Public schools have immunities under the law to being sued. The law also often imposes a cap on a public school’s liability, even when a jury finds a school responsible for harm to children. As the Associated Press has reported:
“The barriers are formidable, and can lead to long, grueling fights: Public schools in many states enjoy powerful shields, including caps on damages if they lose a lawsuit and high legal hurdles to prove misconduct.”
Parents and their children bring lawsuits only after everything else has failed. After the school has failed to protect their children, ignored warnings, and often refused to properly investigate when a child has been assaulted. Lawsuits give a citizen some power to fight indifference and secrecy. Lawsuits also provide an incentive for a government or company to change. If a community jury orders a business to pay money for its negligent conduct that harms another, then that provides an incentive for the business to act responsibly. Public school immunities are a reverse incentive. It makes it much, much harder to maintain a lawsuit against a public entity for its negligent conduct.