Conley v. Doe
Massachusetts Superior Court
2001 Mass. Super. LEXIS 490 (2001)
Mary Conley (plaintiff) taught sixth grade in suburban Boston. During study hall, she noticed that one of her homeroom students, John Doe (defendant), had written, “People I want to kill,” on a piece of paper. Conley confiscated the paper, which had nothing else written on it, and sent Doe to the school’s office. That same day, the school confiscated a second piece of paper from John Doe. It was titled identically to the first, and listed the names of nine people, including Conley. Five days later, Conley learned of the second piece of paper. She became afraid for her life, left the school building, and did not return. Two days later, school officials met with John Doe’s parents and told them that Doe must not attend school until he had undergone a psychological evaluation. That same evening, Doe attended a school dance at which one of his parents handed a psychological evaluation to a school official. Conley believed that the school failed to meaningfully discipline Doe because it was under threat of a lawsuit from his parents. She sued Doe, alleging, among other things, that he assaulted her when he wrote his list of people he wanted to kill. Doe moved to dismiss Conley’s complaint.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Gants, J.)
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