School District Liable When Student is Hit by Car Crossing Intersection

    This academic affairs case involves a fourteen-year-old student at an Intermediate School. This student usually walked home from school. The student usually departed school at 2:15 PM. On the day the student was injured, her teacher asked her to stay after school and help grade papers. The student did not leave school until 3:00 PM. The young girl left school and had to cross an intersection to get home. On certain days of the week, there was a crossing guard at the intersection but the guard left at 2:45 PM on the day the student stayed late. The young girl was struck by a car trying to cross the intersection and the student suffered severe injuries.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. Is it negligence for a teacher to keep a student after school when the teacher knows that the crossing guard at an intersection the student must cross to go home leaves early that day of the week?

    Expert Witness Response

    A school district has a duty to exercise ordinary care in supervising students while they are on school premises. If a school district or a school official breaches this duty and a student is injured, the school district will be held liable for negligence if it is found that the acts of a school official are the proximate cause of the student’s injuries. In this case, the student was kept so late after school that she had to cross an intersection at a time when the teacher knew that the crossing guard would not be there. This act of keeping the student late was basically the cause of the students getting hit by a car. If the teacher had let the student leave at the normal time, this would have shown a more reasonable degree of care for protecting the student’s safety. Since the teacher kept the student at school so late, this act probably was negligent. This means that the teacher, in this case, failed to exercise due car in supervising the student. The school district, in this case, is probably liable for the student’s injuries because the teacher knew that the school crossing guard would not be at the intersection that the students had to cross to go home and could have reasonably foreseen that an accident might happen.

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