Teachers are liable for a lot
Mostly responsible for students
Teachers are liable for student injury if the
student can prove four things
1: If the teacher had a duty to prevent injury
2:The teacher failed to use due care
3:The teacher’s carelessness lead to the
4:The student sustained provable damages
A teacher brings her class of 20 girls near
boys playing baseball
She tells them to sit nearby and leaves
Boy students begin throwing rocks at the
Margaret Sheehan is hit in the eye and
The parents sued the school, claiming that it
was the teacher’s duty to watch the children.
The court ruled in favor of the parents, saying
the teacher should have been out there to
protect the children and if she had been there
the incident would not have happened.
Do you think that teachers should be required
to monitor their children at all times?
Roberto Mancha and his class go on a field
trip to a museum
Teachers loosely supervise students in the
Several children not associated with the
school assaulted Roberto
Roberto’s parents sued the school, claiming
that the teachers were negligent in
supervising the children.
Court ruled in favor of the school, stating that
there was no way the teachers could predict
an assault at a museum.
If a student’s negligent acts result in them
Children under the age of 7 cannot have
contributory negligence, they are considered
not intelligent or mature enough.
Children between the ages of 7 and 14 are
Children older than 14 can have contributory
17-year-old Jodeen Miles being unsafe around
Teacher was covered for giving a safety test
and demonstrating safe behaviors.
“…compare[s] the relative negligence of the
plaintiff and the defendant in causing the
injury and to make an appropriate damage
Who’s fault was it?
9-year-old who jumped from merry-go-round
The right of teachers to speak freely about
their subjects, to experiment with new ideas,
and to select appropriate teaching materials.
Marvin Pickering is a teacher in Illinois.
He writes an article in a newspaper
denouncing the use of tax funds by the school
The school board fights back
Pickering claims that he has the right to free
speech, when he loses in the local court
He appeals to the Supreme Court
The US Supreme Court sided with Pickering.
JusticeThurgood Marshal said the problem of
the case is “to arrive at a balance between the
interests of the teacher, as citizen, in
commenting upon matters of public
Discussions in a high school social studies
class become heated over students’ opinions
Students outside the classroom begin to
wear black armbands to symbolize their
opinions of the war
The school banned armbands in the school
The students complained that their First
Amendment rights were broken and that
they should have the right to wear these
Local courts sided with the school
The students appealed to the Supreme Court
where it was decided that the armbands were
a form of expression and could not be
BoringV. Buncombe County: Award winning
English teacher Margaret Boring had good
reviews before her staging of the play
Parents dislike the content of the play, even
though the principal allowed play with deleted
Boring gets bad reviews, then transferred, goes
Majority finds that this is an employee/employer
dispute. Minority writes that it is inappropriate
to use Kirkland v. as Boring obeyed superiors.
Judge Jeffrey Sutton writes: “When a teacher
teaches, the school system does not regulate
that speech so much as hires that speech.
Expression is a teacher’s stock in trade, the
commodity she sells to her employer in
exchange for a salary. And if it is the school
board that hires that speech, it can surely
regulate the content of what is or is not
expressed, what is expressed in other words on
Recent court decisions mean that we must
choose curriculum that is within the ‘good
taste’ of the community we teach.Think
Always run stuff past your principal, submit
your lesson plans on time and completely!
Amish desire to cease the education
requirement after 8th grade.
Court decides for Amish in that: “the Amish
way of life is a (viable) ‘alternative to formal
secondary education’ and has enabled them
to exist successfully and independently for
The writing of theYoder judgment has been
used to dismiss cases brought by fly-by-night
This 1971 case, Lemon v. Kurtzman, is where
the Supreme Court came up with this test to
clarify First Amendment cases involving the
What is that?!
“Congress shall make no law respecting an
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the
free exercise thereof.”
The Lemon movie explains the three parts of
Does the policy or practice have a secular
Is the primary effect of the policy or practice
one that neither advances nor inhibits
Does the policy or practice avoid an excessive
entanglement with religion?
In 1943 the Supreme Court decides West
Virginia v. Barnette which allows exemptions
for those who wish not to be forced to say, or
punished for not saying,The Pledge of
Allegiance at the start of school day.
School prayer cannot be called such,
semantics are key.
Massachusetts rewrote its law to read: “…a
period of silence not to exceed one minute in
duration shall be observed for personal
thoughts, and during such period, silence
shall be maintained and no other activity
To protect yourself, remember: CYAP
As teachers, we will not be having an official class on
CYA. We will be acquiring a small amount of this
wisdom during student teaching.
However, during new teacher orientation, in most
districts, all the laws we come under as teachers are
BlasTelleria of BSD-HR would like to see liability
issues addressed more specifically during student
teaching. He said that the biggest issues today at
BSD are educators acting unprofessionally in social
Document threats made to students, before you
find yourself documenting disruptive behaviors
that endanger students/staff.
If documenting threats is going above and
beyond what your school requires it is beneficial
in that it creates a comfortable atmosphere
where students feel it is okay to come forward,
even if they are no longer your students.
Triplicate forms at office supply stores: white--
yours, yellow—principal, pink—parent.
Litigation takes years if you find yourself
appealing a negative decision through all the
It takes ridiculous amounts of money.
The union, if you choose to join it, provides an
attorney if you find yourself before the school
board at a “non-renewal hearing.”
(note: Idaho is a Right toWork State, so you will
not be forced to join a union as a condition of
hire-- yet non-members are covered under the
Then you end up at the county court house next,
and the union may help with your attorney fees
if it is a case they feel they can win.
If still unfavorable it goes up to the third floor (or
some such) where the District Court is.
Then, if there is a issue of state constitutionality,
State Supreme Court.
Then, if there is an issue of federal
constitutionality, U.S. Supreme Court.
With a cost of $10,00o-50,000 a year, an average
of 5-8 years just to approach the highest court--
and then they may decide not to hear it!
Just remember what Dr. Kelly says: “Just
don’t do stupid, and don’t be stupid.”