ERIC Number: ED476381
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002
School Liability: Student to Student Injuries Involving Students with Disabilities.
In the absence of immunity, courts have held schools and school personnel liable for personal injury by a student with a disability that resulted from negligent failure to provide a reasonable safe environment, failure to warn of known hazards, or failure to provide adequate supervision. Case law is presented to demonstrate the extent that school districts owe greater responsibility for instruction and/or supervision of students with disabilities. After reviewing court cases involving student attacks on other students, lack of supervision of students with disabilities, sexual assaults by students with disabilities, and negligence, the paper discusses implications for school districts. It identifies four elements that must be present for negligence to occur: (1) duty to protect students from unreasonable risks; (2) breach by not exercising a reasonable standard of care; (3) causal connection between breach and injury; and (4) actual physical or mental injury resulting from negligence. The report discusses two tests that must be applied to determine the school's responsibility: "reasonable person" and "foreseeability." The report concludes that for students with disabilities, courts have held that the student's Individualized Education Program, nature of disability, and their needs are relevant factors in determining the reasonableness of supervision. (Contains 15 references.) (CR)
Descriptors: Aggression, Behavior Disorders, Compliance (Legal), Court Litigation, Disabilities, Elementary Secondary Education, Emotional Disturbances, Federal Legislation, Injuries, Legal Responsibility, Negligence, School Districts, School Responsibility, School Safety, Student Placement, Supervision, Teacher Responsibility
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Charleston Coll., SC.