The opinion of the court was delivered by: ANTHONY J. BATTAGLIA
The above-entitled cause came regularly for trial on February 23, 1994 at 8:30 a.m. in Department F of the above-entitled Court, the Honorable Anthony J. Battaglia, Magistrate, presiding without a jury. Plaintiff appeared by and through her attorneys of record, SCHULMAN & SCHULMAN by Elizabeth Schulman. Defendants appeared by and through their attorneys of record, STUTZ, GALLAGHER & ARTIANO by Christoper J. Welsh.
1. Whether Defendants violated Plaintiff's right to exercise free speech;
2. Whether Defendants violated Plaintiff's right to due process, including procedural due process, substantive due process, and liberty interest;
3. Whether Plaintiff was required to exhaust any administrative remedies;
4. Whether Plaintiff is entitled to a declaratory judgment declaring the school district, its agents, servants, employees, and officials violated Sarah Lovell's rights guaranteed pursuant to Education Code § 48950 and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by imposing discipline upon her; failed to afford Plaintiff substantive and procedural due process; and damaged Plaintiff's reputation; and
5. Whether any of the parties are entitled to recover attorneys fees and costs.
Oral and documentary evidence were introduced on behalf of the respective parties and considered by the Court. After hearing the evidence and considering legal memoranda and arguments of counsel, the Court now determines the following with respect to the factual and legal bases as to each of the principle issues that were tried in this matter:
1. Plaintiff, SARAH LOVELL, was a 15 year old minor and a full-time student enrolled at Mount Carmel High School. GREGORY C. LOVELL is the father of SARAH LOVELL and her Guardian Ad Litem appointed by the Court. Nina Lovell is the mother of SARAH LOVELL. At all times relevant to this lawsuit, SARAH LOVELL was a Sophomore at Mount Carmel High School.
2. Mount Carmel High School is a high school located within the POWAY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT ("PUSD"). PUSD is a public school district, operating in and under the laws of the State of California and is located in the County of San Diego.
3. At all times relevant hereto, Defendant, SCOTT FISHER, was principal of Mount Carmel High School.
4. At all times relevant hereto, MARY HEATH was an Assistant Principal at Mount Carmel High School.
5. Mary Heath was specifically designated by the principal, in writing, to assist with disciplinary procedures, as required by Education Code § 48911 (i) for those students in the A through L portion of the alphabet.
6. On January 29, 1993, SARAH LOVELL sought the assistance of her High School Counselor, Linda Suokko, to effectuate changes to her class schedule for the Spring semester. Linda Suokko told SARAH LOVELL she was unable to render assistance until Tuesday, February 2, 1993, as no changes could be made in the computer until such date.
7. On Tuesday, February 2, 1993, SARAH LOVELL undertook steps to have her schedule changed for the Spring semester. SARAH LOVELL was directed back and forth between Administrators over the course of a several hour period in her attempts to have her schedule changed for the Spring semester. This was a very frustrating experience.
8. Assistant Principal, Scott Wright, had the ultimate authority to allow the schedule changes required by SARAH LOVELL. Scott Wright approved the schedule changes as requested by SARAH LOVELL and provided her with the ...