ERIC Number: ED324813
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990
Reference Count: 0
An Overview of the Basic Principles of Negligence: What the Courts Expect and Demand of Physical Educators.
Pinnell, Ronald L.; Pinnell, Julia M.
Teachers and coaches once held a special place in the hearts and minds of the American public; however, times have changed. Students are quick to question authority and parents are more willing to retain the services of an attorney to solve their problems. Elementary and secondary school physical education teachers are especially vulnerable targets of legal liability lawsuits. The most frequently used yardstick to determine the liability of physical educators is negligence (a type of civil wrong), which is the failure to act as a reasonable and prudent person in a situation that causes someone harm. Because there are no concrete rules to define negligence, the courts utilize an objective formula to evaluate the conditions surrounding a sports injury to determine whether it was the result of the physical education teacher's negligence. The elements of the formula include: (1) Did the teacher owe the student a duty of care to protect him from unreasonable risks of harm? (2) Did the teacher breach his duty to protect the student by failing to provide a reasonable standard of care? (3) Were the teacher's actions the direct and proximate cause of the students injury? and (4) Did the student suffer an actual physical injury? (14 references) (KM)
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A