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Who should be held liable for harm, injury or death of students in school buses and premises?
It has been often seen that child's injury, both physical and psychological, on the school premises is due to school's negligence in the forms of non-observance of safety measures, non-maintenance of the facilities, little efforts to eliminate dangerous conditions or neglect of duty of caring for and supervising children properly.

Since parents put their children in the custody of the school for care and education, they have every right to know whether or not their children are safe in the school, first and foremost. The school management and teachers are duty bound do everything possible to eliminate accidents and injuries in the school buses and premises. When a child is injured and harmed in the school bus or on the school campus, one of the first things any parent wonders is that who's after all responsible.

It needs to be clearly understood that schools are lawfully duty bound to ensure adequate protection of students from accidental or inflicted injuries and harms. The schools are social institutions and it is their social and legal obligation to live up to the duty of care and ensure safety and protection of their students from any foreseeable harm, injury, and death.

The school management must remain alert and vigilant for timely repairs and eliminate dangerous conditions and make sure students receive caring, supportive and sensitive supervision while they're on school grounds, in school buses, in classrooms, in toilets and during extracurricular activities like excursions.

The schools are needed to be held guilty of negligence if they fail to protect their students from foreseeable injury, harm and death. Elsewhere, the legal doctrine of 'loco parentis' is operative which binds schools and staff to have responsibility and duties of the students' parents on school premises and must make all out efforts for provide safe learning environment and give children the joy of learning and growing.

In many countries, the legal doctrine of loco parentis makes teachers and school managers liable for accidents and injuries to students while under their custody and supervision. The courts also judge each accident at school separately according to the circumstances of the case.

Also, when education is treated as a right and welfare activity, some countries have legal provision called the 'prudent teacher doctrine' to make teacher liable for neglect of child during his or her supervisory presence. Many times, the court tries to examine if the teacher exercised reasonable care to ensure the student wasn't injured and if injury occurred immediate prudent action was taken or not like providing medical aid or informing the appropriate authorities including parents.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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