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ARTICLE ID 185492

$________ – NEGLIGENT SECURITY – FAILURE TO USE METAL DETECTORS AT HIGH SCHOOL – SHOOTING DEATH OF 15-YEAR-OLD FEMALE STUDENT.

Broward County, FL

The 15-year-old female decedent apparently rejected the lesbian advances of a 15-year-old friend, who then brought a handgun to school and fatally shot her. The decedent’s parents brought suit against the School Board of Broward County alleging that the school lacked adequate security to prevent the crime. The defendant denied negligence and maintained that the young shooter was determined to shoot the decedent and would have done so regardless of any security measures implemented at the school.

The shooting took place on November 12, ________ while the students were attending classes at the defendant’s Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The shooter, Teah W., fired one shot at the decedent’s chest with a .22 caliber pistol in the hallway of the school. The bullet entered the decedent’s body through her chest and struck her heart. She died at the hospital a short time later.

After the shooting, Teah W. called ________ from a nearby restaurant and admitted that she had just shot her friend at school. Teah W. obtained the pistol from the home of her grandparents, where she resided. The plaintiff settled a claim against Teah W.’s grandparents for their homeowner’s policy limit of $________.

The plaintiff alleged that another student had reported to a teacher that Teah had a gun in school and was threatening to shoot someone. The plaintiff claimed that the teacher failed to report the incident or to otherwise investigate the claim. These claims were based upon sworn affidavits given to police and school officials by the student, stating that he advised a teacher about the gun and the threat, and the teacher told him to go sit back down. The student also testified to the same facts at Teah W.’s second degree murder trial.

The plaintiff alleged that the defendant was negligent in failing to implement security measures to prevent students from bringing guns to school. Evidence showed that metal detecting wands were available at the school and were not used on the day in question. The plaintiff argued that, had the wand been used, the gun which killed the decedent would have been discovered and taken away – thereby preventing the young decedent’s death. The plaintiff claimed that statistics from the school showed more than ________ criminal acts committed at the school in a one-year period, including several crimes involving handguns and knives.

The decedent was an honor roll student and was enrolled in the Arts school as a dancer. The plaintiff contended that the decedent had planned to attend college after her high school graduation.

The defendant contended that it acted reasonably and used the metal detecting wands to scan students only when there was a reason to suspect that the student may be carrying a weapon. The teacher involved denied that he was told that Teah W. had a gun at school. He contended that he certainly would have acted upon the report, if he had known that a gun was on the premises. A school district investigation of the shooting could not confirm the allegations against the teacher. The defense argued that Teah W. had brought the gun to school with the intention of shooting the decedent and that the nature of the crime was such that it was neither foreseeable nor preventable.The case was settled with the defendant school board for a total of $________ prior to trial. The previous $________ settlement from Teah W.’s grandparents increased the plaintiff’s total recovery to $________.

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