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Can I sue for educational neglect?

Plainview, NY |
Filed under: Education law

My school waited nearly 4 months to move me out of a bad teachers geometry class in which I was doing poorly, she was being rude to me, and basically it stopped me from learning 2 semesters worth of geometry. Now because of this I am on a failing track for geometry and my parents have had to spend a lot of money on tutoring. Can I sue my school for neglect? I had told several people about this issue for months, I even used the words its effecting my ability to learn, and if they cared about my education they would move me, but it took months before they did it, and now its too late. any opinions? thanks so much

Attorney Answers 2


  1. No, you cannot. Not based on these facts. You did not state who you "told" about your "issue", nor have you stated whether your parents contactd the school in writing regarding your difficulties in geometry. If you are on an IEP and therefore protcted by the IDIEA changes your rights somewhat but would still require your parents to seek and administrative remedy before filing suit.

    Absent a special protection under law, the responsibility of seeking assistance is on the student, not the teacher and not the school. Your parents might be able to prevail, if they could establish:

    1) that they contacted the school and the school did nothing while you nevertheless did all your homework and sought tutoring in school, and
    2) that they spent the money on tutoring and this was necessitated (a factual issue that may require expert testimony) by the failure of the school to respond to their repeated written requests.

    Parents rarely sue on this theory however, as most students cannot prove that they really did EVERYTHING that they could have to succeed in the disputed class.

    Good luck.

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  2. I agree with Mr. Kotler that there is not a sound lawsuit on these facts. Even if you could bring a lawsuit (and there are many legal reasons why you probably cannot even state a legal claim), you would not prevail if your matter went before jury. The rudeness of the teacher is not a sufficient cause or reason for you to have stopped learning. You are going to run into lots of rude people over the course of your life and in no case will their rudeness ever be a legal excuse for your conduct, whether your act or your omission. Other people's rudeness is just a fact of life, and we all have to deal with it, get over it, and meet our personal and legal responsibilities anyway.

    My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.

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