Legal Aspects of School Safety

Every parent of a child is aware of how difficult it is to keep their child safe at home, but sending the child off to school may provide an entirely new set of difficulties. Many parents worry if their children may be subjected to harassment or bullying, while others worry that there could be a violation of child’s right to privacy or free expression. Parents also worry about their children’s overall well-being while they are at school, including whether the institution has adequate safety precautions in place or a fair code of conduct. Whatever the circumstance, the majority of parents would concur that their main objective in enrolling their children in school is to provide them with the chance to learn in a secure, tranquil, and protected setting.

There are some laws and legal issues that parents or guardians should be aware of:


Bullying is a major problem that shouldn’t be ignored. Bullying can have devastating effects on children and teenagers who are in school, but it can also have legal ramifications for institutions that do nothing when there are credible accusations of bullying, sexual harassment, or sexual assault. By implementing conduct codes that usually cover a range of behaviors, schools can help reduce possible violations.

Schools’ Premises Liability

The inability of some schools to keep pupils safe while on school grounds is the subject of an increasing number of lawsuits. According to the “premises liability” doctrine, occupiers and landowners (including schools) are legally obligated to keep their properties safe for visitors who have permission to be there. The law generally requires landowners and occupiers to take “reasonable care” to ensure a secure environment on their property. However, because young children frequently use schools, the law stipulates that extra caution must be exercised when students are present. If a school or school district is found to have contributed to a student’s harm or failed to maintain a safe environment at school, parents of harmed children may pursue a lawsuit against the institution.

Student Code of Conduct

A student’s rights and obligations within the student body are normally outlined in most institutions’ student codes of conduct and other disciplinary procedures. These policies often outline the kinds of conduct that are suitable and unacceptable on school grounds (or even beyond school doors). Reading through these regulations with your child will help ensure that they are aware of critical safety and discipline rules.

First Amendment Issues

Although students are given First Amendment rights, students’ freedoms can be limited. Throughout the years, numerous free speech lawsuits involving public schools have been filed. The Court has ruled that certain types of speech, such as the wearing of particular clothing and religious symbols (such as t-shirts with suggestive language or a necklace with a symbol of a cross), and involvement in groups or associations, must be applied in a way that attempts to balance a student’s right to free speech with a school’s need to provide a secure learning environment.

Safety in schools is a crucial concern. It’s critical for pupils to feel comfortable and secure at school, but it’s also crucial for the development of their academic skills. Whether you’re a parent, guardian, or educator who is worried about school safety, you might want to get in touch with the district where your school is located to find out if any safety regulations and procedures already exist. Contact the Autrey Law Firm to discover more about a specific law under consideration.