Legal Question in Education Law in California

A high school teacher hits my child across the arm for making a comment about a dish at a pot luck on campus for the softball team. The comment was a private conversation to another athelete refering to the dish - "That doesn't look very good, I'm not going to eat that". My daughters response was "Ouch" while rubbing her arm, and replyed "I'm sorry did you make the dish", teachers response "No, but someone did". A week later she was the only returning Senior cut from tryouts on the Varsity team, after 3 years in the program (2 as a starting player). Teacher confirmed and agreed with the written statement my daughter had to fill out for the Principal, District HR Dept ran an investigation and now claims she was "Tapped". Can or should I sue the district for retaliation and/or discrimination and what type of Lawyer do I need. I've never sued anyone before.

Asked on 3/21/12, 8:00 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Andrew Harrell W. Andrew Harrell, Attorney at Law

The so-called "tap" was a tort called battery, so technically you can sue. The biggest issue would be damages. There doesn't appear to be physical harm (though maybe emotional damages). You inquiry suggests that the complaint led to discrimination by being cut from the team. If your child is an elite athlete, then being cut may lessen her chances of being admitted to a university sports program, winning scholarships, etc. If this is the case, then there may be real and actionable damages stemming from this incident. Talk to an experience personal injury lawyer to see if there are enough damages to make it worthwhile to sue. Another possibility is mediating with the school. We'd be glad to do that since it is an education law matter, as well as a personal injury.

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Answered on 3/21/12, 6:01 pm

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