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July 30, 2013  |   Comments (1)   |   Post a comment

Florida court: ‘Stand your ground’ applies to bus fights


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MSN News reports that a three-judge panel of Florida's Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled that the state’s “stand your ground” law would allow a boy who got into a fight with a girl on a school bus to claim self-defense.

The panel reversed a ruling by a Broward County circuit court judge who found the boy guilty of battery, saying the judge’s conclusion that the statute applied only to the use of deadly force in the protection of one’s home or vehicle was incorrect.

The appeals panel ordered the trial court to reconsider the case to determine whether the girl was the aggressor and whether the boy "was reasonable in his belief that the force that he used against [the girl] was necessary to protect himself from great bodily harm."

The "stand your ground" law recently made national news during the case of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman who was acquitted earlier this month of second-degree murder in the shooting of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.

To read the full story, click here.


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I disagree with Dereck Black, the law professor at Univ. of So. Carolina School of Law, who was quoted in the article as saying, "Of course, this only shows how absurd stand your ground is. Many schools take the position that when a fight occurs and both students act with violence, there are no innocent parties. In other words, schools expect students to deescalate a situation or be prepared to suffer the consequences...." A student can have the following experiance: A bully persistantly attacking him/her and regardless how much the student seeks to "deescalate" the conflict by moving on, the bully continues to reescalate the conflict to the point that the bullied student has no other option but to stand their ground. Clearly the bullied student is the "innocent party" but is forced to suffer the consequences" of an agressor (which he/she was not). It's time both the professor and schools in general acknowledge how "absurd" their position is and weigh the facts of each side rather than just lumping all participents together. Whatever happened to Who, What, Why, Where, and When when getting to the bottom of an issue?

Tyrone L. Greene    |    Jul 30, 2013 08:49 PM

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