#Legal Sense

Liabilities of school owners

By Funmilayo Olagunju

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The latin term “in loco parentis” means in the place of a parent. It is a common Law doctrine that confers liabilities on certain person or institution to perform certain functions in the place of a biological parent. As an organization, schools are holding their students in loco parentis and they are liable for the safety of students.

A school must have a sound physical structure without any defect that is capable of causing danger to the lives and properties of the students.

A school must have a clean, habitable and healthy environment free from reptiles, dangerous animals and pollution. A school environment must be reasonably free from hazard.

A school must censor the vendors providing services in respect to sales of food, water and other edibles. The consumption of the student must not be left to chance. There must be periodic inspection of edibles being sold to ensure that they’re yet to expire and are fit for consumption.

A school must have a well-equipped First aid box with members of staff that are trained to administer basic intervention in case of medical emergency. For a school without a clinic, the school ought to register with a standard hospital within vicinity to handle cases of medical emergency.

A school should have vital medical information about their students with functional contact of parents, guardian or person to contact in case of emergency.

A school must create a safe environment where bullying, molestation and moral degradation does not thrive.

There is a legal obligation on Schools (like that of a parent) to monitor students in their premises and ensure their physical, mental and moral well-being.

In admitting students, schools are not merely doing business -they are legally stepping into the role of a parent during the time the student is in their custody. Failure to reasonably ensure the safety of a child or young adult in their custody might have serious legal consequences like payment of fines and sanctioning.

…”Your servant went into the thick of the battle, and someone came to me with a captive and said, ‘Guard this man. If he is missing, it will be your life for his life, or you must pay a talent of silver.’

I Kings 20:39.

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Liabilities of school owners

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