It is a school’s obligation to act as a parent would in providing a safe, healthy environment for the minor children in its care.
If a school fails to follow “accepted standards of care,” causing a student injury, it may be negligent.
Public schools may waive sovereign immunity in cases of negligence
If the injury happened at a public school, the claim would be against a government agency (a school district), which enjoys sovereign immunity.
The government normally is immune from lawsuits. However, all states allow claims if the school district or its employees cause injury to a student through negligence. State laws often set limits for damages that can be awarded against government agencies.
Public schools require strict adherence to claim rules
Waivers of government immunity are available only to claimants who follow the exact procedures required, which vary by state. In Florida, you must give notice in writing within 180 days of the injury, but in other states, it may be as little as 60 days.
Normally, the injured party must file a Notice of Claim or similar document with the school district and other designated state agencies. It is not possible to file a lawsuit until a certain amount of time has passed after the notice (180 days in Florida) or until the school district denies the claim.
If a child is injured at a public school, in most states, the claim form setting forth the injury information must be properly filed or no lawsuit can later be filed.