While a school’s primary goal is to educate students, another priority is providing a safe environment. It’s a responsibility enforced in federal, state and local laws, but ultimately, students can — and do — get hurt. And when they do, many blame the school or district.
Getting scraped up during recess, for instance, isn’t new. Neither is getting made fun of by a classmate. Some medical experts call falls and broken bones “inevitable,” and some scholars cite teasing as an “important preparation for life.” But more severe issues, including sexual harassment, cyberbullying and school shootings are increasingly penetrating classrooms, spurring legal disputes over who’s responsible.