When parents drop off their children at school or send them off in the morning to catch a school bus, they place a great deal of trust in the school system and reasonably expect their children to be in safe, capable hands throughout the day. The careful supervision of teachers and other school personnel is taken for granted by most parents, so that a great deal of emotional distress is suffered by a parent who learns that his or her child has been injured while at school.
If your child has suffered an injury as a result of a teacher’s negligence or the negligence of other school personnel, you may be entitled to compensation from those responsible for your child’s injury. Contact teacher negligence lawyer Jeffrey Killino at 877-875-2927 to learn more about your legal options.
The Responsibilities of Teachers
School systems are required to see that their teachers possess the training, knowledge, and experience necessary to safeguard their pupils from the dangers that present themselves inside a classroom. Teachers have the responsibility to protect the safety of their pupils by remaining attentive to students at all times, by keeping dangerous objects and substances out of children’s reach, and by stopping children from roughhousing or quarreling in a hazardous manner. When children engage in unacceptable behavior in a classroom, particularly behavior that injures or threatens the injury of another student, teachers bear the additional also responsibility of reporting such behavior to the proper academic authorities and to the parents of the misbehaving child.
Legal Liability for Injuries to Children Caused by the Negligence of Teachers
A teachers and, in many cases, the school that employ the teacher, may be found liable for injuries sustained by a student while at school if the teacher’s negligence is found to have been a cause of the child’s injuries.
Duty of Care Owed by a Teacher to a Student
A teacher’s liability for injuries sustained by a child while at school depends upon the existence and proof of a duty of care owed by the teacher to the student. Under the laws of all states, teachers owe a duty of reasonable care to students under their charge to keep those students safe from harm while they are at school. Under usual circumstances, this duty begins at the start of the school day and ends when children leave the school premises to return home.
If a child has been asked or ordered to remain in the school building or on school grounds after regular school hours, however, the duty of care continues on the part of the teacher or other supervisor who has asked the child to stay after regular school hours as long as the child remains on school property. In some cases, this duty may even continue after a child has left school grounds. If, for example, a teacher has asked a student to remain after school until late in the evening or after dark and the teacher knows or reasonably should have known that the child will be unsupervised while on his or her way home, the teacher may be found to have breached the duty of care owed by the teacher to the child by creating a situation that resulted in the child’s returning home without adequate protection for the child’s safety.
Breach of a Teacher’s Duty of Care
A teacher’s duty of care may be breached in many ways in addition to the manner described above. If a teacher fails to properly supervise the children under her charge and a child is injured as a result of the intentional or negligent act of another student—or even an outsider whose presence in the school should not have been allowed—the teacher may be found to have breached his or her duty of care toward the injured child and may be held liable for the damages suffered by the child as a result.
When teachers arrange for classroom activities that pose a threat of injury to students unless an appropriate level of care is taken and proper instructions are provided, the teacher may be found to have breached the duty of care owed by the teacher to a student who is injured as a result of such inadequate care and proper instruction.
Proof of Cause of a Child’s Injuries
A teacher’s breach of the duty of care, alone, will not suffice to establish liability on the part of the teacher. In order to recover damages in a negligence action against a teacher for injuries sustained by a child while at school, the plaintiff must prove that it is more likely than not that the teacher’s breach of duty (negligence) was a cause of the child’s injury and that the child’s injury would not have occurred in the absence of the teacher’s negligence. Proof of causation may be quite complex when more than one action, omission, or event constituted a cause of a plaintiff’s injuries.
If your child has been injured at school as a result of a teacher’s negligent supervision, contact teacher negligence injury lawyer Jeffrey Killino at 877-875-2927 for dedicated and knowledgeable legal assistance with your case.