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Teachers and The Law 7 th Chapter 5 When Am I Liable? Fischer, Schimmel, Stellman PowerPoint Presentation Gerri Spinella Ed.D. Elizabeth McDonald Ed.D.

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Presentation on theme: "Teachers and The Law 7 th Chapter 5 When Am I Liable? Fischer, Schimmel, Stellman PowerPoint Presentation Gerri Spinella Ed.D. Elizabeth McDonald Ed.D."— Presentation transcript:

1 Teachers and The Law 7 th Chapter 5 When Am I Liable? Fischer, Schimmel, Stellman PowerPoint Presentation Gerri Spinella Ed.D. Elizabeth McDonald Ed.D. This multimedia product and its contents are protected under copyright law. The following are prohibited by law: any public performance or display, including transmission of any image over a network; preparation of any derivative work, including the extraction, in whole or in part, of my images; any rental, lease, or lending of the program.

2 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 Chapter 5 When Am I Liable? Essential Question As reasonably prudent educators, how do you perform your duty of care to students?

3 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 Key Concepts Chapter 1-Teachers and the Legal System Student Injuries Defenses against Liability Key Concepts Chapter 5 –When Am I Liable? Other Types of Liability Damages

4 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 KEY TERMS- Chapter 5 KEY TERMS- Chapter 5 Tort immunity (58)Section 1983 (72-73) Reasonable care (59)Compensatory damages (75) Duty of care (60)Nominal damages (75) Contributory negligence (63)Exemplary or punitive damages (75) Comparative negligence (64)Prevailing party (77) Assumption of risk (64)

5 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 Student Injuries Teachers may be held liable for damages for an injured student if the student can prove four things: 1.Teacher had a duty to be careful and to protect the student from being injured. 2.Teacher failed to use due care. 3.Teacher’s carelessness caused the injury. 4.The student sustained provable damages.

6 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 Tort Immunity based on premise: Public funds designated for schooling should not be paid to private individuals for non-education purposes State statutes for modified its scope Law requires Perform as a reasonably prudent person When teacher’s actions fall below standards, teacher will be liable for injury

7 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 When Am I Liable? KEY CONCEPT- Chapter 5 KEY CONCEPT- Chapter 5 Criteria (59) Teacher must not injure & must protect the student Teacher failed to use due (reasonable) care Teacher’s carelessness caused the injury Student sustained provable damages.

8 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 Case Presentation The Sheehan Case The Sheehan Case

9 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 Teacher Supervision Teachers are required to supervise students all times. A teacher’s duty of supervision extends beyond school hours. Teachers can be held liable if a student injuries another student or teacher. Teachers can be held liable if an aide injures a student. If teachers are careless, they are automatically liable for damages. There are special liability standards for substitute teachers and student teachers.

10 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon – No Child Left Behind Act (Paul D. Coverdell Teacher Protection Act) Prevents teachers from being sued for acts arising out of the normal course of their jobs, including discipline on students Use of Waiver or Release –Doesn’t prevent suing –Schools have been generally unsuccessful in using them to prohibit negligence suits –Releases are “closely scrutinized and strictly construed” by courts Defenses against Liability

11 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 Report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect Create school policies regarding students or employees with AIDS Maintain safe environment Difficult to hold schools liable for educational malpractice Can be held liable for negligent hiring or retention of unfit employees Can be liable for the emotional and physical injuries of students and teachers Other Types of Liability

12 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 School Districts are liable for violating a student’s constitutional rights (Section 1983). Schools are liable for violation of due process rights of students. Schools are liable for violating students’ rights under the equal protection clause. Schools are liable under Title IX for the wrongful acts of students and teachers. Other Types ofLiability

13 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 Amount of money depends on circumstances Substantial Sums 1.Compensatory – mental or emotional distress 2.Punitive – school officials who intentionally deprive the student of his/her rights 3.Nominal – violation is unintentional and no actual injuries Damages

14 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 Analysis of Mancha Case Analysis of Mancha Case

15 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 Initial Proceedings Complaint Facts of claim by plaintiff seeks Defendant Answers (30 days) or motion to dismiss Discovery Begins Step by Step In The Court System OUTCOME EDUCATIONAL IMPLICATION Interrogatories Depositions Document Requests Settlement Conference

16 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2007 Chapter 5 When Am I Liable? Reflection Based upon the knowledge of liability issues, in what ways can we ensure the safety of our students and teachers?


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