Oh, The Tangled Web: Avoiding Liability for Employees' Off-Campus Activities With School Students

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You've just received a phone call advising that one of the school's employees is being sued for engaging in inappropriate activity with students attending the birthday party for the employee's child. The parent tells you that he is also considering bringing a claim against the school. This type of situation is occurring with more frequency today. Unfortunately, many schools have not yet taken action to assess the potential school liability for an employee's off-duty behavior.

How Do The Liability Issues Arise?

When employees engage in off-campus activities (some of which are school related), the risk of claims increases because the level of supervision decreases and the structure of the environment changes. The issue of off-duty or off-campus interaction with students arises in several contexts. In some situations, the employee is in charge of some type of off-duty activity (such as a pizza party, field trip, or other activity).

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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