Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Georgia Supreme Court Rules Right to Self Defense applies in Schools

One of the most important rights of our natural rights is the right to self defense. It is derived from the most basic right, the right to life.

In the case of Henry Cty. Bd. of Education v. S.G., the Supreme Court of Georgia found for the Board of Education, but upheld that the Board must consider self defense claims in its disciplinary proceedings. From dailyreporteronline.com:
The Georgia Supreme Court had to watch a video of a fight between two girls in front of a high school to reach a decision Monday that both sides interpreted as a victory.

The bottom line is that, after three-and-a-half years of litigating, the Henry County Board of Education will have to take another look at its decision to expel a student for fighting and consider her claims of self-defense.

The case is about a girl who was involved in a fight on school grounds. The evidence from witnesses is that she was approached by another girl who wanted to fight. She retreated.  The other girl followed her, and a fight ensued.

S.G., the defendant, claimed self defense. There were video and witnesses that corroborated here story. No evidence was presented that she was not defending herself.

The school administration expelled her an the grounds that she was involved in a fight. The school did not consider self defense as an defense for the conduct.

S.G. sued the School Board. The Superior Court held that the School Board erred.  The Appeals Court upheld the Superior Court Ruling. The Supreme Court reversed them.  Both sides claim victory. The School Board claims that the Supreme Court reversed the lower courts decisions. That is true, but the Supreme Court also held that school administrations must consider claims of self defense in their proceedings.

The Supreme Court held that school administrative hearings are civil matters, not criminal ones.  That is why it reversed the lower courts.

This is a victory for common sense. It tells the Schools that they must exercise judgment and not hide behind the easy choice of "zero tolerance".  It shows that every student does not need a lawyer to attend classes with them.

Children have the right to defend themselves. For many years, schools have attempted to eliminate the right to self defense in schools, by refusing to accept self defense as a valid reason for violence. It is time to stop training future generations to passively accept abuse.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We had the same problem in our local school. the policy was that if two children were in a fight both children were suspended. I told the principal that was not fair and trained my step son to defend himself against bullies. then I asked the principal who would get expelled if I stomped his ass. I understand the policy was changed. they made no effort to determine who started the fight. My step son knew not to start a fight and not to back up if it was unavoidable. if you back up or take the bullying it will continue and get worse. after I trained my step son I think he could have taken the principal.