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School Districts Aren’t Immune in Assault Case

(CN) - A parent can sue two school districts for failure to protect a student from being sexually assaulted, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled.

J.W. sued the Bloomington Public School District 271 and Intermediate District 287 after his son, B.R.W., was assaulted on the school bus by a student who had a history of sexually inappropriate behavior.

The trial court dismissed the case against the school districts, allowing only a negligence case against the bus driver to move forward.

The perpetrator, C.R. was diagnosed with emotional behavioral disorder. There were instructions for C.R. to be seated by himself in the front seat. School officials has information about C.R.'s past sexually inappropriate behavior but did not disclose it on the bus seating instructions.

That decision is protected by statutory immunity, Connolly wrote, but "the failure to follow the instruction 'Sit in Front Seat Alone' is not protected by official immunity. It cannot be argued ... that the bus driver and bus aides were performing anything other than a ministerial task."

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