ERIC Number: ED232308
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: N/A
Parental Liability for Student Vandalism.
Wilson, James L.
A review of the problems of vicarious liability of parents for their children's vandalism to school property reveals that in all states parents can be held responsible if it can be established that the vandalism was the reasonably traceable result of lack of supervision or misdirected parenting. Almost all legislatures feel it is appropriate to place some liability on the parents without such proof, and most of the courts have gone along with them. All but four states have dollar limits on recovery varying from $200 to $10,000. Problems with vicarious liability include the lack of mention of proof beyond a reasonable doubt; the complexity of permitting the efforts of parents to supervise their children to come into the case; and the failure of the courts to detect any due process problems in these statutes. The legal potential exists for children to lay substantial burdens on their parents while remaining judgment-proof themselves. There is some precedent for insurance protection for parents under homeowners policies. (MLF)
Descriptors: Court Litigation, Elementary Secondary Education, Federal Courts, Legal Responsibility, Parent Responsibility, Parent School Relationship, Parent Student Relationship, School Law, School Vandalism, State Courts
Not available separately; see EA 016 000.
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Organization on Legal Problems of Education, Topeka, KS.
Note: In its: School Law Update--1982, p148-53, 1983.