staff or employees were aware of threats being made against the school but failed to report them, and the student followed through on the threats, the school district could be liable under a negligence theory as well.
Walnut Creek Personal Injury Attorneys
Every day, parents throughout the Bay Area entrust their children to the care of teachers and school staff. School districts have a moral and legal responsibility to keep those children safe. If your child was injured in a school shooting, or any other violent incident that occurred on campus, the school district may be liable for damages. Appel Law Firm LLP can help. Our attorneys have spent a combined 60+ years handling personal injury and wrongful death claims, and have the insight, compassion and experience you need to come a successful resolution of your claim. Contact our Walnut Creek office today at 888-527-0674 to schedule a free consultation. You can also complete our online web form; staff will respond quickly to schedule an appointment.