The legal principle of negligent supervision allows you to pursue damages compensation if your child is injured in school. This applies if you can prove that the school authorities, in most cases the teachers, failed to supervise the child properly. Therefore, the first thing is to determine whether the teacher in charge of the child was negligent in his or her supervision. Unfortunately, a universal standard for school supervision doesn't exist. Instead, several factors have to be considered, and examples include:
The Nature of the Activity
Activities whose dangers can be foreseen require more supervision than those that do not carry known dangers. For example, a science experiment that involves the use of chemicals is potentially more dangerous than a class reading project. Therefore, a teacher that leaves his or her science project unsupervised may be considered negligent.
The Experience of the Child
Was your child experienced in the activity in which he or she was engaged? Was the teacher aware of his or her inexperience? This measure usually applies to extracurricular activities. For example, a football coach should pay more attention to first-timers as compared to regular players. The new players may not even know how to put on their safety gear properly. Their experienced counterparts, on the other hand, are may not require strict supervision since they are more experienced and understand how to stay safe while playing.
The Age of the Child
The level of supervision required reduces as a child grows; older children need less supervision than their younger counterparts. For example, a teacher who lets his or her kindergarten children alone during an artwork lesson may be negligent if it entails the use of potentially dangerous tools such as pairs of scissors. However, the same cannot be said about another teacher who does the same to a classroom of high school teenagers.
The Nature of the Environment
The level of supervision needed varies with the place. As you know, school activities take place in different environments such as laboratories, classrooms, sports fields and even natural zoo visits. Different levels of supervision are needed for all these areas. For example, pupils on a field trip may require closer supervision than they would need in a classroom.
As you can see, it isn't simple to determine whether or not the school was negligent in your child's supervision. If you feel that this is the case, then your best move is to consult with an experienced attorney from a firm like Goldman & LeBrun to help you chart the way forward.