In a typical week during the school year, many children will spend more time at school than they spend with their parents. Parents expect that their children will be properly and adequately supervised at a school or at a day care facility. Public and private schools, kindergartens, and day care facilities have a legal duty to take all reasonable measures to make sure that children stay safe and injury-free. But what if a child sustains an injury at a school or at a day care facility? How does the law determine liability for such an injury?
It starts by determining what is “proper and adequate” supervision, and that depends on the situation. Some children require more supervision than others. Some activities require more supervision than others. The bottom line is that the law offers no single, universal definition of “proper and adequate” supervision. A variety of elements come together to determine what level of supervision is needed at any particular moment. Those elements include the age, the experience level, and the known behavior of the child or children as well as the nature of the activity.
Every year, nearly four million children are injured at public schools or school events in the U.S. Eighty percent of children see a school nurse at least once while attending public schools. When a child is injured at school or at a school event, who has the legal responsibility? Again, it depends on the details and circumstances of the injury. A school district may or may not have liability or partial liability. In South Florida, when a child is injured at a school, a kindergarten, or a day care facility, an experienced West Palm Beach personal injury attorney can examine the details of the accident and injury to determine legal responsibility for the child’s injury.
What Does Proper And Adequate Supervision Entail?
Proper and adequate supervision by school personnel entails much more than simply taking reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of children during a sports activity or a field trip. That is only the beginning. The teachers and staff at schools, kindergartens, and day care facilities must constantly monitor and manage everything that immediately surrounds the children. Risks and potential threats to children must be constantly minimized or eliminated – whether it’s taking a dangerous toy from a child or calling the police about a suspicious stranger.