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School Law

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Lori Froedge

on 1 March 2013

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Transcript of School Law

School Law Presentation What Constitutes Libel and Slander? How Should I Deal with Child Abuse and Neglect? When Am I Liable? Major Terms •Liability – The state of being responsible for something

•Tort – An actionable or civil wrong committed against one person by another, which is independent of contract.

•Defamation – One type of tort, or civil wrong, where an individual’s reputation is harmed due to release of classified information or misinformation.

•In loco parentis – literally means in place of parents

•Reasonable Care – The degree of care a teacher of ordinary prudence would have used under like circumstances.

•Duty of Care – A legal obligation imposed on an individual requiring that they adhere to a standard of reasonable care while performing any acts that could foreseeably harm others.

•Child Abuse and Neglect – As defined by federal legislation, child abuse and neglect is, at minimum, any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation; or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm. Court Cases •Page v. Rotterdam-Mohonasen (1981)
Dispute between custodial and noncustodial parent

•Owasso Independent School District No. 1-011 v. Falvo (2002)
Does peer grading violate FERPA and therefore cause defamation?

•Tarasoff v. Regents of the University of California
Do you have a duty to tell?

•Gordon v. Oak Park School District No. 97
3 children’s complaints cause mother to blow up situation

•Rogers v. Akron City School System No. CV 2006-05
Teacher claims immunity under school system Situations Max’s parents have recently been separated and are no longer living together. Max’s mother, Michelle, has assumed the role of primary guardian to Max and requested from the school that Max’s father Michael no longer have access to her son’s school records. Should the school withhold the records from Michael per Michelle’s request? Before beginning high school, Andy decides to join the school football team, while his brother, Chris, decides to join the cross country team. During the first game of the season, Andy gets tackled and subsequently breaks his left arm. 1 week into cross country training, Chris gets confused, makes a wrong turn on the course, and gets hit by a car, breaking his leg. What kind of liability defense should the school use for each case? Kim is in her 7th consecutive year of teaching high school chemistry. Recently she has been having trouble getting her students to recognize where potential errors are being made on problems. Thus, she writes a moderately difficult problem on the board and instructs her students to solve the problem for a quiz grade. At the end of 10 minutes, she has students exchange papers and instructs them to grade their peer’s work based off of the directions and correct answers that she will provide. Has Kim violated any laws or rights by doing this? Jane has never missed a day of school. It doesn’t matter if it’s rain, shine, snow, sleet, or ice, Jane is always there. She does not play any sports, nor is she involved in any other recreational activities. She always does exactly as her teacher asks; however, she scarcely seems interested in any of the material for any of her classes. Several of her teachers attempt to communicate with Jane about what is going on with her, but she provides only noncommittal answers and tries to disengage quickly. As her teacher, what would be your next course of action? Was the incident foreseeable?

If so, were reasonable measures taken to prevent the incident?

Did the individual act in a reasonable manner concerning precedence?

Could the incident have been prevented with teacher or administrator intervention? Student Injury Defenses Against
Liability Contributory Negligence

Comparative Negligence

Assumption of Risk

Governmental Immunity Types of Liability Individual Liability

Vicarious Liability Damages Defamatory
Statements Against
Students Against
Teachers Against
Officials Child Abuse and Neglect is defined as... You must be able to provide the following:
I. The Child’s Identity;

II. Any person believed to be responsible for the abuse or neglect to the child if the person is known;

III. The nature and extent of the abuse or neglect;

IV. The name and address of the reporter, if he or she so chooses; and

V. Where the child can be found. State Reporting
Requirements Symptoms of Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Abuse and Neglect Child Abuse and/or Neglect Physical Abuse Abusive Parent Characteristics Sexual Abuse Emotional Maltreatment Neglect Unexplained bruises, oddly shaped bruises, or bruises in various stages of healing
Burns: cigarettes, patterned, or appearing to be from a rope
Unexplained fractures to the face, multiple fractures, or various fractures in multiple healing stages
Unexplained lacerations, such as a busted lip, black eye, or mouth
Abrasions, missing teeth, broken bones, head injuries, internal injuries, or consistent injuries. Overly compliant to avoid confrontation
Lacking curiosity
Fearful of physical contact
Seems to enjoy little or nothing
Hurts other children
Consistently angry
Craves affection
Developmentally delayed.
Afraid to go home
Reporting injury by parents Physical/Behavioral Indicators lack of skills to meet personal emotional needs

belief of necessity for harsh physical discipline

acceptance of violence as communication

unreasonable expectations for children

compulsiveness aggressiveness

fear of spoiling children

poor self-concept

fear of authority Difficulty in walking or sitting
Torn, stained, or bloody undergarments
Pain or itching in genital area
Bruises or bleeding near genitalia
Pregnancy Unwilling to dress out for P.E.
Unusual sexual knowledge considering age of the student
Poor peer relationships
Never wants to go home
Reporting sexual misconduct at home Physical/Behavioral Indicators Poor Hygiene
Consistent Hunger
Inappropriate Clothing
Unattended medical needs
Consistent lack of supervision Begging for food
Stealing food
Staying late after school or coming very early
Frequent fatigue
Sleeping in class
Substance Abuse
Reporting no guardianship Physical/Behavioral Indicators Speech Disorders
Lagging in Physical Development
Failure to Thrive Sucking thumb, biting nails, and/or rocking
Sleeping Disorder
overly adaptive behavior
Attempted Suicide Physical/Behavioral Indicators Conclusions Avoid gossip or talking about students in a facetious or malicious manner
Only share student information with those who are privy to know it
Try not to say things you will regret
When in doubt, assume a high level of care
Always warn students of potential risks in the lab and be a constant reminder of lab safety
Always report child abuse and/or neglect if suspect. Call 911 for immediate danger. Compensatory


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