University's Duty of Care in Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Student's Responsibilities in School Safety

Simple everyday actions are effective in reduction of school crime. (Annual Report on School Safety, 1998) Those actions are:

Behave Responsibly:

Students can resolve problems and disputes in a non-violent fashion

Students can refrain from teasing, name calling, and other seemingly innocent behaviors that actually hurt others' feelings.

Respect other students, school staff, and family members.

Know and follow the schools rules.

Report Crimes and threats to school officials.

Get involved in or start anticrime programs at school.

Learn how to avoid becoming a victim.

Seek help.

V. School-Teacher-Staff-Management Responsibilities in School Safety

The school's responsibilities in providing safety at school and on school grounds are as follows:

Provide strong administrative support for assessing and enhancing school safety.

Assessment of the school's security needs.

Monitoring the school facility to ensure it is a clean, safe, environment.

Implementing policies that support and reward prosocial behavior.

Implementing schoolwide education and training on safety and avoiding violence.

Providing counseling and social services to students.

Redesign the school facility to eliminate dark, secluded, and unsupervised spaces.

Devise a system for reporting and analyzing violent and noncriminal incidents.

Design an effective discipline policy.

Build a partnership with local law enforcement.

Enlist school security professionals in designing and maintaining the school security system.

Conducting security assessments

Providing staff development programs

Developing crisis preparedness guidelines.

Identifying security equipment needs (such as metal detectors and surveillance cameras)

Designing enforcement and investigation techniques.

Enhancing links with community officials

Providing safe activities for students.

Train School Staff in all aspects of Violence Prevention

Provide all students' access to school psychologists or counselors.

Provide crisis response services.

A crisis response team with clearly delineated duties.

A plan for evacuating the school plan for coordinating with and notifying police, elected officials, government agencies, and other proper authorities.

A plan for notifying parents quickly.

A media/communications strategy.

Counselors available to deal with students in the aftermath of a traumatic event.

Implement schoolwide education and training on avoiding and preventing. Violence.

Use alternate school settings for educating violent and weapon-carrying students.

Create a climate of tolerance.

Provide appropriate educational services to all students.

Reach out to communities and businesses to improve the safety of students.

Actively involve students in making decisions about school policies and programs.

Prepare an annual report on school crime and safety. (Annual Report on School Safety 1998)

VI. Miscellaneous

Patents in Research

Another problem of security which arose in the year 2001 was one in which the student researcher alleging that while he was working on a potential vaccine for the Herpes virus and the student Dr. Joany Chou, researcher in molecular genetics at University of Chicago who worked under Dr. Roizman has stated that she believed the vaccine should be patented but Dr. Roizman responded that it wasn't patentable. Over the next five years the two worked together in successful research publishing documents and securing a joint patent on one specific aspect of the herpes research. In June 1996, Dr. Roizman gave Dr. Chou the opportunity to resign in lieu of being fired. Dr. Chou kept working and finally in December 1996 Dr. Roizman barred her from the lab...permanently. Dr. Chou began investing and the research revealed the Dr. Roizman had secretly filed a patent. Dr. Roizman was stated to be the sole inventor of the patent. She further found that her being barred from the lab made it much difficult to attempt to prove. Dr. Chou sued Dr. Roizman, the University of Chicago, and the company that had licensed the technology alleging:

That she was the rightful inventor and should be added as an inventor to the patent; and State law claims of conversion, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and unjust enrichment.

Dr. Chou's case was denied any relief in the federal district court in Illinois because, according to the trial judge,

Dr. Chou' employment contract required her to assign the invention to the University, she had no ownership interest in the patent, even if she could prove that she was the rightful inventor. Without this ownership interest in the patent, even if she could prove that she was the rightful inventor. Without this ownership interest in the patient Dr. Chou lacked standing to bring a suit challenging the patent's inventorship. Moreover, since Dr. Roizman owed no duty to inform Dr. Chou about the patentability of her research, his actions did not breach any duties which would allow Dr. Chou to state a claim for recovery under state law."

However, the Federal Circuit Court found "the trial completely erroneous and reversed." The Federal Circuit found that Dr. Chou could also state a claim against the University of Chicago." Because the conduct of Dr. Roizman committed "related to the execution of the employment handbook's guidelines for patenting inventions." (Duke Law & Technology Review, 2001) Dr. Roizman's conduct was within the realm or scope of his employment position with the University, therefore the University was liable under tort and agency law and the established principles thereof. The court specifically stated that:

W} hile university faculty are not agents of the university with respect to the selection and conduct of their research projects, they may well be agents with respect to implementing the policies of the university, including ownership of inventions and compensation therefore." [Cloud v. University of Chicago, 2000 WL 222638, *1 (N.D.III. 2000), rev'd 254 F.3d 1347 (Fed.Cir.2001) "Chou II"]

VII. Title IX and Athletes

In the case of Jones v. Williams 431 N.W.2d 419 (Mich.Ct.App. 1988) the Plaintiff, Curtis Jones alleged that the Defendants, the Detroit Board of Education and an Idaho junior college "academically carried" him through school just to retain his eligibility for the basketball team. Jones was not able to read and neither could he write; and he finally, due to extreme ridicule from his peers had a nervous breakdown. The Michigan Court ruled against Jones because the school board was immune from liability and the court had no jurisdiction over the junior college in Idaho.

The provisions in Title IX are that [n]o person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal Financial assistance." [Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. 1681(a)(1994)] program or activity is by definition, "all of the operations of a college, university, or other postsecondary institution, or a public system of higher education." [Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. 1687(2)(a)(1994)]

VIII. Injuries in School-College, Specifically in Laboratories

The article entitled "Injuries in School/College Laboratories in USA written by Ronald B. Standler state that there are four elements to a tort, all of which must be present before the court can order a remedy" which are:

Duty: There must be a legal duty, which the defendant owed to the victim. According to Standler, a duty is "a legally enforceable obligation to conform to the particular standard of conduct. In personal injury cases, the duty is set by what a "reasonable man of ordinary prudence" would do.

Breach of Duty: Failure on the part of the Defendant to conform to the legal duty. Breach may be an action or a failure to action.

Causation: The breach was that which caused the victim's injury although the causation does not have to be direct: defendant's act or failure to act which could began the sequence of events leading to the plaintiff's injury which is a 'proximate cause'.

Injury: An injury must occur in either a physical or financial area.

IX. Negligence

Negligence includes the issues of instructions that are not clear in warning of Hazardous conditions;

Instructor not present in the laboratory room at the time of injury

Instructor preoccupied at the time of injury

Lack of safety equipment

Assigned experiment was unnecessarily dangerous

Teacher might be incompetent to supervise chemistry of physics lab.

X. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the organization that sets standards for hazardous materials and equipment and their use. The statute of OSHA applies to all employers who are engaged in a business affecting commerce, except employees of either the federal or state government, or a state political subdivision. 29 U.S.C. 652(5). Public schools are thought to be exempt from OSHA regulations. However, even if exempt from the regulations still the "OSHA regulations could be cited as evidence of a relevant standard of conduct in a tort case." (Standler, 1999-2000)

XI. Federal Trade Commission Regulations

The Federal Trade Commission has implemented regulations toward the safeguarding of information [16 CFR Part 413 Fed. Reg May 23, 2002] which were to go into effect on May 23, 2003. According to Wadsworth, 2003: "Most institutions apparently were under the impression that institutions of higher education are not covered by these regulations. They are."

In fact the institutions that are in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act…

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