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2012-UP-115 - Little v. Barnwell School District 45

THIS OPINION HAS NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE.  IT SHOULD NOT BE CITED OR RELIED ON AS PRECEDENT IN ANY PROCEEDING EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY RULE 268(d)(2), SCACR.

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Court of Appeals

Andre Little, by and through his legal guardian, Leon Mack, Appellant,

v.

Barnwell School District 45 and Barnwell County Sheriff's Department, Respondents.


Appeal From Barnwell County
Doyet A. Early, III, Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2012-UP-115  
Heard January 25, 2012 – Filed February 29, 2012


AFFIRMED


R. Bentz Kirby and Glenn Walters, of Orangeburg, for Appellant.

Allen D. Smith, Jasmine Rogers Drain, and Kenneth L. Childs, all of Columbia, for Respondent Barnwell School District 45.

R. Morrison M.  Payne and Christy L. Scott, both of Walterboro, for Respondent Barnwell County Sheriff's Department.

PER CURIAM: In this action under the South Carolina Tort Claims Act arising from an interrogation about an incident at Barnwell High School, plaintiff Andre Little, by and through his legal guardian, Leon Mack, appeals the grant of summary judgment to Barnwell School District 45 and the Barnwell County Sheriff's Department.  On appeal, Little argues summary judgment to the Sheriff's Department was premature in view of (1) a conflict in testimony concerning the behavior of the school resource officer involved in the interrogation, (2) the school resource officer's acknowledgment that the accusations made by Little and his family, if true, would have been evidence of improper behavior on her part, and (3) evidence that the school resource officer did not receive adequate training to interrogate a student.  Little further contends summary judgment to Barnwell School District 45 was improper because of (1) evidence purportedly showing that the principal of Barnwell High School was not properly equipped to deal with an interrogation of a student by student resource officers and (2) evidence that the principal failed to intervene in the school resource officer's allegedly abusive interrogation of Little.  We affirm pursuant to Rule 220(b)(1), SCACR, and the following authorities: S.C. Code Ann. § 15-78-60(25) (2005) (stating a governmental entity is not liable for a loss resulting from any responsibility or duty arising from the "supervision, protection, control, confinement, or custody of any student, . . . except when the responsibility or duty is exercised in a grossly negligent manner"); Etheredge v. Richland Sch. Dist. One, 341 S.C. 307, 312, 534 S.E.2d 275, 278 (2000) (stating the fact that a governmental entity "might have done more does not negate the fact that it exercised 'slight care'"); Richardson v. Hambright, 296 S.C. 504, 506, 374 S.E.2d 296, 298 (1988) ("Gross negligence is the intentional, conscious failure to do something which it is incumbent upon one to do or the doing of a thing intentionally that one ought not to do.").

AFFIRMED.

FEW, C.J., and THOMAS and KONDUROS, JJ., concur.