Special Ed Conference Preview: Educator Liability

Andrew Tatgenhorst of the Underwood Law Firm will present at ED311’s upcoming Spring Conference on Special Education Law on the topic, “Liability Concerns for Special Education Personnel.”   Included in his discussion are recent court cases in which suit was brought against school administrators and educators for the treatment of special education students.

One such case is Davis v. Peoria School District 150, 72 IDELR 31 (C.D. Ill. 2018), in which a parent brought suit against administrators and a teacher’s assistant for an incident in which the teacher’s assistant allegedly shoved a student with an emotional disturbance into a door frame. The suit alleged constitutional violations, including excessive force.  The court noted that in order for the parent to prevail in the claim against the administrators, the parent needed to show that they knew about the employee’s misconduct and facilitated, approved, condoned, or turned a blind eye to it. “The [parent] alleges … that [the assistant principal] reviewed video footage of the incident and determined that [the teacher’s assistant] did not violate district policy,” the court noted. “She further alleges that [the assistant principal] was a witness to the incident, did not discipline [the employee] for his actions, and was directly involved in denying [the student] medical care immediately afterwards.” The claims survived a motion to dismiss and the case was allowed to proceed.

For more of Andrew Tatenhorst’s discussion on this and other liability issues that arise in serving special education students, join us at Ed311’s Spring Conferences on Special Education Law scheduled on April 29, 2019 in Arlington and May 2, 2019 in San Marcos.  For details and registration information, visit ED311’s event page.

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