ERIC Number: ED172393
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Reference Count: 0
Governmental Immunity: Legal Basis and Implications for Public Education.
Connors, Eugene T.
The concept of sovereign immunity in English law originated in both early canon law and the feudal system, became formalized in case law under King Henry II, and as the royal prerogative, became established into statutory law under King Henry VIII. This concept of governmental immunity was adopted by the states when the union was founded. The case Chisholm v. Georgia supported the concept of governmental immunity as applied to the citizens of a state. Since the 1950s, however, state legislatures have been gradually abrogating the state's governmental immunity. Educational institutions and school districts were among the first to have their immunity abrogated. In some states, the courts have indicated that for a school district to purchase liability insurance is tantamount to a consent to be sued, yet even if districts do not purchase insurance, the courts sometimes allow liability suits. Putting funds into a savings account to pay for damages has been ruled illegal in some states. It is recommended that school systems should not count on any type of immunity protection against liability suits, that educational agencies should purchase as much liability insurance as possible, and that schools should undertake an intensive campaign aimed at informing educational officials and employees of their legal liabilities. Appendices present the status of governmental immunity in all states. (Author/JM)
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Chisholm v Georgia; Governmental Immunity