ERIC Number: ED194963
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: N/A
Educational Malpractice: The Concept, the Public, the Schools and the Courts.
Harris, J. John, III; Carter, David G.
A legal definition of educational malpractice is yet to be codified, but the term can be assumed to involve professional negligence or the failure to provide services that can reasonably be expected. Unlike many other professional services, however, education relies on the active participation of the client--the student--and depends to a great extent on factors outside the school's control. Largely for this reason, courts have been reluctant to find schools, school officials, or school employees sufficiently responsible to be held liable for student failures to learn, even when parents can show they have been misled regarding their children's progress. Only in the case of "Hoffman v. Board of Education of the City of New York," in which a school failed to follow the recommendation of its own psychologist, did a trial court find negligence and award damages. The evidence suggests, however, that public demands for accountability and an increasing willingness to turn to the courts for relief from unsatisfactory educational programs will lead to successful educational malpractice suits in the years to come. (Author/PGD)
Descriptors: Accountability, Court Litigation, Educational Malpractice, Elementary Secondary Education, Legal Responsibility, Postsecondary Education, School Responsibility, Student Responsibility, Teacher Responsibility
Not available separately; see EA 012 963.
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Organization on Legal Problems of Education, Topeka, KS.
Note: Chapter 14 of "School Law in Contemporary Society" (EA 012 963). For related documents, see EA 012 963-980.