I am a substitute teacher and I would like to mentor an at-risk youth (age 15) but the school district says I am not covered by their liability insurance in the unlikely event of a parent lawsuit and therefore they cannot support my efforts to mentor the student. I wonder if I can approach the parents as a private concerned citizen and they can sign a contract allowing me to spend time with their child outside of school?
Optional Information: Los Angeles, CaliforniaAlready Tried: talking with employer, mentoring organizations, social worker
Thank you for your question.
It sounds like what you are trying to do is quite noble. The short answer to your question is -- yes! The family can sign a contract allowing you to spend time with their child outside of school.
The thing you need to keep in mind is that there are some liabilities that cannot be contracted away. The school board's biggest concern was what would happen to their liability in the event you were sued. In the same vein, if you were sued in an individual capacity, you would be responsible to defend the action. Now the parents can agree for the two of you to spend time together and there are some liabilities that you can prevent; however, in the event the child were to an allegation against you, you would have to shell out money to defend against the allegation.
Please let me know if you have any other questions, or require clarification of this matter. Otherwise please hit "ACCEPT", so I may receive credit for my response. Tips and feedback are also appreciated.
I have a law practice that is largely dedicated to family law matters.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).