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Parents sue school because their son skipped class and got in a car accident

NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. -- The parents of a Valley High School student who died in a January 2009 crash have filed a lawsuit claiming the school district is partly responsible for their son's death.

According the Channel 4 Action News' news exchange partners at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Scott and Brenda Grau, of New Kensington, filed a federal lawsuit asking for unspecified damages for the district's alleged failure to prevent their 17-year-old son from leaving school early.

Colin Grau was killed when the car he was in collided with a pickup truck on Route 56 at Memorial Park near New Kensington in Westmoreland County.

Grau was a senior at Valley High School.

The driver of the car, Nicholas Masi, 18, and the driver of the truck, Paul Luzik, 41, were injured in the crash.

Classmates told Channel 4 Action News at the time of the crash that Grau and Masi left school early because their last class of the day was a study hall.

Grau's parents argue that school officials' failure to enforce a "closed campus" policy resulted in their son's death and that officials should have prevented Grau and Masi from leaving school early, the Trib reported.

According to the lawsuit, the school's policy prohibits students from leaving school early without permission and calls for their suspension for violating the rule.


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Comment by James N. Dawson on February 7, 2010 at 7:26am
I don't want to seem callous toward his parents about this young man's tragic death, but I think it's ridiculous that the school should be sued over it. Shouldn't a teenager have to have some self-responsibility?

On the other hand, maybe they should be sued, since they affirm, at least CONDONE, the premise and system of mandatory state "education" (more accurately "indoctrination"). Maybe that should be their punishment for involving themselves in this form of state/government coercion.

Problem with that idea, though, is that just ratchets up and further entrenches the "nanny state" paradigm, so at best it's sort of a "Catch-22".

There's still a lot of risk taking in our society, despite the control-freak government's attempt to smother, squelch and outlaw it. Dangerous activities give people adrelanine rushes, thrills, and (excuse my "sexism"), they're mostly done by young males. Freedom and "X-treme" thrills have their risks, and sometimes, their dear, dear price.

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