ERIC Number: ED375513
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Jun
Professional Malpractice: Are Educators at Risk? Policy Bulletin.
Although no lawsuits claiming educational malpractice have yet been successful, it is conceivable that educators and school systems will be held legally accountable for correctly diagnosing pupils' needs, placing them in appropriate instructional programs, and reporting their progress to parents or guardians. This bulletin briefly examines litigation in which individuals have sought monetary damages from school districts for various types of alleged instructional negligence and areas of potential liability for educators. Some courts have recognized circumstances under which plaintiffs possibly could recover damages in an instructional tort action. Successful educational malpractice suits, particularly those involving negligence in placement decisions and reporting to parents, may be more likely in the future than they have in the past. The increasing legislative specificity about student proficiency standards and special education placement procedures may strengthen the grounds for such suits. While it is still unlikely that liability will be imposed for discretionary acts involving professional judgment, it is conceivable that educators may soon be held legally liable for breaching their duties to diagnose and place students appropriately and to inform parents or guardians accurately of their children's deficiencies. Educators' best defense against an educational malpractice suit is to give careful attention to their diagnostic, placement, and reporting practices. (LMI)
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials; Guides - Non-Classroom; Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Indiana Univ., Bloomington. Education Policy Center.