What responsibility does the school have when its staffers are negligent?
Everyone knows that accidents happen, even when precautions are taken, but the parents of a 7-year-old boy injured during recess at PS 811 in Manhattan have filed a lawsuit claiming that the appropriate precautions were not taken at the time their little boy got hurt. The lawsuit, filed in Manhattan Supreme court by their lawyer, David Jaroslawicz, states that the child was injured because he and the other children playing during recess were not being supervised. Instead, the staffers supposedly in charge of the children were absorbed in their own game of basketball. The staff members did not, therefore, notice that the children’s game was becoming overly rough and did nothing to intervene as the kids smashed into one another. As a result, the victim’s two front teeth were knocked out and he was taken to have an emergency root canal procedure. Not only is he now missing his two permanent front teeth, but he was traumatized by the event, both physically and emotionally, and still faces extensive dental work to restore his mouth to normal. Clearly, this is not what is supposed to happen. When a child, particularly a child so young, is at school, his parents have the right to assume that he is being monitored, especially during the rough and tumble of recess. Children between the ages of 7 and 9, particularly boys, are the most likely to get injured in accidents and certainly should never be left unsupervised. The parents can sue for medical (dental) costs, pain and suffering. Perhaps the potential success of their lawsuit will remind all school staff members to be more attentive to their young charges. After all, though this was a nasty accident, it could have been much worse.