School districts that employ school resources officers see more discipline against students, a new bill introduced in Missouri would open businesses up to liability if they do not allow concealed weapons, and a school district is found negligent for failing to provide safe and adequate transport for a student who was struck by a car and killed.
► According to an article in The New York Times, school districts that employ school resource officers have more criminal charges against students. Studies of schools that started using school resource officers in the 1990s have seen “a surge of arrests or misdemeanor charges for essentially nonviolent behavior—including scuffles, truancy, and cursing at teachers—that sends children into the criminal courts.” Advocates of school resource officers say that the problem is not the officers but the lack of training. This theory is borne out by a program in Texas. After schools in Houston began training programs for officers, arrests and ticketing fell by 60 percent. One school within the system, E.L. Furr High School, bucked the trend even further. After hiring police officers who grew up in rough neighborhoods and training them on which behavior to target, the once violent school is peaceful. According to the article, “Discipline is rare and is enforced by a principal’s court with student juries, not summonses to the criminal courts.”
► A new bill introduced in Missouri would open businesses up to liability if they refuse to allow concealed weapons on their property. Under the bill, business owners that refuse to allow concealed weapons would be liable for any injuries or damages if there is a “preponderance of evidence that having access to a firearm may have prevented [the] injury or damage.” Similarly, the bill would provide immunity from liability arising from the decision to allow concealed weapons.
► A jury in Prince George’s County Virginia has found a school district liable, awarding $90 million to the family of a 13-year-old student who died after being struck by a car. The school, found the jury, failed to provide a safe bus stop for students. The bus driver for the student “persistently failed to stop at the appropriate stop,” leading the student to cross a busy street to catch a different busy. While crossing this street one morning, the student was struck by a car. She died from her injuries two weeks later.