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Ohio court will hear case over bullying, teacher liability
Class Action News | 2019/11/26 12:50
The Ohio Supreme Court this week agreed to hear a case over whether educators were reckless in failing to prevent an injury to a student even though they had been notified she was being bullied by a fellow kindergartner.

The court will consider whether teachers and principals can be sued when a student is bullied under their supervision, The (Toledo) Blade reported.

In this case, one girl reportedly punctured another girl’s cheek with a pencil at Toledo’s DeVeaux Elementary School several years ago.

A Lucas County court concluded a teacher and two principals were protected from the resulting lawsuit by statutory immunity. But a 2-1 ruling by a state appeals court panel resurrected the lawsuit on the recklessness issue.

State law makes educators immune from liability unless they act with “malicious purpose, in bad faith, or in a wanton or reckless manner.”

The appeals court panel concluded there was some evidence of ongoing verbal and physical abuse in the Toledo case but no sign that attempts were made to keep the two girls apart.

The school employees said they spoke with both students after being told about the teasing and bullying. The teacher said she saw no sign of the injury and didn’t learn about it until days afterward.


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