Lawsuits Reduce Science Classes to Worksheets and Videos

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Legal liability has reduced many science classes in the public schools to worksheets, videos and the occasional poster.

Nighttime astronomy observations are few these days because the schools are legally liable for anything that happens to students after they leave campus.  If students ditch out on field trips, the teachers are legally liable, so there go field trips.  Labs and teacher demonstrations are going away because the teachers are legally liable even when the students injure themselves while committing vandalism or as the result of break-ins.  Teachers refuse to teach certain classes because they don’t want to be legally liable for someone else’s bad behavior.  In many science classes, the students seldom touch or measure anything, go anywhere or actually do anything except watch videos and fill out worksheets.

Students learn best from hands-on experience, but teachers are afraid to give it to them because of all the legal liability.

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  • This is a new one. I have never heard about teachers and schools canceling field trips and after-hours activities based upon strict liability. Can you refer me to some studies? I would be very interested in reviewing them. I work with a local school. Do we have some phantom liability we don’t know about? This is a new one on me. I have never seen it in any of our training classes or heard it referred to by our insurance agent.

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