Negligent Supervision and Personal Injury

How do you know if the school is responsible for your child's injury? To answer this question, it must be determined if the school provided adequate supervision in a specific set of circumstances. In other words, the answer depends on the situation.

While schools have a legal duty to use reasonable efforts to keep children safe (adequate supervision), this obligation can mean different things for different students. There are, however, several factors concerning what would be considered "adequate."

· The child's age. Sending a kindergarten student to the office unescorted, for example, might be considered inadequate or "negligent" supervision.

· The type of activity. For example, taking a test would not require the same type of supervision as a field trip.

· The child's level of experience. P.E. class with first graders should have different supervision levels than a high school baseball team event.

· The environment. A classroom is quite different than a field trip destination or a playground, and each has a standard of supervision. Also included in the environment is potential harm from other students or adults. For example, school personnel should protect students from bullying or threats from adults on school property. Teachers and administrators have a duty to monitor the school environment and take appropriate measures to protect the students.

These are the basic factors to consider when determining if a child had adequate or negligent supervision. However, keep in mind that negligence in these situations is largely dependent on the circumstances. This can be different for each individual child. Contact our office for any questions you may have about personal injuries at school.

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