Every day we see school buses stopping to pick up children at bus stops and drop them off on campuses. Oftentimes parents can be seen waiting at bus stops with their children, eager to ensure their kids make it safely onto the bus and on their way to school. When parents place their kids on the bus or drop them off at school, they expect that the school’s administrators and teachers are stepping into their shoes as protectors and supervisors of their children and will ensure their safety.
In fact, under Florida law, teachers and school administrators have a legal duty to use reasonable care in supervising students on school grounds. Not only does the school have the responsibility to watch over students, but elementary, middle and high schools also have an obligation to control the behavior of other students and to protect the students in their care from being injured at school and from being injured by other students. see Collins v. School Bd. Of Broward County, 471 So. 2d 502 (Fla. 2d DCA 1978). This means that Florida law will not allow a school’s administrators to turn a blind eye towards physical bullying by students. When children enter school grounds, teachers become responsible for supervising student activities. This means that if a particular student has a history of violent behavior and then later causes physical injury to a classmate, the school may be responsible for failing to adequately supervise the students.
In addition, if a school district is responsible for transporting students to and from campus, then the school is also obligated to ensure that students are safety transported to school and that they are safe while waiting for the bus at the bus stop that has been selected by the school. Teachers and school administrators are not just responsible for students while students are in the classrooms, but other areas of the school grounds as well such as parking lots, playgrounds, and sports fields. Moreover, school administrators are not just responsible for supervising children in an academic setting, but they are also responsible for ensuring the safety of students during extracurricular activities, such as school-sponsored sporting events. Florida law recognizes that if a child is injured at school, whether it is an accident occurring on school grounds or a child is injured as the result of being assaulted by another student, the injured child and child’s parent may have a claim against the school for negligence.
When children go off to school in the morning, the last thing parents expect is for those ensuring their child’s safety to fail to fulfill that obligation. As a community, we expect our teachers and school administrators to take care in supervising our children while at school and protecting our children from being injured by other students. If your child has been injured at school because of the failure of the school’s administrators to adequately supervise and protect your child, please call the attorneys at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA for a free consultation. Our lawyers are committed to seeking justice for those who are injured as the result of another’s negligence. Call the Pinellas County Trial Lawyers at 727-451-6900 or email me, Julia N. McGrath, at Julia@dolmanlaw.com for more information.