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Is the elementary school required to contact the parents of…

Is the elementary school...

Is the elementary school required to contact the parents of a second grader who was attacked by two other kids and was hit several times on the back. The victim was taken to the principals office and he looked at his back and said he is fine. The other two children were suspended, they attacked him right in front of a volunteer parent watching the playground. I was just notified today at a teacher parent conference and this incident happened weeks ago. My son says it still hurts in the area on his back.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because education law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

California

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you spoken to a local attorney or school administrator? What is your ideal outcome for this situation?

No, my ideal outcome is the school notified parents when there children get hurt. And these two other kids I am told are problem and trouble makers daily.

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Answered in 20 minutes by:
3/9/2018
Dan Hodgkinson
Category: Education Law
Satisfied Customers: 694
Experience: Partner at McCollum Hodgkinson, P.C.
Verified

Hello my name is ***** ***** I am happy to help today - did your son tell you what happened when this actually happened? Why was there a volunteer parent watching the children and not a teacher?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
I asked him about it as soon as I got home. He said he asked the two kids if he could play with them, and they said no and accused him of stealing a lego. Then one kid told the other to hit him. So my son took off and ran to a “yellow shirt” one of the parents watching the play ground. As soon as my son reached her one kid hit him in the back knocking him to his knees and the other kid then started karate chopping my son on his back while he was on his knees. The parent then stopped them, other teachers saw this happen as well. My son says he never saw the nurse only the principal and the principal said he is fine. The principal did not want to discipline the two attackers. My sons teacher however who also witnessed what happened, took the two kids to the office and she said she sent them home. As my sons teacher was telling me in the meeting today my son is such a sweet kid, so kind to everyone and all the teachers like him so much and seeing these two kids attack my son like they did she was horrified.

You were not notified of this attack the day it happened? Did you contact the school the day it happened?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
I was not contacted. I just found out today, it’s teacher parent conferences all week. His teacher told me she was sorry I was never contacted but the principal should have. My son is in 2nd grade.
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
This took place February 14

Thank you for the information - Here is the law concerning your question. It has long been held that teachers at a school act in "loco parentis" or in lue of the parents. This means that they can do things that would a reasonable parent in their position would do. That being said, it is clear when a child is attacked and injured they need to contact the parents. If there is a school handbook I am sure this is written inside. If I were you I would notify the school superintendent with a letter and I would also send the same letter to the principal who failed to notify you. You have said that you do not wish to take legal civil action - so that is where I will end my answer.

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I hope I have answered your question and given you the next step to take - could you please rate me with 5 stars. I am very sorry this happened to your son and your family.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
What kind of legal actions would there be?

You could file a civil complaint for negligence - child endangerment - failure to notify - violation of duty of care. There are multiple things you could possibly sue the school for.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
that is why I wrote to this site. I have been looking up laws and obligations in the education code, I have called the California board of education asking if there is any. I could not find anywhere about schools having to contact the parents. On the phone they said that as well and told me to look at the schools safety plan and hand book. No where does it say anything about the school being required to notify the parents. It did say k-5 it is principals choice to suspend students, and after 5th grade the principal has no say and they will be suspended.

I understand that - that does not give schools immunity when they make a mistake. They owe a duty of care to the students and here they violated that duty. That is negligence.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
What do you think is the right thing to do concerning this topic. Write a letter to superintendent and principal like you suggested? Or go a legal route?

I honestly think the right thing to do in your situation would be to write the letter to the superintendent and the principal. I would also talk about your situation at the next school board meeting and have multiple mothers and fathers write the superintendent. The legal route would be time consuming and you would need to hire an attorney and that could be expensive.

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The main thing here is that your son is okay and he sees how people should really handle problems. Not with violence.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
I totally agree, thank you for your time.

You are very welcome! I am happy to help - could you please rate my answer with 5 stars.

Dan Hodgkinson
Category: Education Law
Satisfied Customers: 694
Experience: Partner at McCollum Hodgkinson, P.C.
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