ERIC Number: ED217456
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Jul
Reference Count: 0
Tort Liability of the Public Secondary School Journalism Teacher for Investigative Reporting Assignments.
Day, Louis A.
In the wake of several federal court decisions limiting the authority of school officials to censor the high school press, the tort liability of teachers and advisers is not yet clear. However, it does appear that there are two areas where the journalism teacher can be found negligent for breach of the duties to instruct and to supervise properly. Liability could result from "misfeasance," whereby the teacher assigns a student reporter to a risky or dangerous story that might result in injury to that student. The teacher might also be held liable for "nonfeasance" if he or she fails to advise a student reporter or editor properly concerning tortious content of a story or fails to provide proper instruction within the curriculum concerning the legal responsibilities of newsgathering and publishing. In brief, journalism training in the public schools can no longer be confined to the practical skills of newsgathering and reporting. Every curriculum must include instruction on the legal responsibilities of publication. The best protection schools can have against lawsuits is to hire only certified journalism teachers, preferably those with some professional experience. (Author/FL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (65th, Athens, OH, July 25-28, 1982).