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CPS Checklist for Discovery

(While this applies primarily to California Child Welfare Agencies, it can be applicable to Child Welfare Agencies in the counties of other states as well.)

TASA ID: 1220

If you have not had a great deal of experience in litigation against county child welfare agencies, then there are some things which are helpful to know up front.  Like most people being sued, CPS agencies don’t like it.  They see themselves as “on the side of the angels” for children being abused and neglected and as proponents for strengthening families.  And indeed, the vast majority of the time, they are.  However, owing to a number of factors, including caseloads, insufficient staffing, divergent levels of skills, personal bias, ill-serving mindsets, and lack of resources; to name a few, mistakes will occur.  Sometimes in my experience, they are unintended. They may not be deliberate owing to the press of work that rushes a judgment or fails to look at all the details, including exculpatory evidence. 

What Authority or Power do I Have as a Security Officer?

TASA ID: 10544

Randy A. Martens is a Certified Protection Officer (CPO).  We don’t know Randy but can tell you he has raised a serious issue, that many security and protection officers face day in and day out.  

Randy said, “One of the leading questions asked by security professionals nationwide is, “What power do I really have?” 

In all fairness, this is a legitimate question and the answer to that question is not always simplistic! 
 
Typically, a security officer is hired to do one thing: protect people, assets, and information. 

Part IV: Bullying, Harassment, Teasing & Hazing

Lawrence J. Fennelly CPOI, CSSM and Marianna Perry, CPP, CPOI

TASA ID: 10544

"Barbara Coloroso (2003), on page 13 in her book, The Bully, The Bullied and the Bystander, defines bullying as:

 "a conscious, willful, and deliberate hostile activity intended to harm, induce fear through the threat of further aggression, and create terror."  

Coloroso contends that four elements characterize all bullies, no matter what sex, age or job title: 

(1) an imbalance of power, in which the bully is bigger, stronger or more favorably situated than the victim; 

(2) the bully has an intent to harm, knowing he or she will inflict emotional or physical pain, and revels in the fact;  

(3) a threat of further aggression exists, in which the bully and victim both know that this act of aggression will not be the last; and 

(4) terror persists-the extreme, continuing agitation of the victim. 

The essence of bullying, according to Coloroso, is not anger but contempt. The bully sees the bullied as not worth respect or empathy.  The bully is consummately arrogant."   


In Loco Parentis Litigation: The Hot Stock du Jour

TASA ID: 1646

What should school administrators immediately begin to do to protect their school districts’ treasuries from being drained dry by negligence lawsuits? Let’s take a page out of New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s "book." Mayor Bloomberg has put the New York City schools on notice by announcing his objective to ferret out and punish disruptive students in the public schools, particularly those in schools with high rates of criminal violence (in previous years thought of as normal), and hold the principals more accountable for reducing disciplinary problems within their schools. My advice is that school administrators should structure their discipline policies along Mayor Bloomberg’s "safety first" principles. 

Chemical Suicide Dangers for First Responders

TASA ID: 18027

Chemical suicides are defined as “self inflicted death by mixing various chemicals designed to release toxic fumes in an enclosed space.”  This type of incident is also referred to as a “Detergent Suicide.”  It is “advertised as a quick and painless way to end one’s life.

This technique that is credited with starting in Japan and has gained popularity in the US thru instructions posted on the internet.  It is estimated that 500 Japanese men, women and children took their lives in the first half of 2008. There were a total of 208 persons that committed chemical suicide in a three-month period alone. They did so by following instructions posted on various Japanese websites that describe how to mix bath sulfur (bath salts) with a toilet bowl cleaner to create a poisonous gas (H2S). One site goes so far as to include an application to help calculate the portions needed of each ingredient in order to correctly fill a rooms volume with the deadly gas. It also has a downloadable PDF consisting of a ready-made warning sign to alert neighbors and emergency workers to the deadly hazard.


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