Recent Developments

Issues that affect ministers and churches
Failed Shooter Prevention and Fault
Key point 7-20.4. A church may be legally responsible for assaults occurring on its premises if similar assaults occurred on or near the premises in the recent past and the church failed to take reasonable precautions.

An Indiana court ruled that a school could be liable for non-fatal injuries suffered by two public high school students who were shot by a former student previously suspended from school for threats and other inappropriate behavior. An eighth-grade student (the "shooter") at a public middle school had a history of disciplinary problems that culminated in 50 discipline referrals, 43 of which were for disrespect toward school personnel or failure to follow school rules. He also had seven discipline referrals for harassing, threatening, and physically assaulting other students. On one occasion he commented to some of his classmates that he wanted to "just blow up the school." After the classmates reported his remark, the school suspended him for 10 days. He remained barred from entering school property except to take a state standardized test. Because of his overall disciplinary history, the school's principal also initiated expulsion proceedings, but before he was formally expelled his mother withdrew him from school.

On the morning of March 25, 2011, the shooter's Facebook status read "today is the day" and "don't use your mind, use your nine." He arrived at the school around 7 a.m. He wore a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt with the hood pulled over his head and moved toward the building so as to avoid detection.

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