Spokane School Liability Attorney
School Liability in Washington
Schools are supposed to be safe places. As a society, we entrust teachers and other school employees with the instruction and protection of our children on a daily basis. In fact, many children spend more face-to-face time with their school teachers than with their own parents.
Legal rights do not disappear simply because a student walks into a classroom. Schools are responsible for the safety of students, and have a duty to protect your child against unnecessary injury. Once a student walks onto school property, he or she is under the institution’s protection and care. The school must have a risk management system in place to prevent injuries before they occur. They must also have a system in place to monitor and supervise both teachers and students.
School abuse, or neglect of students by teachers and school personnel, is not commonplace. However, it does happen, and it can take many forms:
- Inadequate monitoring or supervision
- Inappropriate classroom discipline, including excessive confinement or physical use of force
- Failure to protect against assault, bullying, or harassment
- Failure to maintain the property, such as playgrounds and walkways
- Failing to accommodate the special needs of students, such failing to follow a 504 plan
- Restrictions or violations of students' civil rights, such as unreasonable searches and seizures of students or their property, or restrictions on students' freedom of speech
- Inappropriate touching or sexual abuse
Who Is Liable for Accidents at School?
School districts must have rules in place to prevent hazardous situations from occurring. These include ground rules for playing sports during recess, and rules regarding PE. When a child, employee, or anyone else is hurt on school property or during a school-run activity, school administrators are required to file an incident report form with their insurance company. Even if your child was in a school bus collision, an incident report must be filed, and the school bus driver can be held responsible for negligence.
In Spokane, falls from heights such as playground equipment cause a significant number of injuries to young children. Kids are far more likely to be seriously hurt if they fall more than 5 feet. Supervisors are supposed to keep a close watch on children during play time. Depending on the age, sometimes a child must always be in the supervisor’s line of sight. If your child was injured, our Spokane child injury lawyers can guide you through the legal process and answer your questions every step of the way.
In addition to supervision, schools have a responsibility to provide softer landing areas for children when they do fall. This means the material that the ground is made of underneath the play equipment must be adequately cushioned. Most playgrounds use materials like rubber mulch to soften the impact. If these basic precautions are not taken, schools can be held liable for injuries resulting from falls and other incidents.