Immunity Granted For Alleged Assault on Teen
SAN DIEGO (CN) - A San Diego-area high school and its officials are not liable for claims that a campus security guard slammed a 15-year-old girl to the ground, placed a white hood over her head, and left her with a bloody face and broken collarbone, a federal judge has ruled.
Last year, plaintiff Tasia R and her mother Stacy Ready sued Grossmont Union High School District, City of El Cajon, campus police officer Leroy Jason Becker, school principal Randy Reid, assistant principal Jenee Littrell and school employee Pat Keeley in a federal lawsuit for excessive force, battery, failure to intervene and other counts.
Grossmont High school is located in El Cajon in San Diego's east county.
In her lawsuit, Tasia claimed that on March 2, 2013 she was taken to the principal's office after officials ran a drug dog through the school. Though her filing does not make clear whether or not she was implicated after the search, she claims that Littrell took her to the principal's office, where she was confronted by the 240-pound Becker. Tasia notes that she was hundred pounds lighter than the officer.
When Tasia refused Becker's order to take a seat, and a "verbal exchange ensued," the campus security guard handcuffed Tasia's hands behind her back, and took her to a different office in the school, she claims. After another "acrimonious exchange," Becker "grabbed" the girl and "slammed her to the ground," she alleged in her Dec. 3 lawsuit.
"When defendant Becker slammed her to the ground, Tasia immediately felt an intense pain around her neck and face and began screaming that she was hurt. However, defendant Becker continued to keep his weight on her back and refused to let her up," her 15-page lawsuit says.
Tasia claims that a school nurse heard her screams, entered the room and determined that Tasia needed medical attention. Though school principal Randy Reid was in the room he did nothing to stop Becker, she alleged.
"After defendant Becker finally brought Tasia to her feet, he placed a white hood over her head," the lawsuit adds.
Tasia says that she was not allowed to call her mother before or immediately after the incident. She claims, however, that Becker phoned her mom and told her that Tasia had "gotten into trouble" but failed to mention that she was hurt and was being taken to hospital. When paramedics arrived at the campus, Tasia allegedly had a "a swollen and blooded face, carpet burns on her arms, and a broken clavicle bone."
This week, U.S. District Judge William Hayes granted the school district and its officials' motion to dismiss. Becker and the City of El Cajon were not part of the defendants' motion.
In the July 28 order, Judge Hayes found the defendants are entitled to immunity from Tasia's claims under the 11th Amendment of the Californian Constitution.
Also finding that Tasia had failed to make clear that Reid, Littrell and Keely had a "duty under federal law to supervise and control Becker's conduct," Judge Hayes threw out the student's civil rights claim under California's Bane Act.
"The complaint fails to allege facts to show that Reid, Littrell and/or Keeley engaged in 'threats, intimidation, or coercion' or interfered with Tasia's constitutional rights in a 'deliberate or spiteful' manner," wrote the judge, citing the Bane Act and other case law.Tasia's negligence against the school and official also failed.
Hayes gave Tasia 30 days to file a motion to submit a first amended complaint.