Legal Issues in Education Liability Term Paper

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The second case involves a third grader who was seriously injured (became quadriplegic) when he ran into the street after school and was hit by a car. His family argued that they had not been made aware of early release, and sued Pleasantville Public Schools (Jerkins v. Anderson a-49-06) for negligently "failing to carry out its duty to provide reasonable supervision," the NSBA explains. The upshot of the 2007 case is that the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled schools so indeed have a "duty of reasonable care for supervising students' safety at dismissal times," the NSBA explains. The Court held that schools are liable in these matters, and must: "provide adequate notice" of dismissal times; adopt "a reasonable policy concerning dismissal" and the "manner in which students of different ages will be dismissed"; and must adhere to parents' "reasonable requests regarding dismissal."

The third case involving safety and liability is Murphy v. Bajjani (No. 06-1483), a 2007 Georgia case in which school board members (and school officials) were "entitled to immunity" from a lawsuit blaming them for "negligently failing to adopt a statutorily required school safety plan" (NSBA).
A student (Timothy Bajjani) from North Gwinnett High School was severely injured in a fight at school; his parents sued. And while the Georgia Court of Appeals ruled that the school board and other officials did have a "ministerial" liability (requiring "execution of a specified duty"), the State Supreme Court overruled the appeals court, asserting that the school officials had only a "discretionary" duty only (i.e., "action not specifically directed") as regards the creation of a school safety plan. The terms "ministerial" and "discretionary" had a huge impact in this case regarding the liability (or immunity from liability) of school board members and officials in the school.

Works Cited

National School Boards Association. (2007). School Law: Henderson v. Walled Lake

Consolidated Schools. Retrieved Jan. 16, 2008, at

National School Boards Association. (2007). School Law: Jerkins v. Anderson. Retrieved Jan. 16, 2008 at

National School Boards Association. (2007). School Law: Murphy v. Bajjani. Retrieved Jan. 16, 2008 at

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