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2012 Legal Update for Coaches and Sponsors Karen Haase Harding & Shultz (402) 434-3000 khaase@hslegalfirm.com H & S School Law @KarenHaase


Legal Issues Today    

Concussion Awareness Act Locker Room Supervision Social Media First Amendment


Concussions


Concussion Awareness Act Neb. Rev. Stat. § 71-9101 to 71-9106  “…concussions are one of the “most commonly reported injuries in children and adolescents who participate in sports…”  “risk of catastrophic injury or death is significant when a concussion…is not properly evaluated and managed.”


CAA Requirements  Schools make available training approved by the chief medical officer  Approved Courses: • Heads UP Concussions in Youth Sports (Centers for Disease Control) • Concussion in Sports—What You Need to Know (NFHS) • ConcussionWise (Sports Safety International)


CAA Requirements  School provide concussion and brain injury information to students and their parents or guardians annually  Student must be removed from practice or game when coach or medico suspects student has sustained a concussion or brain injury


CAA Requirements  If concussion suspected, hold students out until  has been evaluated by a licensed health care professional  Has written clearance from licensed health care professional  Has written clearance from parents  If student is removed from activity, must provide specific notice to family


Concussion Litigation  Eveland v. San Marcos Unified School District (San Diego, CA 2012) • Claim against Ridell • Claim against School  Rouchleau v. Three Forks High School (Gallatin County, MT 2012)


The Bottom line:  BE CONCUSSION AWARE • In ALL sports • Focus on girls?  Nebraska Sports Concussion Network


Locker Room Supervision


Doe v. Rich Central H.S. (2012)  Boy complained of being bullied in locker room  Security camera caught staff talking  Boy assaulted  Case settled


Doe v. Clover H.S. (2012)  Three football players claimed they were hazed  13 players were suspended  The sheriff's office investigated  Bullies sued to be returned to school and team


Creekbaum v. Livingston Parish Sch. Dist. (2011)  Three football players urinated on freshman’s locker  Victim sued claiming emotional distress and negligent supervision  Coach: never had a problem before


Social Media/Technology


Graham v. Ambridge Area Sch.  David Costanza slept with student  Sued School  Ct. denied Summary Judgment; school could be sued  Ct. relied on fact that School knew teacher communicating via IM, email and texts, but didn’t follow up


Paul Withee  Posted nude pics to FB  Thought was private msg to girlfriend  Resigned


Bobby Petrino  Head coach at Arkansas  Inappropriate texts on school phone  Fired by AD


The Bottom Line


Social Media and kids


Sexting  Neb. Rev. Stat. 28-813 et. seq.  Class IV felony to

 knowingly solicit, coax, entice, or lure  a child sixteen years of age or younger  by means of an electronic communication device  to post images that would qualify as child pornography under state law


Iowa v. Canal  Boy and girl friends; not romantic • She asked him to send pic of penis • He complied • Both agreed not erotic  Parents called the cops; boy charged  Jury trial; boy convicted  Appeal rejected by Iowa Supreme Court


In re Katrina R.  15 year old texted nude pics to her BF  Was adjudicated “a child who deports herself so as to injure or endanger seriously the morals or health of herself or others”  Placed in legal custody of HHS  6 months’ probation  Required counseling and community service.


Prayer, FCA, etc.


Doe v. Duncanville Sch (1995)  School’s basketball coach initiated prayers before games and practices  Teams and coaches gathered at midcourt/mid-field for post-game prayer  Choir had “The Lord Bless You and Keep You” as theme song  Gideons distributed Bibles during school  Student singled out when she declined to participate


Doe v. Duncanville Sch (1995)  Plaintiff: Unconstitutional endorsement of religion  School • Can’t prevent employees from praying because would violate coach’s free exercise rights • Theme song not endorsement • Gideons not endorsement


Doe v. Duncanville Sch (1995) Ct: “[t]he challenged prayers take place during school-controlled, curriculumrelated activities that members of the basketball team are required to attend. During these activities . . . coaches and other school employees are present as representatives of the school and their actions are representative of [school] policies.�


Borden v. Sch. Dist., (2009)  School policy prohibited coaches from participating in student prayer  Coach sued  District Ct: nothing wrong with coach participating so long has he did not lead  Appellate Ct: no First Amend. right to pray in employee’s role as public employee  U.S. Supreme Court: denied cert


How to do it lawfully?  All of the activities must be student-led  Teacher-sponsor must be “nonparticipatory” • Can’t pray • Can’t organize • Can’t lead • Can’t answer questions about personal faith • Faculty monitor, facilitate, supervise


2012 Legal Update for Coaches and Sponsors Karen Haase Harding & Shultz (402) 434-3000 khaase@hslegalfirm.com H & S School Law @KarenHaase


2012 Conestoga, WW, EM and Louisville Coaches