Q: In a series of interactions, a bus monitor employed by the school district has physically and mentally abused my child, and she has failed to give him the supervision he needs. I think I can show this from the surveillance video recording. What is the law here?
A: Schools have a duty adequately to supervise the students in their care, and may be held liable for foreseeable injuries proximately related to the absence of adequate supervision. The standard for determining whether the school has breached its duty is to compare the school’s supervision and protection to that of a parent of ordinary prudence placed in the same situation and armed with the same information.
To the extent that you are talking about the monitor’s intentional acts, you generally must demonstrate that the school knew or should have known of the monitor’s propensity to engage in such conduct, such that the monitor’s acts could be anticipated or were foreseeable. One way to do this is to show that the school district had received prior complaints of the monitor’s misbehavior.
For assault, there must be proof of physical conduct placing your child in imminent apprehension of harmful contact. For battery, there must be proof of intentional bodily contact that is offensive in nature.
To the extent that you are talking about the monitor’s negligence, generally, where a monitor is acting within the scope of her employment, your claim against the school district proceeds under a theory of respondeat superior – vicarious liability. If she was acting outside the scope of her employment, your claim against the district is for negligence in supervising and training the monitor.
By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial
The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.
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