David Law, Principal, Davis discussed on Brian Kilmeade
What we understand something on Instagram or a poll where people were discussing or some students came up with the idea to name the student most likely to be a school shooter. My clients student was named that rumors circulated snowballed, in fact in the last few moments. I got a copy of an open records request that showed tennis. Terrence emailing the school based on complete falsehood circulated on social media started by some students resulted in the child being searched at schools has locked her as backpack. And then someone overheard a comment that he made that they interpreted as a threat and the school district ended up sentencing him to fifteen weeks in disciplinary alternative school. And from our perspective took no action in response to the bullying that was consistent with this news David's law. So we have filed a private lawsuit. Against the students, and their parents seeking an injunction and damages to make sure the stops and doesn't happen again. How many students in how many parents are named in this lawsuit? Well, right now, it's Jane Doe, and John Doe because the district has sent out some emails saying that they know who the students that started the rumors were that they have supposedly disciplined to students, but they have refused to name them. So far what filing a lawsuit does is it gives us the authority to subpoena the records. So we will find out who the student or students were in short order. And then that the lawsuit will be amended to reflect the the names of the parents and students, and if you win what do you want? Well, technically, the lawsuit has where seeking a permanent injunction against the students and their parents, preventing them from engaging in any of this behavior permitting, their children to engage in this behavior in the future, and this has caused a substantial disruption. We still technically for damages of fifty thousand dollars. But I'll tell you my client has not concerned about money. He's more concerned that the district actually do the right thing that, you know, this is a learning experience, and that's one the behavior stops into that. They don't turn the victim. And they don't punish the victim for something. That was started free from any responsibility on his part. What is this specific behavior? That's occurring right now that you want stopped. Well, there is no. So today there is no known continued rumors going on. But there is I mean, all we have is a principal school staff. Saying don't do it again. My client has a comfortable that that's serious enough. And then eventually through the district grievance process. The school district had its mind made up and was looking for somebody in my opinion to to place blame they had an excuse to the I'll tell you. The process that we went through the disciplinary process was such a sham and was so ignorant and clueless. As to David's law and the responsibilities that it imposes on people. Now, it's one thing to get along the books. It's another thing actually get it followed and for people to know about what they're obliga- shins. Are that's the main goal here. Well, if I'm looking at this, right? The lawsuit hasn't named the school district as a defendant. Why would you not name them at? That's really where you want to get the change made. So there there's a requirement that. You have to exhaust the administrative remedies before you can go after I got my mental entities. So there's an internal grievance process. I think with four levels we have the level one conference on Thursday that we have to do that before we can file suit against the district. Hopefully, it doesn't get to that point. Hopefully as this moves up the chain and eventually to the school board. You know, cooler heads, prevail. And they recognize that change needs to happen. But we have to go through that process in the immediate in the immediate timeframe, we can go ahead and file suit right now against the the students and their parents. So if it does go up the chain and the school boards able to as you said cooler heads, prevail. There do you continue on with a lawsuit against the parents. And the bullies certainly cancelled if the dish the to sort of independent because of action against the bullies and their parents are one thing, and then how the district responded, and whether that was appropriate or not is another thing. So we would much prefer to have a global. Resolution to this that doesn't include parents suing students or students doing parents at the same school. Yeah. That's that's not the preference here. But somewhere along the line people need to step up and realize what has happened take responsibility and make the appropriate changes. If we can get all that without soon ten times the Tuesday, then great. That's definitely the route won't go. If not then we'll have to take to a courtroom. If you're just joining us on the market, Melinda show on NewsRadio KLBJ Teno nine and we're talking with San Antonio attorney Justin nickels. He is filing. The first lawsuit of its kind in Texas under a new state law that allows for lawsuits against school bullies and their parents. And Mr. Nichols is is your client. The boy is he a middle school student. He is he's a fourteen year old eighth grade student and his last semester of middle school is he still at the same school where you say the bullying went on. No does the school district. Sentenced him then removed him from the school and send them to disciplinary alternative school at that point, my clients, withdrawn from the district, and are are home schooling him until this can be resolved. How long did the bullying go on? Unfortunately, this all happened in the course of a week. There were some other incidents earlier in the school year. But we don't believe they were directly connected to this one. But this as things do on social media. It started kind of as a joke in snowballed into this viral disaster, and it really affected the school and and not the school. But most importantly this kid. He was labeled a school shooter. Probably the worst thing you can be labeled at a school these days and. It all snowballed in the course of a week and within that time he lost his chance to look forward to high school this fall. I mean, a really his world was turned upside down very quickly. Sometimes bulleting is a single incident. David law, doesn't require it to be continuous. And last first particular link of time the impact is more the the inquiry that defines bullying, and so it wasn't a long time. But it was a big incident. How much well his I know you stated earlier that your your client the boy joked around with the friends kind. I'm sure he felt like okay. I'm just going to joke around with them. It's easier joke around with them, then to take it serious and was overheard. How much does that play into your case? Well, you know, one I think that when everyone's poking fun at you and teasing you that you're allegedly gonna joked to shoot up the school and a comment that he said. Was from a from a video game about a character who always has these ridiculous plans, and he never does them. Because they always says, I just need the money. I need a plan or some, you know, some it's always spoiled, and you know, I think that was a defensive measure self defense doesn't necessarily have to be physical saying something or joking along as a coping mechanism to deflect. We think was a defensive measure and David explicitly prohibits a school district from punishing kid who was acting in response and defensive bowling than we think the school district violated that portion or are you indicating that there was actual in-person person to person bullying at the school and online social media bullying of this fourteen year old absolutely. So it started online and it quickly transitioned into. It started in the course of twenty four hours. It went from who's most likely to be a school bully too. We think this kid has a specific plan to shoot up the school tomorrow. It was a tragic. I mean, it's almost like a tragic game of telephone. If you remember that old game, but ballooned into nothing into something very specific and hurtful, and it absolutely transitioned into in-person contact in question and Austria's -ation of the of the child in his school. And you're saying that the parents of the alleged bullies in this instant, they're also culpable because they were doing what they were sharing the student's name and social media what what was their transgression here. So they're not they may not necessarily be liable for the defamation. That's their own kids behavior, but Davis law if when you when it authorizes an injunction, if the child is a minor the Davis law provides that the injunction goes against the. Parents to require them to take steps to prevent their kid from engaging in bullying behavior. So. We don't necessarily have to allege that they committed an individual transgression mom or dad actually bullied the kid. Well, we can say as legally you're responsible for your students. They're engaging in this. So your brought in were seeking a quarter requiring you to get your kid under control. And what does that look like them getting their kids under control? So this part since it's separate from the school district in the failing on their part to go with their policy, and you're just looking at the bullies themselves, and the parents what does that mean for them? What what is a good result for you guys in consideration of them. Well, I mean, we're Davis laws a little vague on it. It says the court can order them to take reasonable steps to prevent the bullying doesn't define what reasonable steps are. And I'll tell you. I'm not a slow bowling expert per se. And so I I would assume that it would have some partic-, you know, some requirement to review their social media posts or limit their access to posting. Social media require them to instruct their kids to do or not do certain things. I I don't know just yet. What exactly that looks like other than the law rises the court to require reasonable steps? That certainly won't ultimately be up to me. But from our perspective, they need to do whatever it takes that. These kids aren't doing this to our guy our student or anyone else. How would you respond to a parent at that school who would say, wait a minute the school looked into this? They concluded that there was punishment. That was needed. They gave him fifteen weeks of punishment. It sounds like we were not out of line in expressing our concern. He was talking about shooting up the school. We didn't do anything wrong. The school found your client was the one who was in the wrong here. How would you respond to that? Well, I think that I think the timeline is the most important part that there was no allegation and Mike in the student was not found responsible for saying anything until days after these rumors started. So there was no it wasn't. It's kind of a situation of the cart before the horse. He did not say anything until these rumors have proliferated from online to in campus for for several days two days. I think his comments that he's that. He said was. Certainly I think if I had it to do over again, I wouldn't told him just to kept his mouth shut nothing anything at all. But I think given the fact that the school gates from no resources, no instruction. No anything they search backpack and sent him on his way, that's not what they would laws required. And where so from our perspective or saying, this was a situation that this kid found himself in that he would not have been in had the false. Rumors and lies been started. And have the district responded appropriately the district is required to take remedial actions to prevent or or quell the bullying, and I do I my understanding is, and we don't know the identity, but kind of from minder standing is at least one other student was disciplined because the school principal sent out a an Email saying that we've found the people who started these rumors, and they have been disciplined accordingly or something to that effect. So if someone were to ask that question that you posed I would say look the purpose of David's law as to prevent situations where you're you're leaving a kid on his own out in the open to figure out what the best way is to cope with something. Like this the school? District is supposed to take proactive steps. So that a kid and find himself in that position. So did this did the school know about the the poll in the online rumor prior to hearing that your client said something about it? Absolutely. So the polio thinks started on a Tuesday at manifesto on a Wednesday, an assistant principal contacted the student on Wednesday and asked him about it. That's when he found out that it existed. And then of course, the rumor spread from there. So the school knew that this was going on then Wednesday, they send an Email out to the parents. We know y'all heard rumors of weapons and all these kinds of things, and we found them not to be credible. The next day on Thursday. Then they bring the students back into the office. They search us locker searches backpack and send them back to regular class. It wasn't until Thursday afternoon that the comment in question was set. So the school new a lot of information about this before. For the students said anything that could have been interpreted incorrectly..