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Edinburg CISD v. Smith, Dkt. No. 13-16-00253, 13-16-00254 (Tex. App. – Corpus Christi 2016).

Facts: The student took a dual enrollment computer science class after her counselor told her that it would be weighted and including for grading purposes in class rank as a “plus 10” class.  The class was taught by the girl’s father and she received a grade of 100.  However, when class rankings were determined, she was not given the 10 additional weighted points because computer science was not a core class for the purpose of determining class rank.  The parents sued and sought an injunction prohibiting the district from enforcing its ranking decision and policies.  The suit was against both the District, as well as the high school principal.  The trial court granted the parents an injunction prohibiting enforcement of the district’s decision and the district, in turn, appealed the trial court decision and issued class ranks according to its ranking policies.

Holding:  The court of appeals rendered judgment in favor of the school district.  The parents’ claims for fraudulent misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, general negligence, and intentional infliction of emotional distress against the school district were barred by governmental immunity.  The Tort Claims Act limits a school district’s tort liability for personal injuries other than those that arise from the negligent use or operation of a motor vehicle.  The claims against the school officials were also barred because the parents raised the same state-law claims against school district.  Ultimately, the appeals court concluded that school officials were authorized to enforce class rank policies and the parents asserted no legitimate grounds to challenge the district’s decision.  The appeals court, therefore, rendered judgment in favor of the district and the suit was dismissed.


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