John Williams (1922-1994) was born and raised in northeast Texas. Despite a talent for writing and acting, Williams flunked out of a local junior college after his first year. He reluctantly joined the war effort, enlisting in the Army Air Corps, and managing to write a draft of his first novel while there. Once home, Williams found a small publisher for the novel and enrolled at the University of Denver, where he was eventually to receive both his B.A. and M.A., and where he was to return as an instructor in 1954.
Teacher Liabilityby John Williams, Waln brown
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Laws heavily influence the profession of teaching. Teacher liability is a prime example of the relationship between teaching and the law. The judicial and legislative processes have designed certain protections (and imposed additional duties) on teachers, based, in part, on the unique role they play in the education, care, discipline and social development of students.
Statutory and common law creates teacher liability. Statutory law originates in the federal and state legislatures. Common law develops through the judicial process. Both statutory and common law, as they relate to teacher liability, change constantly. As a result, there is no single law that teachers can review to understand their exposure to liability. Rather, there is a growing body of law that teachers must learn in order to protect themselves. Additionally, teachers also should be aware of local ordinances and written policies.
Teachers face exposure to liability much greater than does the average citizen. This is because of the sheer number of daily encounters with situations involving students that, if handled improperly, could lead to liability. Furthermore, because of the unique role of teachers, they must exercise a higher duty of care than do most professionals.
Nearly every day, teachers must deal with laws related to issues such as child abuse, student discipline, negligence, defamation, student records and copyright infringement. Each of these areas of law poses potential problems and pitfalls for teachers. Ignorance of the laws related to these issues, or failure to obey the mandates of the laws, can produce grave consequences.
Teacher liability is a complex topic. There is much for teachers to known about the laws related to their profession, as well as the potential liabilities for violating those laws. Furthermore, there exist many misconceptions with regard to teacher liability. This publication provides an overview of the subject of teacher liability. It offers insights as to how liability can affect teachers in the course of performing their duties and how teachers can protect themselves from liability.
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