Conceptualizing Tort Law in Education Environments


Consider the following scenarios:

A child steps off of a school bus and gets bitten by a dog. The owner is present, but decides to flee the scene. Later, the child develops a case of rabies. The school bus driver sees the entire event and, as an extension of the school, has the "duty of care" to stop. However, he chooses to drive away.

This scenario is an example of tort liability. Tort liability is a direct invasion of someone’s legal rights and a violation of some private obligation from another person(s) that causes some damage to an individual. In the dog bite scenario, what was the duty of care required by the bus driver and the school district? A risk-management plan would address this situation.

To prepare for the Discussion read this module’s resources and view the video, "Tort Liability for Negligence." Create a summative definition for tort law. Consider the relationship among tort law, negligence and risk management.

Reflect on following statement:

Negligence is a category or tort liability and has been defined as conduct that falls below the standard established by law for the protection of others against unreasonable risk or harm. There is a duty of due care that the law recognizes one person owes to another (Dunklee & Shoop, 2016).

Apply this statement to the following scenario:

You are a leader in a large high school, and you have received information regarding allegedly inappropriate behavior from one of your staff members.

By Day 7 of Week 11:

Post your response to the following:

In the above scenario, what is the potential liability for negligence? Based on your reading and Dunklee’s interview, what steps would you take to identify and manage the risk to minimize any alleged tortuous conduct in your education setting?

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By Day 3 of Week 12:

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings. As you read their responses, note those to which you would like to respond with advice, questions, comments, and/or encouragement.

Respond to two or more of your colleagues’ postings in any of the following ways:

•Build on something your colleagues said

•Explain why and how you see things differently

•Ask a probing or clarifying question

Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Reflect on what you learned in this activity and/or insights you gained this week.