University's Duty of Care in Tortious Litigation Term Paper

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¶ … university's duty of care in Tortious Litigation

Duty of Care in Tortious Litigation

According to the Department Justice of Bureau Statistics report in Legal Series Bulletin #2, 2002: "In 1996 10 out of every 1,000 students age 12 through 18, or a total of 255,000 children were victims of serious violent crimes at school or as they traveled to and from it. U.S. schools reported 4,000 rapes or other sexual offense during the 1996-97 school year. 11,000 physical attacks and fights involving the use of weapons and robberies totaling 7,000. (Heaviside, Rowand, Williams, et al. 1998) Congressional legislation established National Education Goals in 1994 for public school throughout the U.S. The establishment of collecting of information for the purpose of producing statistical information is required of all public schools that are recipients of federal funding. Duty of care is a large order for universities in today's environment complete with terrorism, hate and rage. While it is true that all the violence is a problem, there still exist the simple tort law violations and the resulting suits filed in court in relation to injury received on school grounds and university campuses.

Duty of Care in Tortious Litigation

Objective

The purpose of this work in writing is to research and examine a University's "duty of care" in Tortious Litigation and will include information about students' personal accountability as well.

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Term Paper on University's Duty of Care in Tortious Litigation Assignment

Duty of Care refers to the responsibility of the college to ensure the safety and well being of the student physically, mentally and emotionally while on the campus of the university either in class, at work, at play and in the student's dorm room. The student has certain responsibilities concerning their own behavior and adherence to rules as well. During the late 1600's American colleges began the practice of applying rules toward the ends of governing students. At that time security was the task of college presidents, faculty, and janitors. By the mid-1800s some colleges attempted to involve students in discipline and security on campus. Finally in the year of 1894 the first campus-policing program was established as a crime deterrent and as a security feature for the protection of students on Yale University's campus.

The event that compelled college universities to maintain security on campuses was the Kent State University event on April 20, 1970, when students gathered for a protest resulted in the ROTC building being burned to the ground. The fire department arrived and the students took the fire hoses forcefully from the firemen. By noon the National Guard ordered the students to break up the gathering and the students responded by throwing objects at the guard. A guardsman, believing he had heard sniper fire began shooting his M1.30-06 into the group and other guardsmen began firing as well. The country was thrown into a hot outrage over the student's deaths. In the year of 1990 and effective on September 1, 1991, came into effect under the "Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act" under the General Education Provision Act [20 USC 1092b. This Act requires that post-secondary colleges and universities to preparation annual reports on security policies for the campus and to publish and distribute the reports as well however, only schools receiving federal funding are under this requirement. The reports are to include the procedures for crime reporting as well as emergencies in connection to events on campus and the living quarters of students.

I. Background of Violence and Crimes on University and School Campuses

According to the Department Justice of Bureau Statistics report in Legal Series Bulletin #2, 2002: "In 1996 10 out of every 1,000 students age 12 through 18, or a total of 255,000 children were victims of serious violent crimes at school or as they traveled to and from it. U.S. schools reported 4,000 rapes or other sexual offense during the 1996-97 school year. 11,000 physical attacks and fights involving the use of weapons and robberies totaling 7,000. (Heaviside, Rowand, Williams, et al. 1998) Congressional legislation established National Education Goals in 1994 for public school throughout the U.S. The establishment of collecting of information for the purpose of producing statistical information is required of all public schools that are recipients of federal funding. It is stated in the "Annual Report on School Safety: 1998 from the U.S. Department of Justice and Education that "about half of the states collect some type of school crime statistics." In some states such as Florida, the school enters into a formal agreement with the Sheriff to report felonies and violent misdemeanors to law enforcement. Fla Stat. 230.235 (2000).

According to the "Annual Report on School Safety, 1998, the three states of Florida, Delaware and South Carolina have maintained superior quality in their collection and reporting of statistical data in relation to school crime. The following factors in the three states systems are as follows:

comprehensive list of incidents;

Clear definitions of incidents;

Data used by multiple levels of the education system (state, district, and school)

Accurate tracking of data (creation of a standardized approach to reporting school crimes as well as establishing a system for monitoring of the report process); and Training for staff on entry of data and use of data.

II. Youth Violence: Implications for Schools - Universities

According to the Surgeon General:

Youth violence is a high-visibility, high-priority concern in every sector of U.s. society. No community, whether affluent or poor, urban or suburban, or rural, is immune from its devastating effects." (Surgeon General Executive Summary, 1999)

The surgeon General stated that from 1983 to 1993 there was practically an "epidemic" of violence, with behavior that was often lethal in nature in this country that forced young people in the millions as well as their families to deal with injury, disability, and even death. (Cook & Laub, 1998) Findings in the study conducted by the Surgeon General are as follows:

The decade from 1983 to 1993 was marked by an epidemic of increasingly lethal violence associated with a rise in firearms use involving primarily African-American males.

Since 1944, a decline in homicide arrests has reflected primarily the decline in use of firearms.

By 1999, arrest rates for violent crimes with the exception of aggravated assault had fallen below 1983 levels. Arrest rates for aggravated assault remain almost 70% higher than they were in 1983, and this is the offense most frequently captured in self-reports of violence.

Despite the present decline in gun use and in lethal violence, the self-reported proportion of young people involved in nonfatal violence has not dropped from the peak of the epidemic.

The proportion of schools in which gangs are present continued to increase after 1994 and has only recently (1999) declined.

Although arrest statistics cannot readily track firearm use in specific serious crimes other than homicide, firearm use in violent crimes declined among persons of all ages between 1993 and 1997.

The rise and fall in arrest rates over the past two decades has been matched by similar less dramatic changes in some other indicators of violence.

Young men, particularly those from minority groups are disproportionately arrested for violent crimes. Self-reports indicate that differences between minority and majority populations and between young men and young women may not be as disproportionate as is held.

Schools nationwide are relatively safe. Compared to homes and communities schools have fewer homicides and nonfatal injuries. (Report of the Surgeon General, 1999).

III. Review of Statistical Data

The following chart labeled Chart 2.0 illustrates the percentage of students in grades 9-12 who reported carrying a weapon on one or more of the past 30 days 1993-1997. The U.S. total for this period was 23% affirmative in 1993, 20% affirmative in 1995, and 18% affirmative in 1997 as to having carried a gun to school on at least one occasion in the past thirty days preceding the survey.

Chart 1.0

Percentage of students in grades 9-12 who reported carrying a weapon on one or more of the past 30 days 1993-1997]

State 1993 1995 1997

Alabama 27% 27% 26%

Maine 15% 15% 14%

Massachusetts 26% 23% 22%

Nevada 24% 22% 23%

South Carolina 28% 27% 25%

South Dakota 21% 22% 20%

Utah 22% 20% 21%

Of students surveyed that had reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property one or more times in the past 12 months prior to the survey revealed a U.S. total as shown in the following chart labeled Chart 2.0.

Chart 2.0

U.S. Total

The U.S. Department of Justice has undertaken a redesign of the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, which is called the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). This system collects data on incidents of criminal offenses reported to police and arrest and categorizes the information into 22 categories of crime including information about the victims, the victim's gender, types of incidents, and other information concerning the location of occurrence 2,100 jurisdictions have implemented NIBRS in the 13 states of Colorado, Idaho, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin. (Annual… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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