TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Schools Prohibit Personal E-mail Sites

Re: Schools Prohibit Personal E-mail Sites
5 Jun 2005 18:00:14 -0700

Dean M. wrote:

> Forgive my ignorance, but if this whole exercise on the part of public
> schools is simply aimed at reducing their liablility exposure, how do
> the private schools others mentioned get around that issue?

Private schools are afraid of lawsuits, too, obviously. They
protect themselves by:

1) Strict standards of behavior that are enforced. If a kid screws
around too much in a private school, they're out. Further, private
schools limit who is admitted in the first place. There's normally a
smaller staff/student ratio at private schools and students are
monitored more closely. I've done some work at private schools and I
wouldn't want to be a student there despite the prestige.

2) Contractual limited liability: Unlike a public school which
is governed by law, private schools can and do have contracts
with students limiting the schools' liability. (Public schools
do that for some optional activities, like school sports).

> It would be like cutting school sports entirely because some students
> may get hurt playing. Or does that happen too?

It does at times, although the law has granted some immunity to
schools and coaches if a kid gets injured.

Liability law is a tricky thing. It is often set by the courts
by granting a lawsuit over something. However, legislators may
limit liability in certain situations and they do on occassion.
Often these issues become very contentious (ie limiting malpractice
awards, for example). They generally protect sports coaches
because no one would host a sport if they'd get sued every time a
kid got injured.

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