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First Page

E. Supp. 25

Abstract

On June 5, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, sitting en banc, concluded that the Morrow family failed to state a claim against their school district for failing to protect their daughters from harm sustained by a school bully. By dismissing the Morrows’ suit, the Third Circuit failed to hold schools accountable for violence against students under their watch. Worse still, the majority’s holding incentivized inaction by school administrators even though they are uniquely positioned to protect bullied students. Judge Julio M. Fuentes, in his dissent, found that Blackhawk High School had coercive control of their students such that a special relationship, and therefore a duty to protect, existed. The failure of the Third Circuit to adopt this reasoning left students vulnerable to school bullying while shielding schools from liability.

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