ERIC Number: ED243227
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Mar-31
Reference Count: 0
Aspects of Liability in the Operation of Schools.
O'Reilly, Robert C.
Parents generally expect public school districts to provide for their children's care and safety while they are at school. Although in the first half of the twentieth century common law tended to make school officials immune from suit, more recently public school districts, school employees, officers, and elected boards have been successfully sued for damages. A review of representative court cases in Nebraska and other states reveals a tendency toward increasingly higher damage awards in suits against school districts and their governing boards. In contrast to Oregon's 1967 statutory repeal of governmental immunity, which sets a limit on damage awards, Nebraska's 1969 statute has no specific dollar limits. In the 1980's, public school boards should provide protection for themselves and for the district treasury. Surveys by the Insurance Information Institute and "Risk Line" and responses to a questionnaire sent to 32 Nebraska school business managers show that, although awards and insurance rates are becoming higher nationally, Nebraska school districts tend to have relatively low liability limits. The total picture suggests these low limitations are out of step with judicial decisions and put district funds and property in jeopardy. (JBM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National School Boards Association (Houston, TX, March 31-April 3, 1984).