Lawsuit highlights possible safety issue at Selma High School

SELMA, Calif, (KFSN) -- A car crashed into a Selma High School student last June and now a lawsuit from the girl's family highlights a potential safety issue at the school.

The lawsuit accuses the school district of negligence for removing crossing guards at the school not long before the crash.

Hundreds of Selma teenagers walk across the street to school every day.

In June, one of them got hit by a car and suffered broken bones in her leg and her face and internal injuries.

It happened at the intersection of Aspen and Wright just in front of Selma High School. There is a crosswalk, but there are no crossing guards, at least when Action News visited while student were crossing the street on their lunch breaks.

On the other hand, what students can do is hit a button to set off some warning lights for drivers.

Some kids use them. Some kids don't.

There are no street lights in front of the school, but the girl's family says in a lawsuit that the school provided crossing guards at the crosswalk but then suddenly removed them without notifying parents and students.

"For the plaintiff to succeed there has to be a relationship between the removal of the guards and the causation of this accident," said legal analyst Tony Capozzi.

Capozzi says the girl's family might not have a strong case against the school.

"I think once you leave the school grounds the school is absolved from any responsibility," Capozzi said. "Apparently they had crossing guards before, which was helpful, but I don't think there's any requirement for that."

The principal and school superintendent haven't responded to our questions related to the lawsuit and the crossing guard situation.

Police say the driver who hit the 15-year-old said she was driving about 20 miles per hour at the time.

The lawsuit also names her as a defendant, but Capozzi says it targets the school because the district has deeper pockets to pay for the damages.

They all have a court hearing scheduled in June.
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