Most educators and administrators believe that a school is responsible for its students “from door to door” – basically, students are the schools responsibility from the time they leave their house to go to school at the beginning of the day, until they return to their residence at the end of the day. However, in Monroe v. Basis Sch. Inc., 234 Ariz. 155 (App. 2014), Division 2 of the Arizona Court of Appeals held that:
- The duty of care in the school-student relationship:
- Is “bounded by geography and time.”
- Encompasses risks such as those that occur while the student is at school or is under the school’s control.
- General Rule: “absent a statute to the contrary or an undertaking specifically assumed, an educational institution has no duty to conduct or supervise school children in going to or from their homes.”
- A school has no common law duty to provide crossing guards. If a school does undertake to provide crossing guards, then a duty of care arises to do so non-negligently.
Based on this Arizona decision, which was not appealed, the common understanding of Arizona educators is not correct. The “General Rule” quoted above obviates some of the time and geography of when a school is responsible for its students.
To fully understand a school’s responsibilities for students before and after school hours, please contact your Erin H. Walz.
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please feel free to contact Erin H. Walz at 480.461.5379, log on to www.udallshumway.com or contact an attorney in your area.
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