Articles Tagged with liability

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Public-School-Negligence-300x262In Oklahoma and other states, parents rely on schools and day care centers to be places of learning and safe havens. Unfortunately, far too many teachers, day care centers, administrators, and principals misuse their positions of responsibility and end up harming children under their care. At times, the harm results from a moment of agitation and irritation on behalf of the child care provider / teacher. At other times, the abuse, neglect, and / or corporal punishment results from a more systematic and calculated form of retribution or corporal punishment. Some school districts still allow for corporal punishments, while others strictly outlaw this outdated from of child discipline. If a child has been subjected to abuse, neglect, or corporal punishment, there may be a case or cause of action to pursue on behalf of the injured child.

A recent incident out of Indianola, Oklahoma exemplifies a scenario where a principal disciplined students using corporal methods in a school district that still permits punishments of this nature. News outlets reported that the principal of a public school instituted corporal punishment to  two children, ages ten and eleven, in the form of a paddle as punishment for arguing. The policy of the school district allows the school to “swat,” also known as spank, students as long as the school has permission from the parents to do so. In this situation, the parents felt the school went too far with the discipline because the children had bruises, lacerations, and welts as well as trouble sitting and standing after the discipline occurred.

While incidents of this nature may seem rare, the National Education Association indicates that nineteen states still permit corporal punishment, usually through paddling. According to statistics from the 2011-2012 school year, the National Education Association also asserts that approximately 163,000 students face corporal punishments annually. Alarmingly, statistics also reveal a racial disparity in the students subjected to corporal discipline in schools as well as a bias towards corporally disciplining students with disabilities. In some districts, students of minority races are 500% more likely to be struck than white students, even though these school districts tend to have more white students than minority students. Furthermore, students with disabilities are up to 67% more likely to face corporal punishment than other students in their school districts. Thus, corporal punishment occurs with some frequency in schools across the country and sometimes exhibits bias against protected classes of students.  See National Education Association – Corporal Punishment in Schools.

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By  Jonathan Safran Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney

Building Blocks Glossy -R - Day Care CenterIn Wisconsin and other states, parents rely on day care centers for the supervision of their children during the work day.  In most instances, a child is cared for in a supportive and educational environment.   However, there are also plenty of day care workers who lack the patience, personality, and temperament to properly care for small children. For instance, let’s say that a child is not responding to instructions or commands.  Some day care providers will then pull, shove, or push a child to get them going.   The rough handling or assault of a child can and does lead to serious personal injuries including bruising, fractures, lacerations, and even internal injuries.  Children, especially infants and toddlers, are susceptible to injury any time that they are pulled, pushed, shoved or grabbed.  When an adult pulls on a child’s arm, there can be a dislocation, fracture or other injury.  It is certainly not an easy task to supervise and monitor children; however, this does not excuse a day care center worker from rough handling a child under the supervision of the worker and the day care center.
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By  David Wolf, Attorney

Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

Handcuffs - Criminal - Child AbuseIn Washington and other States, parents rely on day care center to provide a safe, clean, and healthy environment for their children during working hours.  Parents, with children in day care centers, should visit frequently and at odd times.  In other words, a parent should visit at different times of the day in order to see how the staff is supervising the children under their care.  The staff in the morning may be different than the staff in the afternoon.  Furthermore, if the day care center staff believes that a parent could walk in at any moment of the day, this may, in turn, make the day care center staff more attentive to the duties and responsibilities at hand.   For most children, day care centers, schools, and summer camps provide that certain educational environment that certainly contributes to the growth and happiness of a child.   Unfortunately, some child care providers use their position of trust and access to abuse and neglect the very children that they are responsible for supervising and protecting from harm.   Certainly, the good child care providers outnumber the bad ones; however, one bad child care provider who abused and neglects children is frankly one too many.  Day care centers should carefully screen all day care center employees with background checks that are not only completed by an electronic search but also follow up calls to work and personal references.  Once hired, day care center employees should be trained and supervised.