Question: Define tort liability in the context of the school. Provide one example of tort liability in the school and describe what the school leader might have done to prevent this situation from occurring. Support your answer with research.In the school context, teachers are liable for acts that may cause injury to a student while under the teachers supervision (Osborne, n.d.). There are two major categories of torts typically observed within the education related cases: intentional torts and negligence (Blacks Law, 2009).Frame v. Comeaux For example: Casey Frame was an eighth grade student and Dr. Barry Comeaux was a science teacher at Opelousas Catholic School. Comeaux was acting as a substitute teacher for Frames last period class. By request of the original teacher, Comeaux administered a spelling test to the students, but during the course of the test, many students became disruptive. At that point, Comeaux asked them to leave and the offending students complied. Shortly thereafter, Casey Frame spoke aloud during the test, and Comeaux asked him to leave the classroom twice before approaching Frames desk. Frame responded by slowly standingup to face Comeaux. Simultaneously, Comeaux grabbed Frame by the arm to assist him out of the classroom. The combined actions threw Frame off-balance and caused him to stumble backwards down the aisle where he hit the podium and eventually came to a halt against the blackboard. Frame was then removed from the classroom. Frame filed suit, alleging that Comeauxs actions constituted an assault and battery on him. Frame argued that Comeaux attacked him and that this attack was unprovoked. Even if provoked, Frame argued, Comeauxs actions were excessive in light of the situation.The court, in Frame v. Comeaux, 735 So. 2d 753 (La. Ct. App. 1999), found that although Comeaux committed a battery, he was justified in doing so. Frames actions were apparently sufficient to provoke Comeaux to forcefully remove Frame from the classroom. Moreover, the court found it was necessary for Comeaux to remove Frame,
not only to maintain order, but also to facilitate the learning process. Blacks Law Dictionary defines a Tort as a civil wrong . . . for which a remedy may be obtained, usually in the form of damages.1 Tort claims usually involve state law and are based on the idea that individuals are liable for the consequences of their conduct (Blacks Law, 2009). As the Frame case illustrates, courts recognize instances where educators are justified in their tortious conduct. In the legal world, these situations give rise to defenses. Defenses absolve educators from full or partial liability for damages. Among the intentional tort defenses available to educators are self-defense, defense of others and defense of property.The major factor in tort liability for educators and administrators is that no student injured in their presence. If a student is injured and nothing was done to stop the situation then there are reasonable charges that can be brought up against the educator and teacher. According to the mandates, educators, administrators and teachers have the responsibility for learning: Accountability, curriculum, and methods and techniques for teaching. Teachers are responsible for their performance and it is in their interest that we are held accountable. To prevent such as situation from happening, leader must have in place a behavior policy agreement that each student and parent sign (Greene, 1998).Reference:
Black, H. C. (1968). Blacks Law Dictionary. Retrieved August 1, 2013, from Definitions of the Terms and Phrases of American and English Jurisprudence, Ancient and Modern: http://livingfreeandclear.com/downloads/files/BlacksLaw4th.pdf
Greene, J. (1998). How Teachers Can Avoid Being Sued: Law and American Education. Guides, 18.
Osborne, J. K. (n.d.). Teacher Tort Liability. Retrieved August 1, 2013, from http://www.udallshumway.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Teacher-Tort-Liability.pdf.
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