Georgia law states public employees acting in their official capacity are protected from liability unless they were negligent or acted with malice.
“Here the decision to carry out an investigation into the underlying incident, who to question during that investigation, whether to bring criminal charges against Jorge Santa, and how to punish the other students involved — all require the exercise of discretion,” wrote Judge Clark. “An official is immune from liability for discretionary acts within the scope of his official authority if they are done without actual malice.”
Today, a Cobb County School District spokeswoman said, “When this lawsuit began, we said we looked forward to the facts of this case being adjudicated in court, not through social media. This is a final judgment which was found in the district’s favor and our comments from one year ago are as true now as they were then.”
Mitch Skandalakis, the family’s attorney, said today he was preparing an appeal, saying, “There is a case that states that if you did not follow a school policy and procedure you can be personally liable. We contend that in addition to not following school policy with regard to investigation of bullying, assistant principal Arthur O’Neill did not follow state law. There was no investigation until the district attorney’s office got involved months later. "