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Texas Personal Injury News

Monday, March 12, 2018

Liability for School Shootings

Can the parents of a school shooter be held accountable for his or her actions?

Parents send their children to school every day with the inherent belief that their child will be in a safe and supportive environment.  When a school shooting occurs, it should cause all of us to pause and consider what can be done to prevent such tragedies.  In the wake of the Parkland, Florida school shooting, we are all struggling to determine just who is to blame for the deaths of 17 innocent students and educators.  Our Houston, Texas personal injury lawyers at Chandler, Mathis & Zivley, PC discuss who could potentially be held accountable when violence occurs in the classroom.

Are Guns to Blame? Parents? Or Schools?

On February 14, 19-year old Nikolas Cruz entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida armed with a semiautomatic rifle. He opened fire, killing 17 people before fleeing along with the stunned students.  He was apprehended shortly after the massacre and is now being held without bond on 17 counts of premeditated murder.
Following Cruz’s terrifying rampage, alarming evidence of the troubled young man’s life has emerged.  Cruz reportedly commented on YouTube last year that he wanted to be a “professional school shooter.”  He had no criminal history, but was reportedly expelled from the high school for having a knife at school.  Despite these red flags, Cruz allegedly had access to 10 firearms, including the AR-15 style rifle used in the shooting. 
Seeking justice and answers, parents and lawmakers everywhere are asking themselves who is to blame for this and other school shootings.  The families of the victims have made passionate pleas for gun control, requesting bans on some semiautomatic weapons and increasing age minimums to purchase these weapons.  President Trump has stated he will consider such measures. 
As the President and congress weigh in on gun measures, the families of those killed may consider the possibility of a civil suit.  Following some school shootings, the families of deceased accident victims have filed suit against the school system, the shooter, or the parents of the shooter.  Schools have a responsibility to take actions to keep children safe and, if negligence on the part of the school allowed the shooting to occur, this could form a basis for liability.  Parents that allow unstable children access to weapons could additionally be held accountable in some cases.    
School violence is a troubling matter that deserves the attention of the nation.  We as a country must strive to end school shootings and ensure all children are safe at school.  If your child has been injured at school, take action by seeking the help of an experienced school violence lawyer.

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Chandler, Mathis & Zivley, PC has offices located in Houston and Lufkin Texas and serves clients throughout East Texas as well as many other states.
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